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BCF Releases ‘Vital Signs’ Pandemic Report

The Bermuda Community Foundation [BCF] has released its latest Vital Signs report, focused on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the community.

A spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Vital Signs is a data-collecting “check-up” programme which compiles metrics on the quality of life in the community through scientific polling of residents.

“Vital Signs was designed to use local knowledge to measure the vitality of a community, thus enabling proposed improvements to be targeted towards areas of greatest need. It was developed by Community Foundations of Canada and has been adopted around the world. Once the information has been gathered, it provides a benchmark measurement for use by individuals and philanthropic organisations, such as the BCF, to target their philanthropic activity more effectively. Participating community foundations have also found it helps to raise awareness of philanthropy by sharing information on the work of the sector to address persistent civic and economic challenges.

“In 2018, the BCF released its first Vital Signs study results in the form of a summary report and convening reports and recommendations based on18 key issue areas. More than 70 individuals from public, private and nonprofit organisations came together to investigate the most important issues identified by the community study.

“The 2022 report – prepared with support from Narrative Research and Strategic Evaluation Consulting – is now available on at Bermuda Vital Signs 2022.”

“This report is a robust documentation of how Bermuda’s community was affected by the pandemic, and we are particularly grateful to all those in the community who responded,” said Amanda Outerbridge, Chair of the BCF Board of Directors. “Their participation has provided the information that will enable us as a community to address issues in the key areas.”

Dr Myra Virgil, Managing Director of the BCF, said: “The findings of this report are by no means shocking, and in fact, they confirm much of what we know and have learned in these last few years about ourselves as a community. What this data does is properly inform programmatic decisions by practitioners, policy makers and philanthropists.

“Once again, the data-gathering presented challenges; we attempt to source updated civic data and, in some cases, it does not exist or is based on the extent of service usage versus the scope of need. For example, information like the total number of people who are food insecure versus the number of people who access feeding programmes is hard to find.

“BCF’s primary mission is to build a substantial community endowment fund from which to make grants to the nonprofit sector in perpetuity. We use these reports to inform our giving and we hope other funders will be encouraged to support action in the critical areas that the reports identify.”

The spokesperson said, “Dr Virgil also talked about the role of community foundations, which represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy today. Worldwide there are 1800 of them: every state in the USA has at least one community foundation and in Europe in 2022, there are 851 in 22 countries. They are large and small, urban and rural, all working to advance solutions on a wide range of local social issues. The Bermuda Foundation itself works to facilitate discussion, create a sustainable funding resource and a collaborative vehicle for tackling issues now – and for future generations.”

You can download the full BCF Special Pandemic Report here [PDF].