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Douty Foundation releases $1.5 million in emergency funding amid COVID-19 crisis

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

For more information:
Jennifer Leith, Executive Director, The Douty Foundation

Philadelphia, PA (April 6, 2020) – Since 1968, The Douty Foundation has awarded grants to small grassroots organizations and movements in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties that activate social change within their communities.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Foundation is immediately releasing more than 25% of its investment corpus, $1.5 million, to respond to the immediate and emergent needs of the organizations it supports and also to the needs of those workers and communities left out of federal stimulus efforts and unemployment compensation programs, namely low-wage workers, the undocumented and those operating in the cash and gig economies.

“The COVID-19 crisis has created struggles for many nonprofit organizations internally while at the same time requiring them to pivot into areas where they don’t usually operate - such as food distribution, translation of pandemic-related materials, rent stabilization work and academic support for local students - because they are the trusted entity in their community.” said Jennifer Leith, Executive Director of The Douty Foundation. “We want to support these organizations' financial needs as they take on new approaches to their general operations.” 

In addition to the nonprofits in its grantmaking portfolio, Douty is providing $1 million in equal amounts to two local relief funds that are providing rental assistance and cash support for workers left out of the federal stimulus and unemployment compensation programs. Leith states, “While we will aid some workers in the short-term through these two relief funds, there is a long-term opportunity for leadership and action in all sectors – philanthropy, government, corporate and nonprofit - to reimagine our economic system to affirm the value of all of our workers, families and communities. We need action on universal benefits like paid sick days and access to healthcare, and childcare, in addition to immigration reform and a living wage.”

The Douty Foundation joins the Council on Foundations, National Center for Responsive Philanthropy and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and others calling on the philanthropic sector to deploy resources immediately beyond the traditional 5% of corpus.  “This is not the moment to settle on typical philanthropic practice. In this moment, all nonprofit organizations need more funding. In particular, organizations that are inclusive of those who enable our economy to produce while being excluded from its relief programs and rewards need extra support.” Leith continues, “The assets of a foundation are not just the dollars that comprise its investment portfolio, the assets are the people and communities that our funds support. If ever there was a time to step up giving and tap into endowments, this is it.”

The two worker relief funds that The Douty Foundation is supporting with $500,000.00 each are the Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund and the PA Immigrant Relief Fund.

About the Douty Foundation: The Douty Foundation was established in 1968 as a small foundation to fund and fuel grassroots, community-driven opportunities and aspirations for social change with a focus on children and youth. The Douty Foundation provides general operating grants to organizations in Montgomery & Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania.