Our Response to COVID-19

Dear Grantee Partners and Colleagues,

On behalf of the Board and staff of The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, I want to express our deepest gratitude to all of you in the nonprofit and public sectors who are working diligently to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We recognize the profound impact this has already had on each of you, both personally and professionally.  Like you, we are trying to understand what this moment means for our community, our team, and the LA nonprofit sector as a whole.  We know that there are immediate impacts as well as long term considerations.

We are assessing emergency responses and recognize that there are immediate steps we can take to make things easier:

Uninterrupted Grantmaking Operations 

We are continuing regular operations.  Like most of you, our team is working remotely to help stop the spread of the virus.  We are readily available by phone and video conference call to answer questions and proceed with our mutual work.  Site visits will be conducted virtually, LOIs will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis through our online portal, and grant payments will be processed in a timely manner.

Flexibility for Grantees

When we say we are a responsive grantmaker, we mean it.  We trust your leadership and judgment, and know you will make the best decisions on how to use the Foundation’s funding.  While most of our grants are for unrestricted general operating support, others are for program specific or capital grants.  We are creating more flexibility in our grantmaking as follows:

We are happy to have a conversation with you about modifications to your funding including converting all or a portion into general operating support.  Our program officers are ready to listen and help.

Effective immediately, we are suspending all reporting requirements due through the end of 2020.  If you are at the end of your grant cycle, a report will not be required to initiate a new LOI.  Organizational impacts, challenges, and lessons learned can be shared with program officers during your next request period.  Please visit our Grant Reporting Guidelines page for updates.

We will continue to make payments on grants as scheduled.  On a more limited basis, we may be able to accelerate payments on multi-year funding based on individual circumstances.  If this would be helpful, please inquire.

Our Collective Response

Our Board and staff are working with colleagues to assess and respond to community needs during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic.  A number of pooled funds have already been established, some of which you can read about via Philanthropy CA.  Here at the Foundation, we are working to address both the immediate and longer-term needs of the organizations we currently serve.  We encourage you to reach out with ideas and, as always, we stand ready to listen and help.

It is in moments like this one that I reflect on Margaret Mead’s message, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

I am confident that out of our long-standing relationships and partnerships with philanthropy, the public sector, and nonprofit service providers, together we can surmount this epic disruption and restore the vibrancy of our civic community and life. While many of the days ahead will be filled with uncertainty, our grit and commitment to work in partnership will be the catalytic spark that ensures we can overcome this crisis and begin to recover, restore, and make anew our commitment to improving the lives of Angelenos.

WG signature

Wendy Garen, President and CEO

COVID-19 Resources (updated April 22, 2020)

COVID-19 Nonprofit Decision Framework (by SeaChange Capital Partners)
Webinar on SBA Loans
Center for Nonprofit Management COVID-19 Resource Center
Philanthropy CA COVID-19 Response
County of Los Angeles COVID-19 Information for Small Businesses
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resource Guide
Independent Sector – How to Navigate the CARES Act
CalNonprofits COVID-19 Resources
Council on Foundations’ Pledge of Action in response to COVID-19

We’re a responsive grant maker, helping LA County organizations do their best work.