April 6th Virtual Meeting on COVID RESPONSE & ACTION Learning Session


April 6 2020

HIGHLIGHTS FROM TODAY’s ZOOM Learning Community Session

Jim White, Executive Director & Brad Russell, Chair Reporting:

  • “There are massive needs across the sector.”
  • This is a disruption & crises that has three phases: First Phase is around Immediate Assistance to people through social services response. The focus at this time is on essential services, what do people need. Non-essential services (meaning not a life or death situation) take a back seat and for them it will be a situation of surviving until the recovery period. Needs will outpace capacity. 
  • Second Phase is Short-Term Economic Recovery focusing on sustaining and keeping organizations going.  
  • The Third Phase is for the longer term, economic recovery.

The Question for philanthropic sector to ask during this First Phase is How do we flatten the curve of economic impact to mitigate a protracted recovery. What can we do now to support mitigation? 

  • Jim referred participants to the State of Oregon Non-Profits publication that came out in early March before the lock down to suppress COVID-19 spread. The report showed the tedious realities of non-profits in Oregon at that time, so with this crisis that situation has turned to a whole new level of challenge. 
  • NAO’s 2020 State of the Sector Report can be downloaded for free here:  https://nonprofitoregon.org/sos-report 

Brad Russell, Executive Director for Rogue Valley YMCA & Chair of NAO Reporting:

Lives & Livelihood are top of his mind and the current work of the YMCA in Medford. 

  • The YMCA has teamed up with 549C school district leadership and funders to provide childcare for first responders: physicians, nurses, ancillary staff needed to ensure the health care system supports people in medical need. 
  • Many of the first responders have to stay isolated from their families to reduce the spread of the virus, so the Y plays are role in this situation as well providing social supports and assisting first responders to communicate with their children using technology. 
  • Jim White shared that the Rogue Valley has the 4th highest testing rate in the country, which is a testament to the local health authorities and their engagement with this issue. 

NAO has turned completely towards support of NPOs to address all three phases of this crisis and transformation.

They have experienced 500-600 participants in all their COVID-19 related webinars. They send out two alerts weekly. They will start to pivot to economic recovery statewide. They will be assisting organizations in the process of prioritizing needs, outlining needs for the three phases of this crisis.

Jim offered that philanthropy can offer more than dollars to this crisis: Advocating for this issue with their governmental leadership. For example, advocating for the federal funds to flow quickly into the State and then Counties to support the Payroll Protection Program. 

NAO and Grantmakers of Oregon are working on a shared portal concept for information. 

Meanwhile, GOSW has created a site on their webpage about funders responding to COVID-19 relief https://gosw.org/covid19/


Similar to last meeting March 23rd 

  1. Food-pantries, food delivery to home bound and at-risk populations. Children who are living with families who are eligible for free & reduced school meals and new families/children whose families are no longer working. 
  2. Housing/Rent for individuals and families living in service industry that has ben closed down. 
  3. Tele-mental/behavioral health for kids and family’s needs/opportunity if they have computers.  
  4. Loss of volunteer support and labor for operating NPOs because so many volunteers are in higher risk categories. 
  5. Homeless services need continuous input to manage the shelter in place or keeping food delivery along Bear Creek to mitigate spread of virus. 
  6. List of Jackson/Josephine Counties Agency Services Updates: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x7jYw5zYZrvfHxBfh7_arebq4xpCxGU18oW4f_zN4Y0/edit?usp=sharing


  • Oregon Community Foundation 

Heidi Binder, Nancy Bales and Amy Drake reported that OCF received 600 applications in 2 weeks! There are more funds requested that funds to award. They have provided a link for other funders to applications that have been submitted in hopes to encourage funding for these requests.  To see what applications are ready to be funded in your community or beyond here is the link. You can also view what has been funded. https://oregoncf.org/private/see-and-act-on-covid-nonprofit-funding-requests?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=April-2020&utm_content=COVID

(From March meeting: OCF is responding with flexibility for current grant processes; offering bridge funding for the Arts; Emergency funds for food/shelter/rental assistance; Childcare/social isolation/access to food. COVID-19 Special fund set up by larger philanthropic colleagues including The Ford Family Foundation & Meyer Memorial.


TWO WAYS for general public/npos to communicate with OCF: 1) Simple Online Application 2) via email covid@oregoncf.org 

  • Initial Funds from the OCF Response Fund went out starting March 24th
  • Processes are still being figured out.)
  • United Way of Southwest Coast: Coos/Curry 

Jen Shafer shared that United Way has been receiving requests for mostly food and from organizations that distribute food. They have received $15,000 in requests and just raised $30,000 in funding.

  • Wild Rivers Coastal Alliance Coos/Curry: 

Marie Simmons reported that they are working with South Coast Workforce Investment Board to assist in providing volunteers for local organizations to assist in getting food and basic needs out to individuals in Coos County. 

