COVID-19 has dramatically affected how we all operate in the world. Last week, we released our findings on how the pandemic has impacted local social impact organizations working on the ground in communities across the world. Today, we share our findings on what challenges are being faced by foundations and iNGOs; these are the top 4 takeways from what they said:

  • They, like local organizations, require urgent resources to stay operating. Immediate funding ranks as the top need. Not surprisingly, organizations mentioned a lack of materials and supplies – like masks, sanitizers and other personal protection equipment (PPE). They also mentioned that skilled volunteers are difficult to source.
  • There is an urgency to provide staff with operational training, given social distancing and isolation protocols. The biggest request is training to help with the transition to online work; this includes adoption of e-learning solutions and other remote-friendly tools so teams know how to navigate this shift. Organizations also are searching for training to guide their teams through prioritization and strategic pivots to best respond to COVID-19. There is also the need to help teams innovate and troubleshoot when met with COVID-19 challenges; for example, what does my team do when supplies are low, or we need to make our own supplies.
  • It is unclear what beneficiaries need at the moment. Foundations do not know how COVID-19 is affecting their grantees and their communities, and it is not clear how it might affect them in the future. PhilU surveyed 500 social impact professionals from our learning platform to help illuminate the current challenges on the ground. Read those results here.
  • Pretty much everything is moving online. Again, social distancing is forcing not just operations but also programming online. Organizations need digital services to quickly digitize and host content to continue, previously in-person, interventions online. There is also an increased need for a dedicated online space for specific resources (e.g. deliver instructions, lesson plans, etc.). Conferences too have gone virtual and networking now happens in forums or digital communication tools.

At PhilU, we are quickly working to design solutions to help foundations, iNGOs and local social impact organizations continue to do good in a time when it is needed most.  Learn more on about why organizations trust PhilU to help move training and programming online here.

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April 15, 2020


India investigates partnerships in key sectors to fuel Philanthropy U’s core mission. She loves to ask questions and dances whenever she can.