Update from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation on COVID-19 Response

Dear Grantee Partners, Friends, and Community:

We know that many of you are providing direct support to educators, community members, young people and their families as they navigate this pandemic and the inequities that only become exacerbated in such a situation. As a philanthropic organization, we remain steadfast in upholding our responsibility to support New England communities during this challenging time.

Today, we want to share some updates around additional flexibility for current grantee partners, and also share an update on some new funding commitments we have made as part of our ongoing COVID-19 response.

Extending Flexibility

As a follow up to the note we shared about changes in the Foundation’s operations and grant expectations, we hope the following measures will lift some of the burden from our current grantee partners during this unprecedented time, especially for organizations that are in need of additional supports to maintain and sustain themselves during this difficult time.

· We are now offering grantee partners the opportunity to convert any restricted funds to general operating support or to support work around COVID-19 response, to the extent that it is helpful to your organization.

· We’re providing the option to request payments earlier than scheduled.

· We can provide a no-cost grant extension for your grant if needed.

· In lieu of an extensive final report, we welcome a brief final report that includes a spending report and describes how your funds were used.

If you are interested in pursuing any of the above opportunities, please reach out to your Program Officer to communicate your intent, including your most current spend-to-date report so that we can better organize ourselves to support you. We will also be doing our part to reach out to you in the near future to determine how else we may be of service. In the meantime, we are available as needed to provide support as you continue to navigate these challenging times.

COVID-19 Response

As an organization committed to advancing racial equity, we recognize that communities of color are disproportionately affected by this virus and the racism that stems from it. We have been humbled by the response to our Racism is a Virus Too Rapid Response Fund and were reminded that there is so much work to be done on many fronts to fight racism, xenophobia, and Sinophobia.

Today, we are announcing a set of grantees from this fund, aimed at responding to the hate crimes and bias against Asian American communities resulting from COVID-19:

Additionally, we want to share an update on another set of grants we are making to support New England communities during this pandemic:

· Boston COVID-19 Response Fund, The Boston Foundation: $25,000

· Hartford Foundation for Public Giving COVID-19 Response Fund: $30,000

· Maine Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund: $50,000

· Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund: $50,000

· New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Community Crisis Action Fund: $50,000

· Rhode Island Foundation/United Way of RI COVID-19 Response Fund: $50,000

· Supporting Organizing Work Connecticut COVID-19 Response Fund, CT Council on Philanthropy: $30,000

· Vermont Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund: $50,000

We invite others who are interested in contributing to these funds and organizations to reach out to us to learn more.

This crisis calls upon us to think about the world we want to build as we move ahead. For us, that means remaining committed to serving our communities as trusted partners in advancing racial equity throughout this region. We recognize that the impacts of this pandemic will be long-lasting; therefore, we are on this journey for the long haul.

We are keeping you in our hearts and are grateful for your partnership.

In solidarity,

Nick Donohue
President & CEO
Nellie Mae Education Foundation