  • Advanced Health Coordinated Care Organization serving Coos/Curry

Laura Williams and her team have been setting up equipment delivery and prescription service deliveries for their clients and community. They have been working through Coastline Neighbors a local program of volunteers who make deliveries already and have expanded to include these supports for individuals that are sheltered in place. 

  • Wild Rivers Community Foundation 

Gina and her nonprofit colleagues have used what they learned and set up during the Chetco Fire incident to work together on addressing quickly the basic needs of food, shelter, safety and support throughout Curry County. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1BcRVbD_Q6U2fay0OLSv4QSdW2RbIcJDyyYf6cfCf-oU/edit?usp=sharing

Food insecurity continues at this time to be the number one issue for her communities as presented in March. There is the ongoing financial need for food purchasing, but the additional issue of purchasing enough food for pantries and snack packs when stores have strong “2-items only” requirements. She has been working with the store owners about this. Humboldt Area & Wild Rivers Community Foundations have distributed $200,000 in the northern California and Curry County region for food banks, but this continues to be the greatest immediate need. Coastline Neighbors and Christian Help in Gold Beach, Oregon are involved in trying to making the students food snack packs as well as the food for shut-in seniors. Parks are closed so homeless individuals do not have a location to cook food, so food in pantries needs to be eatable without cooking for this population. They are trying to leverage resources with philanthropic partners outside of Curry to benefit Curry residents. There are a few organizations in Curry that have applied for OCF support. Humboldt Area has started a $2 million fund to assist with Small Business Loans, since there will be a gap period between when the Federal funds will come available and the need now for businesses to be saved from going under. 

  • Smullin Foundation

Laura Olson reported that they are providing small grants throughout their rural coastal area, preferring to leverage with other funders resources. Contact Laura if there is a project that you are looking at and need some additional support. ($1,000)

  • AllCare Coordinated Care Organization
  • Cameron McVay shared his coordination with Advanced Health in serving the Curry County OHP population and seniors in their programs. Curry had its first confirmed COVID-19 case last night. Oregon Health Authority has released significant funds to CCO’s to find the gaps in support for COVID-19 response services around the State.
  • The Ford Family Foundation-Ford Institute for Community Building:

Roque Barros reported that their Ford Institute field coordinator, Crystal, in Siskiyou County is helping local programs set up communication processes to manage the needs and responses in the county. They work with Siskiyou Revitalization Network and are helping set up virtual meetings and connectivity. 

  • The Ford Family Foundation:

Anne Kubisch reported that in Douglas County the foundation is involved with the county’s COVID Response Team being coordinated by Casey Bolton, CEO of the local Federally Qualified Health Center. There is a two-prong approach for the Team: Medical response and Community Response, including child care, kids’ programs, food assistance, etc. Anne affirmed that the UCC tragedy and the organizing done in the community between providers of all services in response, created a lot of learning and muscle memory for knowing who to call about what type of service.  

  • The Four Way Community Foundation: 

Kate Dwyer reported that Four Way and All Care are working together on a variety of community response issues. In particular the importance of assisting small but very important basic need programs in the mostly rural county with communication tools like ZOMM in order to connect and use resources collaboratively

  • Asante Foundation:

Debbie Daggett reported that Asante has set up an emergency fund for employee families, rental assistance, child care. There are 5,700 employees they are trying to assist so they can be of service to the whole region including Siskiyou County in providing care. 

  • United Way of Jackson County: 

Dee Anne Everson reported on emergency funds that have been distributed in Josephine County for rent support, the #1 request to United Way from that community.

Maintaining a volunteer force is a scramble for the replacement and expansion of supports needed right now. Please direct Jackson and Josephine County volunteers to this website to sign up for a variety of things. https://roguevalley.recovers.org/

Dee Anne encouraged colleagues to refer programs that need trucks to transport food and materials to contact Good Will. They have trucks and drivers and their stores are closed so they are trying to keep their people employed and helping out. 

Mercy Flights and other ambulance companies are also stepping forward to help with deliveries. 

United Way Jackson County has collected over $130,000 to date for rapid relief support and given away $82,000 in assistance for 282 families.  What they have learned is that it not that people are behind one paycheck, but more like 2 or more paychecks. 

Ruch School was the only 549c school without food distribution, so two local Ruch restaurants stepped up to provide that service to children in the area, Pit Stop and Indigo. United Way provided a grant to help with food costs going forward. 

(Pertinent Info from March23rd meeting: Ja Co. Jail is handing out sack lunches on greenway and resource help. Info on testing. Goals to Keep homeless population as dispersed as possible to reduce spread of contagion. County has Secured minimum of 30 hotel rooms if needed for C19 isolation for homeless. Ja/Jo COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) is active in this issue– many volunteers are elderly, at risk of infection, which complicates delivery systems for Ashland CERT, SVDP, and RVCOG meal programs. Trying to enlist RCC/SOU students and boy/girl scouts. Ashland YMCA is paying staff to volunteer.) 

