Issue Based

Foundations Respond to Crisis

Foundations Respond to Crisis

Partner Event

Event details

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
11:00am to 12:15pm PST

About this event

In early spring this year, as the coronavirus pandemic worsened, foundations in the U.S. began to respond by shifting resources and practices. Some funders, nonprofits and others in the field called for fundamental changes in how funders approach their work — including upping the provision of long-term, flexible funding, shifting the funder–grantee power dynamic, placing greater trust in nonprofits and increasing foundation payout.

The pandemic has exacerbated long-standing structural inequities — especially in Black, Latino, Native American, low-income and working-class communities, and for people with disabilities. As such, foundations have also been called on to invest in communities hit hardest by the pandemic, and to integrate racial equity more comprehensively into their work. Given these calls: what’s actually changing in foundations’ practices? And what does this mean for the future?

This summer, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) explored these questions through surveying and interviewing U.S. foundation leaders. They are sharing what they learned in a three-part research series, Foundations Respond to Crisis. Drawing on findings from these new reports, this interactive webinar discussion will delve into how foundations are responding to the compounded crises the nation is currently facing. Panelists will share their insights about what this moment means for the work of their foundations and, looking ahead, what these crises mean for foundation philanthropy as a whole.


  • Moderator: Phil Buchanan, President, Center for Effective Philanthropy
  • Ellie Buteau, PhD, Vice President, Research, Center for Effective Philanthropy
  • Naomi Orensten, Director, Research, Center for Effective Philanthropy
  • Chris Cardona, Program Officer, Philanthropy, Ford Foundation
  • Nora Moreno Cargie, President, Tufts Health Plan Foundation

Additional panelists to be announced soon.