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Mar 12th, 2020

Supporting our nonprofit community with time-sensitive COVID-19 needs

Volunteers and nonprofits strengthen communities.


Jamie Badia

First and foremost, the greatest steps we can take as a community regarding COVID-19 are to promote accurate information, base our decisions on CDC health precautions, and do our part to protect our most vulnerable communities. However, human and health services nonprofits are on the front-lines proactively preparing and quickly reacting as the situation evolves –and at Catchafire we’re doing our part to respond to their needs.

We’ve always been uniquely situated between the growing needs of nonprofits and the proactive nature of constituents who want to use their skills for good. We’re working with 8,000 nonprofits and 43 funders who we anticipate will have a growing need for immediate and long term assistance. We’ve taken the measures to give special assistance to work relating directly to COVID-19 and tap our volunteer community who has always been deeply passionate and responsive to health and human services. We have short-term projects and an active virtual volunteer pool who can assist with time-sensitive requests including:

  • Website updates and configurations equipped to take an influx of new financial donations
  • Operations management to ensure that healthcare and housing facilities are stocked with critical supplies
  • Grant proposals to access emergency funds
  • Email marketing setup to spread awareness about health and safety best practices
  • Translation material explaining CDC and healthcare facts in hard to reach communities
  • HR support to protect employees from getting sick and accessing healthcare options
  • Consultation on remote working best practices and affordable teleconferencing tools


It is only a matter of time before communities turn to our philanthropic organizations — funders and nonprofits — asking for their immediate help in responding and investing in actions to support their communities. Here are a few partners and organizations in our community who are already taking action:


Silicon Valley Community Foundation in San Francisco, CA

Most recently, our partner Silicon Valley Community Foundation is leading an effort with other philanthropic institutions in the Bay Area on a regional response to this public health crisis by setting up a Regional Respond fund to support front-line health providers, Homelessness Prevention systems, and vulnerable seniors and low-income populations.



Love City Strong in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Love City Strong is a Catchafire nonprofit sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. They lead projects that educate the St. John USVI community about best practices in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and during long term recovery to ensure that residents are better informed and prepared for future disaster situations. As the global conversation about COVID-19 continues, small local nonprofits are already preparing and mobilizing as the CDC shares information. Nonprofits like Love City Strong were some of the earliest responders after the 2017 hurricane season, and are now preemptively building out emergency measures for their most vulnerable community members in regards to COVID-19.

“In the Virgin Islands, particularly on St. John, there is a high population of seniors and persons with a chronic health condition [sic]. It is the duty of those of us who are healthy to take the necessary precautions to keep our at-risk persons safe.” @https://twitter.com/lovecitystrong



American Cancer Society, headquartered in Atlanta, GA

On the other side of this outbreak is another Catchafire nonprofit, The American Cancer Society. The Society is fielding common questions from cancer patients and their families, along with looking into how more employees can access the technology they need to work from home.



Todos Juntos Learning Center in Austin, Tx

Todos Juntos Learning Center who doesn’t have the infrastructure to track the influx of changing news from the CDC and the state of Texas is working towards creating a precautionary response plan to reach teaching staff and students in the greater community.

It’s times like this that we see nonprofits lead, step in, and take care of us all.


Today, and for the foreseeable future, we’ll be working alongside our grantmakers and nonprofit community, including Love City Strong, American Cancer Society, SVCF, and Todos Juntos Learning Center, and we will respond to our heightened community needs by elevating nonprofits who identify they need immediate help from skills-based volunteers to combat COVID-19 in their area.

During this time of uncertainty, you’ll find us sticking to what we intrinsically believe and have witnessed for nine years — when volunteers and nonprofits come together, communities are stronger. We will continue to help our many nonprofits adjust to the new climate we all find ourselves operating in.

We are interested in hearing from funders, nonprofits, and volunteers. Let us know what you need from us. We will update this thread with resources and updates as they arise.

*Given the global nature of our community, we suggest monitoring both the CDC and WHO resources as a reference for the most current updates.