The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated rapidly. There’s much we don’t know about the virus, but it’s clearly an extraordinary challenge that calls for all of us to rally together to develop responses aligned with our mission and values.

The Foundation has been following events as they’ve unfolded, including current guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and other leading government and health authorities. We encourage you to follow these organizations’ websites for more guidance about the virus itself. We also encourage you to keep diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and the needs of communities most vulnerable to this pandemic, in the forefront as you decide on your own responses.

Below, you’ll find details about the steps we’re taking to support the health and well-being of our staff and board, our grantees and other partners, and the communities we serve, including ideas on DEI-related issues, which are central to this situation.

Our immediate plans.

Effective immediately until further notice:

  • We’re discontinuing the use of our offices for outside groups. This is a step to safeguard both our visitors and our staff, and it aligns with public health guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus. We won’t be hosting meetings with outside groups or representatives or taking reservations for the use of our meeting rooms. Sharing our space with outside groups is very important to us, and we will resume doing so as soon as we safely can.
  • Our staff has been equipped and encouraged to work remotely. We believe our essential operations can all currently be handled via phone, internet, and other virtual means. Staying away from the physical location of the office helps reduce the risk of transmission.
  • We’ve canceled or postponed all work-related travel outside the Twin Cities area among our staff. We view this as a sensible precaution for all concerned. We intend to stay in close touch with grantees and other partners by phone and video.

We’re making it a top priority to ensure our grantees and other partners continue to receive monetary and other critical support. Our current sense is that we can and will continue to meet all our obligations to our various stakeholders throughout the duration of this pandemic.

We’re making it a top priority to ensure our grantees and other partners continue to receive monetary and other critical support. Our current sense is that we can and will continue to meet all our obligations to our various stakeholders throughout the duration of this pandemic.

Moving forward—please stay tuned to the website!

We’ll announce any further operational changes through this website and our social media accounts. We encourage you to also follow the guidance provided by public health officials, and we’ll do the same.

DEI is a top priority.

We’re also mindful of the role of DEI during this pandemic. We’ve received numerous reports of racism and xenophobia. People are being stigmatized if they’re perceived to be from countries impacted by the virus. Asian American school children are being taunted. Asian Americans have been verbally and physically assaulted on the streets. As a counter to this, we recommend you review a statement from the National Council on Asian and Pacific Americans (NCAPA).

Immigrants and refugees have also been a target during this pandemic. For instance, current governmental policies prevent immigrants and refugees from seeking care. There have been inaccurate and offensive claims that a border wall would stop the spread of the virus.

The poor and hourly, lower-wage, and gig employees all face challenges, because of ongoing systemic and structural barriers to their well-being, that leave them exceptionally vulnerable to the impact of the virus.

Thoughts about all of these DEI concerns, and more, are top priorities as the Foundation lives its mission and values through its evolving response to the virus.

Lifting up the needs of nonprofits posed by the virus.

We’re especially alert to the pandemic’s impact on the grantees and communities we serve. Our team is actively considering ways to help. Our colleagues at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) have written in more detail about the “perfect storm of nonprofit challenges.”

We’re reaching out to grantees and potentially other nonprofits to develop responses that meet their needs. We invite you to follow our website, where we’ll post about these responses as they evolve.

COVID-19 Updates web page

Our COVID-19 web page is dedicated to our latest blog updates, COVID-related grantmaking, and informational and funding resources.

Learn more