March 2020 Newsletter
Adjusting to Face the Challenges Ahead
As we enter into April 2020, the Covid-19 virus continues to alter the course of day to day life in communities across the globe.
Though we can’t ignore the regional, national and global implications of this pandemic, SOS is most focused on the local impact – particularly on the nonprofit organizations we currently fund, those we have funded in the past, and those we will fund in 2020-2021.
These organizations support and protect the most vulnerable members of our community. C19 and its impact has made our communities most vulnerable populations even more so.
Although the organizations we fund are small, they are mighty. One of the advantages of a smaller organization is that it can pivot quickly in uncertain times.
We have seen our current and past grantees reach out to the community to communicate how they are responding to the effects of COVID-19 and to request additional help to meet their service goals. They are establishing creative and effective workarounds to help those being affected by the social restrictions now in place. Some organizations are providing breakfast and lunch to at-risk school children, while others shore up technology to keep in touch with clients virtually.
While our grantees are making adjustments, so is SOS. Recognizing that the current Covid-19 pandemic is creating hardships for small nonprofits, SOS has extended timelines for funded projects for SOS’s 2019-2020 cohort and will offer the same extension to the 2020-2021 cohort. We will also afford both cohorts the freedom to reallocate grant funds to support agency’s general operating expenses, if necessary.
For the SOS 2020-2021 grantee cohort, we ask our members to take the time and thoroughly read the ballot summary for each organization on the final ballot. An educated vote is a more impactful vote.
Please, all members, read, educate yourself, and vote thoughtfully between April 15- May 1.
The challenges facing these nonprofits will be more daunting in the coming days, weeks, and months. Many organizations may have to operate with a skeleton staff due to lack of financial wherewithal, staff illness, and/or an inability to support social distancing.
They may experience interruptions in delivering services and programs to clients and their communities due to a disruption of supply chains from their partners.
Many organizations have and will continue to cancel fundraising events, which will result in a reduction in revenue. These organizations will have budgetary hardships related to the strains on our state and national economy.
And, most importantly, they will see an increased need and demand for services from clients and the communities they serve.
All of the nonprofits SOS is affiliated with – past, present, and future – need our support in these challenging times. Please follow this link to the grantee list on our website to re-familiarize yourself with the family of agencies that fall under the umbrella of organizations SOS has supported.
Many of our small but mighty nonprofits are getting creative in figuring out ways to navigate these new conditions and are continuing to serve their communities as best they can. Their survival is in the balance even as their work becomes more indispensable. Their efforts are commendable under the difficult conditions they are currently facing within their organizations and in the communities they serve.
Our non-profits need us now, more than ever, and collectively we can make a difference.
Stay healthy and virtually connected.
Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund President and Proud Member
Updates on the SOS Online Voting Process
Seventy-one SOS site visit team members carefully vetted 40 full grant applications under unexpectedly challenging circumstances.
Agencies on the final ballot have been vetted for the strength of their programming and financial stability.
Due to the Covid-19 emergency, the 2020 SOS Ballot Fair is cancelled.
All balloting will take place online and will be supported by the same format of documents as in the past.
Online voting will be open from April 15 – May 1.
To be eligible to vote, SOS annual membership dues must be current.
- Go to the SOS website: www.spiritstlwomensfund.org and login as a member using your email address and password
- Email email@example.com if unable to login or experiencing problems voting
- Click on the “Members” tab then select “2020 Ballot”
- Click on “Proposal Summaries” for a compilation of brief application descriptions
- You can vote for as few as one single-year grant applicant or as many as eight
- Only one vote can be cast for a multi-year grant applicant
- By selecting the agency name, you can read their Final Ballot Summary electronically
- By selecting the arrow on the far left of the agency name, you can review all of their uploaded full grant application files
- Vote by clicking the box on the right
- Vote for a multi-year applicant by selecting “2020 Multi-Year Ballot”
Electronic voting closes at 5 p.m. on May 1.
To request mailed Ballots and Proposal Summaries, contact the grants chairs directly.
All SOS members are encouraged to carefully review the posted grant application materials and to VOTE. Our community nonprofits need SOS support more than ever.
Date: May 20, 2020
Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m.