Our Commitment to Our Grantees and Partners During the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 16, 2020

During this time, the regular work at ECMC Foundation continues and we remain open to consider letters of inquiry and new proposals. Visit this page to submit an LOI to apply for a grant. Our staff is working remotely and following guidelines placed by health authorities and the local, state and federal government. We continue to be available by email and video or phone conferencing.

Flexible Grant Monitoring Policies

Recognizing the impact of COVID-19 on our grantees, we have taken a number of steps to support their work, including increasing flexibility in our grant monitoring policies. Effective March 2020 until December 31, 2020, ECMC Foundation will:

  • Allow modifications among previously approved line items (not including indirect costs) up to 20% of the overall yearly grant budget to be made without requiring prior approval from the Foundation. Grantees will simply need to report those budget modifications to their program officer.
  • Offer flexibility in postponing, delaying and rescheduling regular grant monitoring check-in calls.
  • Offer extensions as needed for interim and final reports.
  • Accommodate necessary changes to grant timelines and outcomes as needed.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Small Grants Program

One of the earliest steps we took to support our grantees was implementing the COVID-19 Rapid Response Small Grants Program. In less than two weeks, we were able to launch a grant program and announce awards of up to $10,000 for sixty five of our current grantees.  The grants are for  costs the organization has incurred or expects to incur as a direct result of the pandemic.  We realize that this is by no means a solution to the strain this pandemic is having on the capacity of grantee organizations to do their work and sustain operations. It is simply an acknowledgment that the strain exists and was the first step in our desire to be helpful.

Strategies Implemented to Provide Emergency Aid to Students

In the immediate days after the national emergency was announced, ECMC Foundation reached out to other foundations to determine ways to collaborate in order to address the urgent needs of students.  Several efforts to provide emergency aid to students were identified and both regional and national funders joined forces to support these efforts. In record time, $1.5 million in funding was provided by ECMC Foundation to support organizations providing direct emergency aid to students. Combined philanthropic funding for these efforts will result in tens of thousands of students receiving immediate emergency aid:

  • $500,000 grant to Believe in Students, to distribute emergency aid to students through the app-based Edquity platform. The Foundation grant will make emergency cash grants available to 750 students in crisis and provide access to emergency aid services for an additional 100,000 – 140,000 students by making the platform services available to 50 colleges. Believe in Students and Edquity are working to raise additional funds to continue to scale up this program.
  • $500,000 grant to Mission Asset Fund (MAF) to support the launch of California College Student Emergency Support Fund, a statewide response addressing emergency financial needs of low-income students enrolled in California’s 2-4 year public higher education institutions. The Foundation’s support will enable MAF to make cash grants of $500 to 1,000 students especially impacted by the pandemic such as foster youth, DACA recipients and Pell eligible.
  • $250,000 grant to the University Innovation Alliance, a collaborative of 11 public research universities dedicated to reshaping the educational attainment and economic prospects of low-income students. The Foundation grant will support emergency needs for at least 500 students at the campus level, such as providing support for technology and web access.
  • $250,000 grant to support affiliate ECMC’s Project Success initiative, which focuses on helping minority serving institutions (MSIs) improve student success and institutional outcomes. The Foundation grant will supplement Project Success’ emergency aid program, which will provide up to $500 in emergency aid for at least 500 students dealing with unforeseen financial emergencies.

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