COVID-19 Response

Update 5.21.2020

As the global health pandemic continues, putting individuals and vulnerable communities at risk, in health, well-being, and economically, the Satterberg Board and Staff continues to focus on how to best support our grantee partners. Since March, we have participated in countless Zoom meetings, telephone chats, and emails with Satterberg’s 200+ grantee partners, and attending several community-based webinars and conversations to listen and learn how we can be good funding partners in this moment. We are focused the mobilization of additional and existing funding to bolster grantees, communities, and regions that Satterberg serves. Below are a few updates on our activities since first reaching out to grantee partners and community in March:

Listening & Learning: We continued to check-in and learn how organizations and community are doing. We are tracking the emerging needs and trends of our grantee partners as well as the specific asks to Satterberg for additional support. What we have heard from our partners is that, while the funding is definitely needed, sometimes what they need most are shared thought partners and connections to one another to help navigate these challenges. Facilitating conversations across our partners is one way we have been able to help so we are holding Community Cares Calls twice a week (Tues/Thurs from 1-3pm PT).

Additional Grantee Partner Funding: At Satterberg, because we have done our grantmaking through a racial equity lens, many of the organizations we partner with are being impacted at a higher rate than perhaps those that work in more traditional non-profits. Many of our partners are on the ground partnering with populations where many are essential workers, and, because of that are seeing the most impact from COVID-19. In a response to the critical needs our grantees were experiencing, we facilitated two rounds of limited rapid response funds for grantee partners.

Additional Regional Pooled Funding: We joined other individuals and organizations to support regional assistance efforts, prioritizing community-led and grassroots mutual aid funding and regional opportunities.

Early Grant Payments: We reached out to our grantee partners to ask if they would like their 2020 grant payment to be sent earlier and adjusted payment timelines as needed.

Advocacy: We joined several funder meetings, and advocated for support or organizations and communities most impacted by this pandemic, while also advocating for increased payout, multi-year, general operating funding and continued support. Satterberg has also signed letters of support for nonprofit organizations, sector affinity groups, and other groups denouncing xenophobia and expressing our support for Asian American communities against racism.

Long-term Planning: As a multi-year, long-term funder we are also committed to ensuring we will be in relationship with our grantee partners to help facilitate additional opportunities to amplify the voices of our communities. Our Board pivoted to develop a 6 month strategic plan and is committed to being nimble and responsive to the ever changing needs of our grantee partners and community in this crisis.

Transparency: We acknowledge that as funding partners, this is a moment and opportunity for Satterberg to increase funding and listen to the wisdom of nonprofit leaders on the front lines in the communities we support. We will continue to make changes in how we work and operate, adjust timelines and payment/report dates, and how we are in service with community.

The Satterberg Foundation Board of Directors, approved a $1million dollar Rapid Response grant budget that staff directed to our current grantees and community funds.

Current Satterberg Foundation Grantee Organizations that received Rapid Response Funding ranging from $3,000 to $75,000: Black Worker Center; Children of the Setting Sun Productions; Colectiva legal del Pueblo; Collective Justice; East African Community Services; Ethiopian Community in Seattle; FEEST; Helping Link /Một Dấu Nối; La Raza Centro Legal; Northwest African American Musem; Nile Sisters; Para los Ninos; Puget Sound Sage; Nile Sisters; Somali Parents Education Board; Thai CDC; TODEC; Totem Star; TRUST South LA; University Beyond Bars; United Indians of All Tribes; Waterside Workshops; West African Community Council; Wing Luke Museum; West African Community Council; Young Women Empowered

Pooled Funds and Mutual Aid Networks that Satterberg has supported with grants ranging from $5,000 to $35,000: Aspen Institute: Next Generation Response Fund; Byrd Barr Place; Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) COVID-19 Response; Community for a Better Environment (CBE) COVID-19 Emergency Fund; Communities for Just Schools Fund; COVID-19 Relief Fund for WA Undocumented Folks;  Esperanza Mutual Aid Fund; Front & Centered COVID-19 Frontline Response Fund; Greater Tacoma Community Foundation; Hilltop Urban Gardens COVID-19 Response; Latina Giving Circle Special Projects Fund (San Diego, CA); Lessening Impact and Building African Resiliency in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Pooled Fund (housed at African Community Housing & Development); The Maternal Coalition COVID-19 Response Fund; PANA Refugee Relief Fund; Right To the City Alliance $5M Emergency Organizing Response Fund; San Diego Foundation COVID-19 Fund; Seattle Foundation; Social Justice Fund COVID-19 Emergency Fund; The Noble Foundation; Trans and Gender Diverse Emergency Community Aid Fund; Ventures (MicroGrant Program); Walla Walla Mutual Aid Network Pooled Fund (Housed at Central Washington Justice For Our Neighbors); Washington Food Fund; Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund

Previous Update

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has impacted the health and wellbeing of millions of individuals and our communities. We know that many of the organizations and people we partner with will be faced with additional hardship after this crisis. The true impact on the world and our sector is still looming. As a funder to hundreds of nonprofits we are also aware of the critical needs and urgency that is also required in this moment.

