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Foundations Respond to Crisis: A Moment of Transformation?

by Ellie Buteau; Naomi Orensten

Nov 1, 2020

Amid the compounded crises of COVID-19 and the long-standing structural inequities and racism the pandemic is exacerbating, the myriad calls for funders to make fundamental changes in how they approach their work have grown in number and intensity. How are foundations responding to 2020's unprecedented challenges? What high-level changes in practice are they making — and will these changes be for the long term?

CEP turned to foundation leaders for answers to these pressing questions. As Foundations Respond to Crisis: A Moment of Transformation? shows, foundation leaders are reevaluating and making significant changes to their practices in 2020 — including loosening or eliminating grant restrictions, increasing their spending levels, and placing a newfound emphasis on listening to grantees and the communities they serve.