CMF Response to COVID-19

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CMF COVID-19 Response

We are grateful for you, our members and partners, for your leadership and collaborative spirit during such an unprecedented time in all our lives and our work. At CMF we are thinking of each of you and your families as you navigate many unique challenges while working to capture and address critical needs emerging from our communities. We want to share with you efforts that are underway at CMF to support you in this journey. 

CMF has been highly active behind the scenes to provide comprehensive support to members and thought leadership for the field around COVID-19, adapting as quickly as we can in this dynamic environment, working in concert with partners and connecting with policymakers. Below is a snapshot of key efforts underway now. Let us know if there are other ways CMF, as your association, can be of service.  

We launched and are continuing to update this webpage to provide a centralized space to help members understand the crisis, what various sectors are doing and how other grantmakers are responding.   

We signed onto a joint statement from philanthropy serving organizations on the importance of keeping equity at the forefront in philanthropy’s response to the coronavirus. We are committed to helping our sector respond effectively, and in doing so, we are particularly attentive to ways in which this outbreak may exacerbate inequities. 

CMF is convening weekly calls with the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) to be sure we are coordinating efforts around emergency assistance especially as it relates to fiscal and human capital. We are also reaching out to MEDC, MSHDA and other agencies where we have unique connections to begin to prepare for the next stage of the pandemic. 

The health and safety of our members, staff and their families is our highest priority, and as such we are transitioning CMF events that were to be held in person to virtual engagements or they are being rescheduled. Registration is currently open for several upcoming CMF webinars, as shown on our events calendar. 

Our Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) and policy teams are working with Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration, the Michigan Legislature and members of Congress, as well as key federal agencies. We are informing policymakers of what we see as needs on the ground and the roles philanthropy can step into during the pandemic. This dialogue builds on conversations both during and immediately after our visits to Washington, D.C. as part of Foundations on the Hill.  

As one example, CMF, MNA and MAUW sent a joint letter to Michigan’s congressional delegation seeking their support for our nonprofit partners.

We are setting up briefing calls with the governor and her team and members of Congress in the Michigan delegation regarding the current response legislation as well as upcoming legislation we know will be in the pipeline to address fiscal stimulus and other recovery issues. 

The OFL is working in partnership with cabinet heads to address issues related to food distribution, workforce supports, education and vulnerable populations. We’re also advancing policy recommendations and concerns coming from CMF members and affinity groups to leverage the problem solving capacity of the sector and lay the groundwork for a coordinated public/private response as the crisis evolves.  

We are developing a series of calls and webinars around the short-, medium- and long-term issues connected to COVID-19 response and relief efforts, recognizing this is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re looking to fill gaps in information, support continued collaboration and resource sharing, and create opportunity to hear directly from thought leaders, all within the context of relevance for Michigan philanthropy. 

To model preventative measures of social distancing to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, CMF staff are now working remotely. All staff can still be reached via their office phone numbers and email. We currently anticipate returning to our offices once the state of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer deem it is safe and advisable for all Michigan businesses and operations to return to regular in-person operations. 

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