Proteus Fund has joined over 30 social justice funders in sending and open letter to grantees outlining their commitments to partners during this challenging time.
As social justice funders, we all focus on the root causes of social, gender, racial, economic and environmental injustices. We also aim to make the field of philanthropy more accessible, accountable, transparent and responsive to the grantee partners with whom we work. We strive to be allies to social justice movements. It is in that spirit, that we reach out now to share our commitments during this incredibly troubling time.
As COVID-19 drastically affects the world and the communities you serve, we know that many of our grantee partners and other organizations face unprecedented challenges and concerns. We want you to know that we, your philanthropic partners, are in this together with you. We know that many of you have had to cancel in-person meetings and events, fundraising efforts and political actions. Schools are closed and many of you are being asked to step in and support young people and vulnerable older populations, providing critical social services that are beyond your current capacities. And we know you do it because of your deep commitment to your work and your communities. Many of you have understandable concerns that raising funds, making payroll, and meeting grant benchmarks may be deeply impacted.
We want you to know that we hear and share these concerns, and we plan to act. As foundations and funders committed to social justice, we have a responsibility to support our community and to help your organizations and your communities. We have been in touch with many of you and are grateful that you shared your immediate challenges and anticipated future needs. We welcome these conversations and know there will be many more.
We don’t have all the answers. We do, however, want to share some of the ways we are approaching our role as philanthropic funders who need and want to help our grantees. We echo some of the same principles shared by a coalition of 19 foundations that published a similar open letter to grantees on the eJewish Philanthropy website:
As we talk with you more over the coming days and months, we will take what we learn and do our
very best to turn it into meaningful actions that support your work and your communities.
Thank you for your commitment to solidarity and social justice.
Sincerely, your philanthropic partners: