Covid-19 and the Community Foundation

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The health and safety of our employees, donors, grantees, visitors and the community, are a top priority.

We are committed to helping meet the needs in this region that are a result of the COVID-19 virus. We encourage support of organizations that work with the people and families who are most vulnerable and disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus and the economic consequence of the outbreak.

The Community Foundation has plans to implement our business continuity plan if needed to ensure we can continue to support donors and community needs.

For our Donors

Amid the rising concern of the coronavirus in Michigan, the Community Foundation has a business continuity plan and is prepared to continue business as usual through off-site and remote access if necessary. 

You may continue to make grant recommendations from your Donor Advised Fund through DonorCentral, our donor services portal, or by emailing or calling our Philanthropic Services staff. We will also continue to process gifts into your fund through our usual means by check, wire transfer, marketable securities or other options as listed on our website.

Community Support
As this global crisis rapidly evolves, we continue to learn new information about the effect of the virus on our cities, towns, and neighborhoods. In response, we are working as quickly as possible to ensure the health and safety of our community by determining how we, as a regional philanthropic partner, can help most effectively.

Donors may contribute to the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Southeast Michigan to support immediate and long-term unmet needs or the Health COVID-19 Relief Fund Southeast Michigan to support the urgent health-related needs.

Donate to the Covid-19 Relief Funds

If you want to support urgent, human service needs, the most effective step is to contribute to your local United Way by visiting their website here.

Each of these organizations is working to address critical, immediate human service needs in their respective communities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We do not yet know what the long-term effects of this crisis will be, but our grantee partners and other community members are helping us determine where needs are most critical right now.

We have asked our partners to serve as the eyes and ears of our community and to help us maintain a running list of community needs as they evolve.

You’ll see that the range of issues is wide – from needs for cultural institutions to needs for small business. We know government will address some of these, but we want to monitor as we look for ways for philanthropy to fill in the gaps.

If you want advice as a donor to support any of these wider range of issues, especially those outside of the human service issues the United Way’s are addressing, please do not hesitate to call us. We are happy to lift suggestions to you.

As we learn how best to address this evolving pandemic together, the impact of regional collaboration and local contributions has never been more apparent. By working together with our friends and neighbors, we can ensure the health and safety of our community as effectively as possible.

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For Our Grantees

Much like you, at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, we are closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

We are working by the hour to equip ourselves and our partners with accurate, up-to-date information and responding as quickly and effectively as possible.

In brief, here are a few key responses to common questions from our grantees that we wish to share:

  • If you have an open grant from CFSEM and have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your program officer. We are standing by ready to be as flexible as possible.
  • We are happy to extend grant report deadlines if needed.
  • We are available to discuss changes to your grant budgets if needed.
  • We are planning to pay all grants on schedule.

Meanwhile, as the crisis evolves in southeast Michigan, we are asking you, our grantee partners for help.

We know our grantees are the eyes and ears of our community, so we are asking you to share with us both the long and short term needs you see arising within your organizations and communities. While we cannot support all needs, hearing from you does help us to direct donors and others to things most pressing.

We strongly encourage you to share those needs with us through our website. We will continuously update the list of needs as we collect more information. Feel free to respond more than once over the coming weeks as you see new needs emerge.

You will find a summary of the issues we have collected so far at this link. We are updating this daily.

Amidst office and school closures, event cancellations, and the shutdown of small businesses, we want to stay abreast of the issues and better understand how and where we can be effective.

As we learn how best to address this evolving pandemic, the impact of regional collaboration and local contributions has never been more apparent.  As such, we launched a COVID-19 Fund to respond to some of the emerging issues you are telling us about.  We wanted to provide a tool to our donors and partners who want to give.

We are identifying issue areas, informed by what we are hearing from you, of where the limited funds we have raised can be targeted to make a difference.   At this time, we will have an invitation-only process for the COVID funds, as we don’t want you spending time on applying unless we know we have funds to address your areas of need.

Please know that once we identify a targeted area that we believe we have meaningful funds to support, we will contact organizations that work in that area to provide input into our grantmaking strategy.

Our first wave of grants were for support of immediate health care needs.   We anticipate additional waves of grants in the weeks to come for other areas as well.

Subscribe to COVID-19 Updates for Grantees

Thank you for all you do every day to support residents in southeast Michigan. Together, we will get through this challenging time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of us if something is on your mind.


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