One of the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to remind ourselves about all that we have, even in the face of such loss.
Because of the unique nexus at which The Trust operates, I see so much to be thankful for: the heroic nonprofits that create a safety net for our most vulnerable; our service workers, who keep the city functioning; and indefatigable New Yorkers, who have demonstrated the resolve, ingenuity, and spirit to keep moving through this extraordinarily difficult time.
This is not the first crisis our city has weathered, and The Trust is once again fortunate enough to be in a position to help. Our nearly 100 years of experience have helped shape how we take action today. As the city began to shut down to slow the pandemic, it was clear the repercussions on human life and the economy were going to be profound. It was all-hands-on-deck, and we joined our colleagues in philanthropy just as we did after superstorm Sandy and September 11th.
The day the Governor announced a plan to put the state on “pause,” we announced the launch of the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund with an initial $75 million raised from 18 partners, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Ford Foundation. The fund includes a grants program managed by The Trust and a loan program at Nonprofit Finance Fund. A few days later, we made our first grants and were being joined by others. By mid-May, we and our partners raised more than $105 million for grants and loans and had helped 533 nonprofits on the front lines.
From past experience, we know that the effects of a crisis ripple out over time. When superstorm Sandy hit the region in 2012, efforts to clean up and feed stranded communities eventually gave way to efforts to rebuild, and then to prepare for the inevitable next hurricane. Today, we continue to make our five hundred miles of coastline more resilient to extreme weather.
So, even as we launched the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, The Trust created another fund to address the repercussions over the weeks and months to come. You can learn about our Emergency Fund here. And our Long Island and Westchester divisions created funds to rally support for COVID-19 recovery in their areas.
We have been encouraged and thankful to see The Trust’s long-standing community of donors join with those new to The Trust and step forward to generously help our region heal.
When things are at their worst, many New Yorkers are at their best. Together we will get through this, restore the city we love, and be stronger into the future.