We want to begin this note by simply saying thank you.
The current public health crisis and economic repercussions are like nothing we have experienced before. While the rapid spread of COVID-19 has created uncertainty, it has also brought us together even as we keep our social distance. We at The Champlin Foundation are as proud as ever to be a part of this incredible community.
The Champlin Foundation is taking steps to support Rhode Island’s public health response and core members of our state’s nonprofit sector. To help our community respond to COVID-19 and provide our longstanding grantee organizations with a bit of financial support during this challenging time, we announced a $1.6+ million, four-pronged philanthropic approach to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $600,000 to Increase COVID-19 Testing at Nonprofit Hospitals: We’ve provided grants to Lifespan, Care New England and South County Health that will allow them to deploy five new testing machines and will substantially increase the number of COVID-19 tests conducted each day. This support will also allow Landmark Health and Westerly Hospital to expand their laboratory equipment to more effectively determine non COVID-19 respiratory illnesses. Faster testing and results will allow for more efficient use of available resources.
- $1M Emergency Capital Liquidity Fund: Working with our longtime grantees, we will conduct an RFP process to award emergency grants to eligible agencies and organizations. Priority will be given to organizations that are directly responding to the COVID-19 crisis and to those that have experienced a substantial loss of earned revenue (i.e. childcare tuition, program fees, ticket sales, etc.) The RFP details are currently being drafted and will be distributed to eligible grantees in the coming weeks.
- Easing of Restrictions on Open Grants: The fastest and simplest way we can help existing grantees who have had to ramp up service delivery or have been cut off from earned revenue is to release restrictions on their existing open grants. To that end, we have reached out to select 2018 and 2019 grantees to understand the status of their funded projects. On a case-by-case basis, these organizations will be considered for flexibility to re-purpose capital funds awarded through our past grant allocations. This flexibility could potentially free up millions of dollars of revenue for nonprofits and agencies across the state.
- Extended Deadline for 2020 Capital Grant Applications: Earlier this year, we introduced an easy-to-use online grant application portal. We began accepting applications on March 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Foundation has decided to extend the application deadline from April 30, 2020 to May 31, 2020. This extended deadline will allow agencies and organizations to better assess their needs and priorities that may have been impacted by COVID-19.
We also want to make sure that the charities in the state are aware of all the resources available to them. The Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island has a website with information about grants and the government small business loans here.
Additionally, on April 1, 2020, nearly 400 Rhode Island nonprofits will make history by participating in the largest single day of giving ever held in the Ocean State thanks to our friends at the United Way. Visit 401Gives.org to explore participating nonprofits.
On behalf of the entire distribution committee, we wish you well and thank you for being a part of an overwhelming, yet inspirational, effort to flatten the curve. As this pandemic continues to impact our lives and economy, we will strive to be as effective as possible and direct our philanthropy in the most meaningful direction.
Please stay safe, stay healthy, and – where possible – stay home.
R. Kelly Sheridan, Chair & Nina Stack, Executive Director