2020 SFF AnnualReport - Page 4

SFF Responds to COVID-19
hen the COVID-19 crisis hit the Bay
Area in March, we knew we needed to
act quickly to get money into the community
and help ensure that all Bay Area residents’
basic needs were being met. Within days, we
established the SFF COVID-19 Emergency
Response Fund to support nonprofits working
on housing, food security, job loss, and supporting people targeted by racism as a result
of the pandemic.
Our fund was one of the few with an
open application process targeted to
smaller, grassroots community and faith
organizations working on protecting safety
net issues in the Bay Area. We made the
process as easy as possible for nonprofits
stretching to do more with their time and
resources: the application took only a few
minutes to complete, and organizations
that qualified received their grant funds
in just a few weeks and had no reporting
requirements. The fund was also responsive
to the specific needs we heard from
community partners, providing grants in
emerging areas of need such as domestic
This fact begs us to acknowledge both the
challenge and the opportunity of this moment
to reimagine and rebuild.
The San Francisco Foundation has centered
racial equity in our work for years, and we will
continue to lead and partner with others to
work toward greater equity and rebuild our
systems to be more fair and just for Black,
Indigenous, people of color, immigrants,
and everyone who has been left behind by
imperfect and inequitable systems. If recovery
efforts are only focused on how we get back to
business as usual as soon as possible, we will
have missed an opportunity.
Thank you for being a part of this effort. We all
have a role to play to ensure that the Bay Area
is a place where we all can thrive—through
and after a pandemic, breaking down and
reimagining public systems that serve all
Thanks to the generous support of our donors
and philanthropic partners, we raised more
than $4 million for this fund, providing grants
to nearly 400 local organizations.
In addition, we activated a disaster grant
program that was already established
years before to address challenges
like earthquakes and pandemics. We
distributed an additional $1.1 million from
our endowment to 43 grantees serving
those in urgent need. Our Program Related
Investment program also waived interest
payments for many of our borrowers serving
those most affected by the crisis.
In many ways, COVID-19 was a catalyst,
bringing to the forefront the existing
inequities in our systems and institutions.
2020 Annual Report
The SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response fund provided vital
support for small, grassroots organizations responding to the
crisis. Photo courtesy Alameda County Community Food Bank,
a foundation grantee.

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