An Open Letter to the Chicago Region’s Nonprofit Community | COVID-19
Dear Partners and Friends,
As the Chicago region grapples with unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, we are grateful for your ongoing work to provide essential public services, tackle inequities, and create communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
We can’t imagine a more difficult time for Chicago area nonprofits. Many vital programs are being disrupted at a time when people need them more, daily operations altered, and budgets stretched by increased demand for services and the cancellation of revenue-generating events – all in a context of tremendous and extraordinary uncertainty. The challenges are even greater for those providing direct services to people at the highest risk due to the virus itself and the economic impacts we are already seeing.
Like you, this community is at the heart of everything we care about. In these anxious times, we want to reaffirm our commitment to you and your work. Your priorities may be shifting as you determine how best to provide for communities, and the path to meet your original program goals may no longer be clear. While we know you remain deeply committed to continuing your work, we also realize that during this crisis it may not be realistic to meet the project goals you once expected to achieve. Please know, we understand and will prioritize flexibility regarding reporting.
In recognition of the challenges you are facing now and those that will be posed to our region in the days and weeks ahead, many of us have joined together and with others to contribute to a fund as one way to support those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to community-based organizations across the Metropolitan Chicago region to supply essential aid to the individuals and households who are most impacted by the pandemic. Those resources currently include access to emergency food and basic supplies, rent and mortgage assistance and utility assistance. Learn more at https://www.chicagocovid19responsefund.org/.
We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in our community by listening to you to understand your experience and the experiences of those you serve. We are heartened by the way organizations across our region are rising to this challenge and are committed to doing our part to help ensure this critical work continues.
Thank you for your leadership and partnership in helping our city weather this crisis.
Iris Krieg, Executive Director | Albert Pick, Jr. Fund
Joel M. Friedman, President | The Alvin H. Baum Family Fund
Helene D. Gayle, President and Chief Executive Officer | The Chicago Community Trust
Adam Levine, President | Circle of Service Foundation
Mary Pounder, Program Director | Comer Family Foundation
Greg DiDomenico, President and CEO | Community Memorial Foundation
Leslie Ramyk, Executive Director | Conant Family Foundation
Evan Hochberg, President | Crown Family Philanthropies
Arne Duncan, Managing Partner | Emerson Collective / Chicago CRED
Angelique Power, President | The Field Foundation
Rachel Garbow Monroe, President and CEO | The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Maria Socorro Pesqueira, President | Healthy Communities Foundation
Phyllis Glink, Executive Director | The Irving Harris Foundation
Janet Froetscher, President | JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation
Lonnie Nasatir, President | Jewish United Fund
John Palfrey, President | John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Ellen S. Alberding, President | The Joyce Foundation
Liz Kramer Lefkofsky, Executive Director | Lefkofsky Family Foundation
Craig Leva, President | Leva Family Foundation
Unmi Song, President | Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
Kelsey Malnati Howell, Executive Director | Marc and Jeanne Malnati Family Foundation
Allyson Park, President | Mars Wrigley Foundation
Gayla Brockman, President and CEO | Michael Reese Health Trust
Kim R. Van Horn, Managing Director | Paul M. Angell Family Foundation
Gillian Darlow, CEO | Polk Bros. Foundation
Charles Twichell, Executive Director | Prince Charitable Trusts
Julie Wilen, Executive Director | Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation | Pritzker Foundation
Cindy Moelis, President | Pritzker Traubert Foundation
David Hiller, President and CEO | Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Na’ilah Suad Nasir, President | Spencer Foundation
Sean Garrett, President and CEO | United Way of Metro Chicago
Robert N. DiLeonardi, Executive Director | VNA Foundation
Michelle Morales, President | Woods Fund Chicago