Frequently Asked Questions
The Community Foundation continues to support the recovery work initiated through the VT COVID-19 Response Fund. We are in the process of of distributing the remaining monies from this fund, but the work will continue through other new and existing funds at the Foundation. If you would like to continue to support this progress, we recommend the following:
- Give to the Opportunity Fund or one of our many Vermont-focused people and places funds.
- Open a Donor Advised Fund where from day one your dollars go to work making a difference in Vermont.
- Visit the Insight Hub to learn how philanthropy can impact the issues you care about most.
The Foundation established the VT COVID-19 Response Fund to provide individuals, businesses, and other grantmakers a one-stop shop where donations are pooled and deployed in a coordinated manner that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
The Foundation’s role is to be a trusted partner who can support and elevate effective philanthropy. In times of crisis we are the organization to aggregate and coordinate funding on behalf of donors across the state, region, and from national organizations and funders and to deploy these resources for the response and recovery phases of this crisis. Serving in this role, the Foundation can motivate giving from many sources and coordinate a philanthropic response including working with community and state leaders to support the most vulnerable Vermonters and reduce the burden on nonprofit organizations.
The Foundation played an important role in responding to and recovering from Tropical Storm Irene and has continued its civic leadership through various initiatives including Understanding Vermont, The Food and Farm Initiative, and The Opportunity Gap. Understanding and elevating the priorities of Vermont and Vermonters and then bringing the people and resources together to make a difference is our mission – every day - as well as in times of crisis.
Yes! We welcome other philanthropic entities to join us in this collective giving fund and will keep you apprised of grants deployed by the COVID-19 Fund. Please contact Stacie Fagan, Vice President for Philanthropy at email@example.com
Giving is a personal decision and we invite you to consult with a philanthropic advisor to discuss your goals and how to maximize your giving at this time. If you have donor advised fund with the Foundation or would like to open a fund, one of the benefits of working with us is that you have access to our team of advisors who can help you navigate questions about giving. We will work with you and your advisors (financial planners, tax advisors, attorneys) to determine which assets to use and how to deploy giving today and tomorrow, as impacts of the crisis become more visible.
Some considerations when making a giving plan in times of crisis:
- Accelerate giving; give now versus later in the year to organizations you support regularly.
- Give general operating support, versus program or restricted gifts, which allows nonprofits to meet their greatest needs.
- Add charitable dollars to a donor advised fund now to increase charitable capacity and flexibility to make more grants over the duration of the crisis.
- The CARES ACT, passed by Congress in April 2020, has provided incentives in 2020 to increase charitable giving. Speak with your tax advisor about how these incentives apply to your personal circumstances. See these details about the incentives HERE.
When in doubt, start with the organizations you currently support, by making your annual gift to general operations. For general council from our grants and community investments team about giving in this time, please visit our Giving Recommendations relative to COVID-19.
The Foundation’s philanthropic advisors can help you identify and prioritize grants to meet immediate needs in your community or across the state as well as develop a strategy for navigating giving related to the pandemic and beyond.
Please contact Jane Kimble at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Yes, the Foundation partnered with organizations like Vermont State Employee Credit Union (VSECU) and others to deploy financial resources through both traditional grantmaking and mission investments. The VSECU collaboration provided no-interest loans to Vermonters.