“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare inequities facing many in our communities – inequities that have long been ignored. Our previous normal was broken, and a new normal must be one of reimagined systems where all can thrive. Michigan philanthropy embraced and embarked on this challenge.”
- Michigan Philanthropy COVID-19 Working Group: Paul Hillegonds, former CEO, Michigan Health Endowment Fund; La June Montgomery Tabron, President and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Ridgway White, President and CEO, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
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. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you have navigated many unique challenges while addressing critical needs that continue to emerge in our communities and working toward a reimagined, more equitable future.
We launched and are continuing to update this COVID-19 Resource Central web content to provide a centralized space to feature research, news, peer stories and expert guidance to support our community of philanthropy through this ongoing crisis. Let us know if there are other ways CMF, as your association, can be of service.
When the pandemic first began to take hold in Michigan and across the country, CMF signed onto a joint statement with philanthropy serving organizations on the importance of keeping equity at the forefront in philanthropy’s response to the coronavirus. Since March 2020 we have been committed to helping our sector respond with equity at the center and hold ourselves accountable to that same commitment.
Core to our approach to COVID-19 efforts has been partnership, working in close collaboration with our sector partners – including the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) – to coordinate efforts, share what we are seeing and hearing from our respective networks around the state and develop thoughtful solutions.
Our Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) and Government Relations Public Policy Team have organized opportunities for ongoing engagement with Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration, the Michigan Legislature and members of Congress, as well as key federal and state agencies in health, economic development, housing, business and beyond. We’ve also advanced policy recommendations and concerns coming from CMF members to leverage the problem solving capacity of the sector and lay the groundwork for coordinated public/private responses as the crisis has evolved.
In partnership with members, we have informed policymakers of the needs we see on the ground while listening to their priorities and sharing the ways philanthropy can help. As one example, in April 2020, CMF, MNA and MAUW sent a joint letter to Michigan’s congressional delegation seeking their support for our nonprofit partners.