“If you are open for business, we bet it won’t be business as usual”.
So starts this afternoon’s communication from the Inner North CF to its supporters, encouraging people to continue giving to help their neighbours in need. It is an inspiring example among many similar community foundation appeals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world day to day (if not hour to hour), we’re navigating a response to ensure the health and wellbeing of our teams and communities, business continuity strategies, market volatility and a not-for-profit sector that is precarious.
This is a moment for community foundations to both respond and lead. There is tremendous opportunity for collaborative and connected approaches, with engagement from partners – corporate, government, and private foundations. With those words, Andrea Dicks, President of Community Foundations of Canada, invited CF support organisations like ACP to share information about how we are responding to this new challenge. We have briefly summarised the responses.
In Australia, we have moved in the course of this week to a 6-months full travel ban for incoming visitors (who are not citizens or permanent residents of Australia); the language for economic responses has changed from ‘stimulus’ to ‘rescue and survival’ packages; non-essential meetings are being banned for ever smaller numbers – with lots of events and meetings consequently cancelled; a growing number of businesses are moving to work-from-home arrangements; and the 2020 AFL season kicked off last night at the MCG without any fans in attendance.
These are challenging times for communities. For us, the Covid-19 pandemic has arrived hard on the heels of a disastrous bushfire season. This time, there is no script. No-one knows how this will work out and over what time frame. One thing is for sure: we will be getting through this better together. Community foundations can help bring resources to the places where we operate for local benefit and particularly those who are vulnerable.
I hope this newsletter finds everyone who reads it well and safe. Let’s look after ourselves; we have a lot of work ahead of us and a responsibility to each other and to our communities.