The Women's Foundation of California | Getting Through This Together: Responding to Coronavirus

Getting Through This Together: Responding to Coronavirus

by Huong Nguyen-Yap

Photo credit: Group Zoom call with Women’s Foundation of California Partners Forward Together.

We are gonna get through this. Together. 

As we shelter in place in the Bay Area,  it is impossible to forget that each person’s health depends on everyone else’s.  The novel Coronavirus highlights just how deeply interconnected we are. We have known for a long time that our families and neighborhoods and our organizations are stronger, safer and healthier when we show up for one another in times of illness and crisis, as well as in moments of joy and celebration. And we are trying hard to show up for each other right now. 

One way to show up and take care of each other is to donate to our Relief and Resilience Fund

Donate today and demonstrate your care and commitment to frontline community leaders during this critical time.

As we navigate our response to the novel Coronavirus at Women’s Foundation California and its impacts on our work, our communities, and ourselves, we recognize the need to take care of all of us. 

Here is an evolving summary of what we are doing to get through this together. 

With Our Grant Partners + WPI Fellows

  • We provided immediate additional funding 
    • We immediately augmented existing general support grants to our core partners to help offset the immediate impacts of the COVID19 pandemic to organizations. 
    • We see additional flexible funding as the best way to support our partners who are on the frontline supporting some of our most vulnerable communities.
    • Similar to our other grants, these dollars are provided as General Operating Support so organizations can be responsive to their communities and their staff. 
  • We began building the Relief and Resilience Fund
    • We want to do our part to resource organizations on the frontlines in the immediate and long term.
    • While there is so much that we still don’t know, it is already clear that the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic will impact fundraising and revenue of many of our partner organizations. 
  • We remain committed to our programs while adapting to new circumstances
    • We train and connect hundreds of community leaders through our Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) programs and that will not change. What will change is how we deliver that training and connection. 
      • We will bring on a new WPI-Local class and provide them with online programming alongside practical support and technical support to ease that transition. 
    • While the State Legislature takes an extended recess, we will continue to support the policy efforts by our partners, WPI Fellows and Alums and help our current  WPI fellows assess how to best move bills forward.

We’re hearing from our partners in the field that they are facing considerable financial, practical, emotional, and cultural impacts as we all respond to the Coronavirus. There are the unexpected costs of program cancellations and shifting to remote work. There are shifts in organizational culture as work goes online and folks have to figure out how to care for staff and community within the constraints of social distancing and school and daycare closures. Some organizations are facing the reality of needing to lay off staff as many grassroots organizations have little to no cash reserve.

With Our Team

  • We are taking care of each other 
    • We continue to center the wellness of our team. We moved to remote work early and recognize that priorities will need to shift organizationally and personally.
    • Practicing kindness and mutual support in the workplace and are striving to organize fun virtual activities for the team so we can stay connected in an authentic way when we can’t physically be together.  
  • Changing where and when we work, but not why we work 
    • As feminists for racial, economic, and gender justice, our commitment to this work and to each other is  clearer than ever.
    • We are also making meaningful adjustments to how we work: 
      • All of us on staff at Women’s Foundation California are working from home until further notice with accommodations being made as we recalibrate to remote work. While the physical office is closed, we remain available by phone, email, and Zoom.
      • We are also shifting to a four day work week to better support the mental health and wellbeing of our team. While the “shelter in place” ordinance is mandated throughout the Bay Area, we will be closing our virtual offices on Fridays to allow our team time and space to care for themselves and their families.

More Updates