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Philanthropy Thought Leadership

The COVID-19 Crisis, Ways You Can Help

By Lita Pardi, interim vice president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Over recent weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work and connect with each other. News changes daily, if not by the minute. It’s a scary, uncertain time, particularly for the most vulnerable in our region:


  • Children who face food insecurity or lack access to technology to keep current on their education while schools are closed
  • Seniors who have no access to meals
  • The uninsured, low-wage workers
  • And those in the hospitality or service industries and gig economy workers who have just received their last paycheck. 

What began as a health crisis has become a full-blown economic crisis. Our regional disparity is even more stark in these dire times.

Alongside that darkness, there is light. There are so many in our region who want to help. As strong nonprofits are on the frontlines serving our most vulnerable residents, some are nimble to shift operations and programs for an emergency response. 

If you would like to help, here are five ways to make an impact today:

  1. Give. The Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Atlanta launched the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to support the nonprofits that are helping those most impacted by the coronavirus now, especially those most vulnerable to economic and health-related issues caused by the pandemic. The fund has received tremendous corporate and family foundation support and has already awarded more than $4 million in grants for short-term, critical needs. This funding will continue to roll out in the coming weeks and months. More details, including grant recipients, can be found here. To give, go here
  2. Support nonprofits directly, especially those that you have supported in the past. Many nonprofits are rocked by canceled fundraisers and shuttered performances. You can give a one-time grant, or even better, sign up for regular monthly gifts for the rest of the year if you are able. 
  3. Buy a subscription or gift certificate to your favorite arts organization. If you purchased a ticket to a performance that has been canceled, instead of asking for a refund, consider the ticket cost a donation to the organization. 
  4. Advocate on behalf of nonprofits. Did you know that the Georgia nonprofit sector employs over 10% of the private workforce in our state? Stay tuned to our blog to learn how to raise your voice as the $2 trillion federal stimulus is implemented in Georgia and how you can advocate for other needs. 
  5. Talk to others. In this time of social distancing, some may feel they’re facing this burden alone. And if your heart and passion lies with a certain cause or nonprofit organization you may feel like you can’t have an impact. Reach out to friends or colleagues in your network who share those same passions for your cause. Talk about ways you could make a collective gift, or even make a commitment (and put it on the calendar) to participate in a volunteer day later in the year when our current restrictions are eased.

Our region’s spirit of generosity is so important, now more than ever.

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