WA Women’s Foundation COVID-19 Updates

WA Women’s Foundation is committed to the safety, health, and well-being of our staff and members as well as the broader community we partner with and serve. When Governor Inslee issued the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order on March 23, 2020, we quickly transitioned our operations, committee work, and programs to virtual spaces.

As our state enacts its “Safe Start” plan, we will continue to operate in accordance to public health recommendations issued by Washington State’s Department of Health and King County’s Public Health Department. We also will coordinate our reopening efforts with management of the 2100 Building and our neighbors at the 2100 Building, many of whom do direct service work with clients.

Below is the latest information about our operations and programs and reopening procedures. We also have included a list of resources previously shared as well as information about what the Foundation has done in response to COVID-19.

Last updated: August 5, 2020

Re-Opening Notes

Although the 2100 Building has reopened to tenants with physical distancing measures in place, WA Women’s Foundation staff will continue to work remotely until the end of 2020, unless otherwise noted. The 2100 Building remains closed to the general public, including members of the Foundation.

When we transition back to being in the 2100 Building on a regular basis, we will post our re-opening notes here. Please stay tuned for more details.

Office Hours

You can contact WA Women’s Foundation staff during regular business hours from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Thursday. Staff are available by phone and e-mail, and can meet via Zoom teleconferencing.

For the remainder of the summer, the office will be closed on Fridays to allow our staff time to recuperate and enjoy the sunshine. We will resume our Monday through Friday operations starting Monday, August 31.

The WA Women’s Foundation staff also will be taking the time between Monday, August 3, to Friday, August 21, to plan fall programming and work on the details of our new grant initiatives. During this time, we will be taking a short break from our online programming and will be limiting meetings to only those directly related to the new grantmaking initiatives so that we can focus on our larger organizational needs.

Mail

Although we are processing mail a little slower than usual, we are still receiving mail sent to our regular mailing address.

Programs & Events

Our programs and events will continue to be held virtually via Zoom videoconferencing until further notice. A video link and dial-in numbers are provided for each meeting. Please see our Programs & Events page for information about upcoming opportunities to engage with WA Women’s Foundation.

Members will continue to receive updates about our latest programs and events in their weekly Friday e-newsletter. If you are not a member but would like to receive monthly emailed updates from WA Women’s Foundation, please sign up for our community e-newsletter.

Resources

We have compiled a list of community resources and mutual aid funds, as well as highlights of what our grantees have been doing in response to COVID-19, in a post on our blog. We are periodically updating this post as we learn about new community resources and mutual aid funds.

Early on during the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, our President & CEO Beth McCaw authored a blog post with actions that we as individual philanthropists can take to support the nonprofit community during this time. She also shared how WA Women’s Foundation is responding to needs and demands brought on by this pandemic.

How We Have Responded to This Pandemic

Because of the flexibility of our team and members, and the privilege we hold as funders, we were able to continue our work without much interruption and adapt to the needs of our greater community. Here are the ways WA Women’s Foundation have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • We made unrestricted general operating support grants through our Pooled Fund Grant as originally planned. We celebrated the work of our five new grantees at our first-ever virtual Grant Award Celebration. With the grants we made to our five Merit Award winners, we granted $550,000, making our 2020 Grant Award Celebration the largest single day of grantmaking in our history.
  • We accelerated grant payments to grantees and discussed with those receiving grants for capital projects whether they needed us to release restrictions so the funds could be repurposed to meet emerging needs. To-date, none of our grantees have had to repurpose funds designated for capital projects.
  • We leveraged our resources from the Foundation’s portfolio to make a $50,000 contribution to the Washington Census Equity Fund Response Fund, administered by Philanthropy Northwest.
  • We transitioned our committee work and board meetings to Zoom.
  • We created opportunities for our community to connect with each other and continue learning about issues concerning the nonprofit community, especially during COVID-19. These opportunities included our Let’s Talk Thursday series, which engaged members and guests on a variety of topics that varied week-to-week. By hosting our events online, we have been able to engage with members and individuals not only from across Washington State but also from across the country and the world!
  • We continue to be vocal advocates for the nonprofit sector and continue to look for ways to leverage our position as a funder to help address the needs of the nonprofit community.

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