Dear Colleagues and Friends,
So much has changed since we last convened in January. Like many communities across our nation, our region has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects on our neighbors, our sector and our very way of life. When we launched the Foundation’s 25th anniversary program and special grant opportunity earlier this year, who could have imagined that the themes of strength, resilience and fiscal sustainability would be so relevant and timely.
Over the past two weeks, our region has demonstrated courage, creativity, resilience and kindness. Our grantee partners are at the heart of this. We have been inspired by their steadfast leadership, heartened by their remarkable resilience, and grateful for their ongoing service and dedication to all of our communities.
At Community Memorial Foundation, we remain committed to supporting access to equitable, quality health and human services. We intend to listen and support all of you, and be as responsive and flexible as possible. We are facing this together, and together will meet the increased and evolving needs of this challenging time.
Please see below for important information regarding 25th Anniversary programming; our grantmaking; and our involvement in the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. As always, please reach out with any questions, concerns or needs as we together navigate the road ahead.
With deep gratitude,
Greg & Mike
Greg DiDomenico | Michael Bruni
President & CEO | Chair of the Board of Directors
Important Changes to Anniversary Programming
The Foundation will proceed with our enhanced capacity building programming, but all April/May Leadership Institute workshops and the grantee board training will move online. All dates and times remain the same, and we encourage you to continue registering for these programs via Eventbrite. Trainings are facilitated by Fiscal Management Associates (FMA), and the FMA team will send an email containing login information and preparation materials to all registered attendees prior to the webinar. Registered attendees will also receive access to a recording of the presentation following their scheduled session.
Any organization that participates in at least two of the workshops and has received funding from the Foundation within the last three years is eligible to apply for an anniversary grant of $20,000 in general operating support to strengthen organizational sustainability. Please contact Tom Fuechtmann, Senior Program Officer, with any questions.
25th Anniversary Event | October 29, 2020
The Foundation currently plans to commemorate 25 years of partnership at our scheduled event on October 29th. We look toward October as an opportunity to gather in fellowship and honor our community resilience. Should circumstances change, we will communicate accordingly.
Spring Grant Cycle
The Foundation aims to be as efficient and flexible as possible during this unprecedented time. Our spring grant cycle will proceed according to schedule and staff will be conducting virtual site visits.
We understand that priorities may be shifting as our grantees determine how best to provide for our communities. As such, the path toward meeting original program objectives may no longer be clear, and it may be unrealistic to meet the goals once expected to achieve. Community Memorial Foundation understands and wants to assure our partners that we will prioritize reporting flexibility during this challenging time. Please reach out to Foundation staff with any questions or concerns.
The Foundation has joined other public, private and corporate funders as part of the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. The 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.