Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros were among a handful of lead donors to our NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, which raised more than $110 million for grants (administered by The Trust) and no-interest loans (administered by Nonprofit Finance Fund) to help more than 700 nonprofits.
Jennifer: “When the pandemic began, we—like every single New Yorker—were terrified. We scrambled to ensure that our family, employees, and friends were well positioned for health and safety. We also quickly started looking for the most effective ways to help nonprofits that were providing care, financial support, and other services to New Yorkers who were struggling with COVID. It was overwhelming: as a person, a citizen, and as a funder to identify what organizations were able to provide immediate and meaningful assistance.
Jonathan: John MacIntosh of SeaChange Capital Partners and Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation told us about the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. It all came together really quickly, which was great. It was just a perfect solution.
On a good day there are huge numbers of New Yorkers living on the edge. The devastation caused by the virus made it clear that there were going to be even more people and organizations that needed help.
Jennifer: The Trust’s ability to manage a complex request for proposals process that generated more than 1,600 applications was remarkable. The programmatic staff ensured that proposals were evaluated by consistent criteria to ensure an equitable distribution across the five boroughs.
We’ve always known there was a strong network of nonprofit service providers throughout the city, and we had previously supported many of them, but it was still eye-opening to see so many incredible organizations responding to the crisis in real time. It was very encouraging and gave me a deeper appreciation of how much of the city’s strength resides in these institutions. Just reading the grant applications was inspiring and humbling. I kept thinking: we need to do more, we need to do more, we need to do more.
Jonathan: We are very grateful for the opportunity to be connected to this work; to have a productive, thoughtful way to support our fellow New Yorkers during the pandemic.
Jennifer: For me as a donor it is very reassuring to know intimately how effective The Trust is. It was the established professionalism of The Trust that enabled us to invest effectively in the city during the pandemic. In the long term, it’s a valuable way for any donor to broadly support New York City and its residents.”