COVID-19: Resources for Nonprofits

COVID-19: Resources for Nonprofits

As our Bay Area nonprofits rise to the challenge of meeting new and dramatically increased needs, we know that many are also struggling to keep their doors open and services running during this tumultuous time. San Francisco Foundation is working to support our grantees through this unprecedented time and to provide services and resources that all Bay Area nonprofits can use.

On this page, you’ll find important information about how we’re removing restrictions and requirements on grants, technical assistance for nonprofits adapting to working online, resources for navigating the federal CARES Act and the provisions that impact nonprofits, and a mindfulness series to help us all adjust in this time of turmoil.


Capacity Building and Technical Assistance

Nonprofits and community organizations throughout the Bay Area are moving quickly to protect their staff, stabilize their organizations, and deepen support for our most vulnerable communities. San Francisco Foundation is working with trusted providers to help Bay Area nonprofits adapt and strengthen their financial management, operations, and program strategies along with holistic wellness offerings for nonprofit staff.

Finance Practices and Tools in the Wake of COVID-19

The delivery of nonprofit programs in our community has and will continue to shift as organizations adapt to the current reality. These programmatic shifts coupled with uncertainty in revenue require nonprofits to make difficult decisions in a changing environment. SFF is partnering with Financial Management Associates (FMA) and Tipping Point Community to offer a 3-part webinar series for small and mid-sized Bay Area nonprofit organizations. This series will help nonprofit leaders understand your current financial position, plan for potential scenarios, and project out cash needs.

Sessions will be tailored for organizations with budgets up to $2 million (small nonprofits) and organizations with $2-10 million budgets (mid-sized nonprofits). The series will provide a content overview, demonstration of tools, and time for questions on key financial management topics.

Part 1:  Assessing Financial Heath and Financial Resilience:

An understanding of your financial health with the values of financial resilience at the forefront help ensure you are driving towards goals that consider immediate needs, long-term sustainability, and remain true to your mission. This session will help you assess where you are and provide tools to aid in decision-making.

  • Budgets under $2 million: Wednesday, April 29, 10 – 11:15 am
  • Budgets $2 – $10 million: Wednesday, April 29, 1 – 2:15 pm

Part 2:  Developing Plans in a Changing Environment:

While the environment is in flux, planning how you might adjust to major and minor shifts can equip you to make difficult, complex decisions through building potential scenarios and contingencies.

  • Budgets under $2 million: Wednesday, May 6, 10 – 11:15 am
  • Budgets $2 – $10 million: Thursday, May 7, 1 – 2:15 pm

Part 3:  Managing the Ins and Outs of Cash Flow:

COVID-19 has made managing cash flow even more critical as organizations try to navigate uncertain times and virtual operations. At a time when accurate timely financial information is more crucial than ever, explore options for cloud-based financial management processes that keep you operating smoothly.

  • Budgets under $2 million: Wednesday, May 13, 10 – 11:15 am
  • Budgets $2 – $10 million: Thursday, May 14, 1 – 2:15 pm

Please Note: Registration is currently closed. Listed sessions are completed. Check back for updates as we will continue to add more opportunities.

Learn more about what will be covered in each session

Support for Virtual Fundraising and Remote Work

SFF supports Catchafire, an online tool that connects nonprofits with professionals who want to donate their skills, pro bono. Catchafire is currently offering free weekly webinars for all nonprofit and community organizations on building team culture while working virtually, fundraising in the time of COVID-19, and developing virtual fundraising events. Plus, Bay Area nonprofits can share ideas and access Catchafire experts on their shared Slack channel.

See all of Catchafire’s COVID-19 resources and request access to the shared Slack channel.

Do you have skills you can share with local nonprofit organizations during this time? Become a Catchafire volunteer!


Navigating Federal Stimulus and the CARES Act

SFF partner Financial Management Associates (FMA) is providing resources, tools, public clinics, and advice to help all Bay Area nonprofits access the parts of the federal stimulus and response resources (CARES Act) that pertain to nonprofits. Please visit FMA’s website and the Paycheck Protection Program Toolbox for more information.


Mindful Mondays: Virtual mindfulness for Bay Area nonprofit staff

SFF is partnering with our longtime grantee Mindful Life Project to offer a series of virtual mindfulness workshops open to staff and volunteers at SFF grantee organizations and all Bay Area nonprofits.

JG Larochette, founder of Mindful Life Project will lead several 1-hour sessions to help all of us support our mental and emotional well-being during this complex, challenging time. JG will introduce science-based mindfulness techniques that help to promote better focus and concentration, increase sense of calm and self-awareness, and decrease stress and anxiety. Offered on Mondays at 3 pm, each session will focus on a couple of mindful practices that are the foundation of cultivating mental and emotional well-being through scientifically proven awareness techniques:

  • April 27: Learn about mindfulness and the brain science behind it. The session will focus on mindful breathing and mindful listening with gratitude techniques.
  • May 4: Review week 1 and practice mindful breathing and listening. Additionally, the session will focus on cultivating body awareness and heartfulness practices.
  • May 11: Review and practice mindful breathing, mindful listening, heartfulness and body awareness. Additionally, this session will focus on cultivating mindful thinking and mindful emotions.
  • May 18: Review and practice putting it all together into a “Wheel of Mindful Skills” practice. This session will also provide participants with ideas and support in continuing what they learned beyond this series of trainings.
  • June 1: Deepening the mindful practice. This is the final session in the series. REGISTER

SFF Grantmaking

SFF is committed to supporting our grantees through this time of unprecedented crisis. We have made substantial changes to lessen and eliminate requirements for grantees at all stages of the grants process.

  • Most new grants are for general operating support.
  • Existing project support grants may be converted to general operating support grants.
  • Grant requirements are still considered complete even if conferences, events, or other project deliverables had to be postponed or canceled.
  • Grant resources may be used to cover costs associated with canceled events or other COVID-19 related impacts
  • Implemented new processes to ensure that grantees continue to receive their funding in a timely and safe manner.

For questions about your grant or requests to convert a project grant to general operating support, please reach out to your contact at SFF or email us at programs@sff.org


San Francisco Foundation Emergency Response Fund

SFF established a rapid response fund to support grassroots, community-based responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has granted more than $1.6 million in small capacity-building grants to close to 200 Bay Area nonprofits working on the front lines to support food and housing security, low-wage workers, and those addressing racial bias.

Learn more about the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

View list of organizations receiving grants from the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund


Recommended Resources

The team at SFF has researched a few resources that we think are particularly helpful in supporting the operations and leadership of nonprofits and community leaders during this time.

Technology: Free 3-month emergency remote work toolkits for nonprofits

LogMeIn (which owns GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar) is offering nonprofits three free months of their online meetings, video conference, and remote desktop support products. Interested organizations should fill out this contact form on the LogMeIn website to learn more and apply for access.

Leadership: Organizational Crisis Response Webinars

Social impact strategy consultants Third Plateau have made available a recorded four-part webinar series that translates crisis response best practices for nonprofits looking to develop systems and strategies to respond, mitigate, and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Sessions focus on rapid needs assessment, developing an emergency response plan, resiliency and risk monitoring, and leadership and equity in uncertain times. The webinar series is free for all nonprofits and can be taken at your own pace.

Fundraising Resources in a Virtual Environment

Network For Good offers a “Free Fundraising Resources Library” accessible to all nonprofits. The fundraising library includes virtual fundraising toolkits and webinars on how to communicate digitally during a crisis. Access the Free Fundraising Resources Library.