“While this crisis has highlighted the fragility of funding for the nonprofit sector, it has also crystalized the value of groups being able to come together and collaborate effectively,” the Bank Of Bermuda Foundation said.
A spokesperson said, “In response to the destabilizing impacts of Covid-19, Bank of Bermuda Foundation recognized very quickly that nonprofit groups providing essential services, as well as those who enhance the quality of life on the Island, faced a perfect storm.
“The people who work within nonprofit groups feed the hungry, heal illness, provide education and enrich our community, making Bermuda a dynamic place to live and grow. Right now, nonprofit groups are working together with funders like Bank of Bermuda Foundation to ensure all of us can have an Island that cares for and supports everyone.
The Bank of Bermuda Foundation’s Allison Towlson, along with the BCF’s Dr Myra Virgil, were on yesterday’s Bernews News & Views show:
“While this crisis has highlighted the fragility of funding for the nonprofit sector, it has also crystalized the value of groups being able to come together and collaborate effectively.
“Just as Bermuda responds to a hurricane, Bank of Bermuda Foundation Director of Programmes, Vivien Carter, responded by initiating collaborative efforts with donors and nonprofits in the Third Sector to drive and support a coordinated response to the crisis.
“From this collaboration, the Third Sector Coordinated Crisis Response Effort [CCRE] emerged. The bulk of the work has been in coordinating, facilitating, and galvanizing resources to fill any gaps in service.
“Bank of Bermuda Foundation also connected directly with nonprofits and turned emergency funding around in less than three business days. To date $132,500 has been allocated, supporting efforts in food security, emergency shelter, mental health services, delivery of medicines and laptops for public schools. This funding has been direct as well as in support of the Bermuda Emergency Fund.
“In addition to this early response to the storm, the Foundation has been actively urging other funders to continue to support their traditional nonprofit grantees in areas such as education, the arts, sports and training programmes.
“As the storm passes, once Bermuda emerges from the current situation, the community will want to be able to have respite care available, access to counselling services, support for youth programmes and visits to cultural, natural and historical sites.
“Proactively moving forward with its grant-making, on March 19th, two days after Bermuda closed its borders, the Foundation completed its first grant cycle of 2020, funding over $1M to nonprofits. Many of these nonprofits were unable to deliver their usual programmes, as they shifted their focus onto crisis needs, but it was vital that the Foundation continued to support them.
“Bank of Bermuda Foundation are here for the long haul to support community needs and will continue funding in support of its nonprofit stakeholders. It will be accepting regular grant applications for its May 31st deadline.
“The impact of this pandemic will be on-going and while immediate funding is needed today, funds are going to be needed months from now. Coordinated community efforts are central to ensure people working in nonprofit organizations can continue to deliver the services upon which we all rely.
“Bank of Bermuda Foundation is now focusing its efforts on the stabilization of the Third Sector and working on innovative ways to support the community. To that end, Bank of Bermuda Foundation is holding a Board strategy meeting on May 21st and looks forward to sharing further developments to assist the Sector in the very near future.”