The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) announced on July 2 that the rest of its 2020 institutional grantmaking will go to a two-phase plan focused on COVID-19 relief totaling $8.5 million.
The program’s first phase, known as COVID-19 Response Grants, offers immediate relief to Los Angeles nonprofits in both the Jewish and general communities impacted by the pandemic. The second phase will support Jewish nonprofits locally, as well as in Israel, facing economic hardship due to the pandemic to ensure their long-term sustainability.
“The devastating effects of COVID-19 and the financial crisis required us to re-imagine our institutional grant making to meet these unprecedented challenges,” Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland said in a statement to the Journal. “Our funding strategies, devoted entirely to COVID-19 relief, are meant to address both immediate and developing needs resulting from the crisis, as well as provide us the flexibility to adapt as the situation changes.”
Phase One funding totals $2.5 million distributed to 22 nonprofit organizations. This includes $1.5 million for causes and initiatives that focus on providing direct relief for financial, housing and food insecurity, as well as access to adequate healthcare.
Swipe Out Hunger, LA Family Housing, JVS SoCal, Chai Lifeline, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles, Martin Luther King Junior Community Hospital and Jewish Free Loan Association are among the organizations that received grants. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles also received $1 million for its COVID-19 relief efforts as a part of phase one.
Phase two grants, currently estimated at approximately $6 million, is expected to support recipients’ ongoing programming activities and organizational infrastructure to help ensure their future sustainability.
The Foundation’s total $8.5 million includes funding from the Mickey and Irene Ross Endowment at The Foundation, as well as support from the Erwin Rautenberg Foundation, a private family foundation. To develop its plan, The Foundation consulted with more than 100 nonprofits locally and in Israel, as well as fellow funders throughout the community.
Schotland said in addition to the re-direction of this year’s institutional giving to COVID-19 response and recovery, The Foundation relaxed requirements of previously awarded multi-year institutional grants to numerous nonprofits, specifically its Cutting Edge, Next Stage, Israel and General Community Grants. These revised policies include modifying grant-reporting requirements, accelerating distributions, repurposing funds and providing consultative services and support to help ensure continuity of programming and bolster these nonprofits.