Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash
2 min Read
April 2, 2020

How nonprofits are staying connected to their communities during COVID-19

We’re all navigating uncertain times right now, and it’s never been more important to maintain interpersonal connections while sheltering in place. 

For nonprofits, especially those that rely on in-person programming, this means getting creative with how you reach your supporters. 

We’ve noticed many organizations connecting with their base digitally, and shifting their work to accommodate physical distancing. Here’s a collection of some of our favorite examples from organizations we’ve had the pleasure of working with:

Bringing performance, art, and community directly to the home

  • The Public Theater is streaming a number of their past performances on their website and inviting people to participate in a fun Shakespeare challenge to keep people connected to the theater.  
  • The Newark Museum of Art is bringing its collection and programs online and are offering virtual experiences each week. 
  • Camp Havaya is hosting a number of activities—yoga, dancing, seders—all online to keep families engaged and connected with one another by bringing the joy of camp into people’s homes

Providing essential new services to communities

  • Family Connections in New Jersey is providing food deliveries, care packages, and online resources to help the people in their communities during the crisis. 
  • The Jewish Board has started a HelpCorps of paid, temporary full-time and part-time staff to help New Yorkers during the crisis. They are also hosting a series of online mental health workshops to help people cope with the impact of the crisis. 
  • Chinese-American Planning Council is working with the local media to broadcast important updates in their community and translating that news to Mandarin and Cantonese almost daily.  

Learning beyond the classroom

Shifting advocacy priorities 

  • The Center for Constitutional Rights issued a powerful statement about the federal relief package and how it will negatively affect people and communities with limited resources to navigate COVID-19. 
  • The Shriver Center on Poverty Law is taking swift action to advocate for law and policy changes at the state, local, and federal levels to respond to the crisis and provide comprehensive relief to low-income communities of color.

We’re heartened by these stories and look forward to seeing how nonprofits continue to pivot in creative ways to connect with the people at the center of their missions.

Maya Ovrutsky

Maya Ovrutsky is the Former Director of Client Experience, Member-Owner at Big Duck

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