In these challenging times we have witnessed the passion and strength of individuals and community leaders. Many of our grantee partners began organizing resources and responding to the needs in our community long before additional funding was available. We have been inspired that relationships with other philanthropic organizations have been evolving, proving how coordinated planning and funding could become an effective practice in the future. We are grateful to everyone who is showing up at this moment, especially those at the front lines working with vulnerable populations ensuring humans stay healthy and have access to basic needs–often putting their own health at risk.

The past month the Satterberg Foundation has been working together as board and staff on the many ways we are able to be responsive in this moment with additional resources as well as provide opportunities for our nonprofit partners to be heard. Our staff have also been participating and aligning our values with national and local COVID-19 response efforts to ensure we are staying informed and that efforts include community driven solutions. 

As a foundation devoted to the tradition of trust-based philanthropy, rooted in relationship cultivation, we are currently committed to over 200 nonprofit organizations in Washington, California, and Arizona. In our Core Support grant strategy, we have committed $100 million dollars over 8 years, with grant payments through 2024 to 183 organizations in Washington and California. These grants are all unrestricted, giving our partners the flexibility they need to operate and respond to the evolving needs of their communities. Our Board of Directors also made a commitment decades ago to go above and beyond the 5% payout rule, that requires us to distribute 5 percent of the value of our net investments annually. We have been committed to a minimum payout of 10% of our assets annually with the understanding that this is a floor, not a ceiling. In this moment, first we need to prioritize the needs of our current grantees today and tomorrow. We must ensure that as the stewards of the Foundation’s resources, we manage the assets to follow through with all of our grant pledges and commitments in the years to come.

 So what is the Satterberg Foundation doing during this crisis?

Our first response was to reach out to our grantees and ask them how this crisis was impacting their organization and the communities they are accountable to and serve. While we acknowledge that we could never fill every gap of every grantee partner, we can help, and the organizations can use Satterberg’s support to further leverage our partnership for additional grants. We are also working directly with our grantees to determine timing on future grant payments as well as work with them to support any emergency needs. Certain needs/circumstances that we are hearing are, but not limited to:

  • Canceled fundraising events
  • Weathering funding and revenue shortfalls and loss of earned income sources 
  • Access to food
  • Lack of volunteers to support programs
  • Nonprofits with staff that are sick, nonprofits need to close and compensate staff
  • Transitioning to remote work: Need funds to move programs to virtual processes, like requesting support with rent or energy bills online as opposed to in person; need to create infrastructure for video-conferencing, purchase laptops and virtual meeting subscriptions
  • As schools shut down, families in gig economy (Uber/Lyft etc.), artists, musicians, are heavily impacted, thus lack of income and vulnerable communities are unable to pay rent
  • Many nonprofits operate with a fee-for-service model from government and/or school district contracts and are not being paid at this time
  • Need immediate support with translation of public health documents for ELL communities
  • Supporting staff with childcare needs
  • Addressing racism and bias in communities and services with increased quarantine restrictions

We also made a contribution to the COVID-19 Response Fund that is rapidly deploying resources to community-based organizations that are supporting local workers and families most affected by the coronavirus crisis in the Puget Sound region, the location of our home office. We will continue to identify opportunities and rapid response funds in Washington, California, and Arizona.

We are using our platform for advocacy efforts including joining others in our sector by signing a pledge of action for how we will continue to show up and be accountable as funders in this moment.  We also know that philanthropy can play a critical role in advocacy to secure resources for nonprofits and communities. So we have supported efforts to ensure that the economic stimulus bill should include $60 billion in emergency funding, a short-term universal charitable deduction, and participation in the emergency Small Business Loan program. As this crisis continues to unfold we will also lend our voice in ‘calls to action’ generated from our grantee partners, including efforts to address racism and bias in communities.

Our staff started documenting the many resources and opportunities that are being shared with us and we created a spreadsheet that we will continue to be updated as a community resource (go HERE to view and feel free to add resources and share with your networks).

As an organization we are committed to doing our part by working from home and moving all of our meetings to phone calls or video conferencing. We postponed all work-related travel and will continue to follow the recommendations and timelines per the public health authorities. In the meantime and weeks to come, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us with resources, feedback or ideas on how Satterberg can better support the greater movement. We will continue to work hard as an organization to determine what more we can do in this crisis and into the recovery period.

On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Satterberg Foundation, we see you and are here with you in this moment.

 In Solidarity,

Sarah Walczyk

Executive Director