Jackson Care Connect Coordinated Care Organization

Nancy McKinnis reported that JCC has been investing resources into housing, healthcare worker supports and childcare as their response. Handwashing stations, School meals, as well as partnering with YMCA for childcare for healthcare worker families while they are on the front lines. They have also offered their grantees the opportunity to repurpose their funds. 

Klamath/Lake Counties:

We did not have a Klamath/Lake County representative on the Zoom, but Kathy has a call into Bob Kingzette who is with the Wendt Family Foundation. She will write an addendum to these notes once she reaches him

What we shared between the funders who are connected to those counties:

Access to communications is still a significant issue in rural areas.

OCF has received requests for funding from Klamath County. United Way of Klamath Basin has initiated a COVID-19 campaign. Ross Ragland has submitted an application to OCF as well. Klamath Tribes have also submitted an application to OCF

Roque Barros reported that the Institute’s field coordinator in Klamath/Lake Counties is setting up a process among community providers for regular calls and contacts.  


  • Katie Hutchinson, Dutch Bros Foundation reported that since the meeting March 23rd the organization has announced a $1million commitment to communities in seven states. 50% will go to United Ways across those seven states and the other 50% will go to Food Banks; a Share the Dutch Love project that will support hospital and grocery workers called First Responders First. 
  • Lyn Hennion wanted to underline the dilemma of lack of infrastructure for rural areas to participate and compete for resources. She experienced her own infrastructure breakdown from Buncom where the video signal even with two satellite dishes knocked her off the zoom call. We need to address Infrastructure for Communication needs for Rural Areas.

It is not too early to learn to be even more organized in a future crisis.  

Buncom day is being postponed due to the current reality. 

  • Participants acknowledged how it is a privilege to have a role to be helpful at a time like this. 
  • Others acknowledge anxiety and gratefulness as two different feelings they are having at the same time.
  • Appreciation that at this stressful time we have an opportunity through this zoom gathering of colleagues to think together. 
  • Sometimes the weight of the feeling of responsibility is overwhelming and that it is not enough no matter what. 


  • Wild Rivers Community Foundation: Accepting excepting funds for their two county Curry County & Del Norte & Tribal Lands within that geographic area. https://www.wildriverscf.org/
  • United Way of Southwestern Oregon also has an Emergency Relief Fund for Coos/Curry County community partners supporting those most in need:



  • Currently on 3% of philanthropy goes to rural & tribal communities, how will this crisis increase that disproportionality? How can we change that narrative? 
  • How can we ensure that people in rural areas get COVID testing when it becomes available to address fear and the need for us to help one another?
  • Rural nonprofits depend on thrift store revenue, those stores are now closed. How will they make up that revenue?
  • Food is limited in rural areas. Healthy food even more. How do we get supplies to rural areas during this time?
  • How we ensure we don’t increase during this time homelessness? Child neglect? Unwanted pregnancies? 
  • How do we make sure we support disability population during this time, peoples of color and marginalized groups within the region who are further at risk in rural Oregon/N CA? 
  • Rural Communication Infrastructure!


Humboldt Area Foundation (Northern California)

5% of our foundation portfolio is dedicated to low interest loans to nonprofits and we actually made our first investment/loan in Hoopa to build a grocery store near the reservation.

HA Foundation Covid Grantmaking through April 2: 

Family services– $31,000- mothers group, childcare, elder care, counseling
Housing efforts– $66,420- mission support, motel rooms and homes, facility improvements, program support,
Food access– $81,200- food banks, senior centers, UIHS
Front Line Workers Safety– $15,300 firefighter jackets
211: $2,000 for Mother Women Rising Group
Cooperation Humboldt: $2,000 for Humboldt Parent Hive Childcare Cooperative
Wiyot Tribe: $1,000 for hygiene, cleaning and pet supplies for elders
Yurok Tribe:  $20,000 to to provide hygiene packages, food delivery and firewood to 900 elders and 500 at risk youth
Humboldt Family Service Center: $6,000 Virtual counseling for high needs families
Housing efforts– $66,420- mission support, motel rooms and homes, facility improvements, program support,
Cooperation Humboldt: $5,000 for Humboldt COVID-19 Response Coalition
Del Norte Mission Possible:  $10,000 

From Sally Yee 

My apologies to all that I have to leave the meeting early. I am sharing notes with my colleagues at Meyer. I will share with you if we will have other responses to need in addition to MRG’s Covid Response Combined Fund ($330K) and OCF’s Covid Response Combined Fund ($1M).

Kate Dwyer, Four Way Community Foundation 

For assistance with Josephine County and western Jackson County outreach, especially the Illinois Valley (Cave Junction area), the Four Way Community Foundation can help. fourwaycommfdn@gmail.com

From Elanna M. Erhardt, MLIS, Jackson County Library 

There are several resources relevant to some concerns discussed during the meeting. I’ll be sending out a newsletter with everything linked for ease of access. 

Please sign up for the newsletter here: https://jcls.us16.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=cbac938ce6587322f5dfb2eb3&id=479bddf2d0

Some immediate conversations that you may want to know about are these:

Additional information resources: 

The Library has resources additional resources listed here