COVID-19 is not just a health crisis that revealed economic disparities and social injustices. It has also uncovered the fragility of the under-resourced nonprofit sector. As part of its ongoing commitment to the communities of Eatonville, Maitland, and Winter Park, today the Winter Park Health Foundation is sharing the 15 local organizations that have been selected to be a part of our new Nonprofit Resiliency and Wellbeing Support grant initiative:
Audubon Center • Central FL Community Arts • Community Health Centers • Easterseals/Miller Center for Older Adults • Eatonville Boys & Girls Club • Eatonville Public Library • Grace Medical Home • Hebni Nutrition Consultants • Ideas for Us • Maitland Public Library • Senior Resource Alliance • Welbourne Nursery • Winter Park Day Nursery • Winter Park Presbyterian Preschool • Winter Park Public Library
Leaders from these organizations were invited to join WPHF at a luncheon at the Center for Health & Wellbeing on Friday, December 3, during which the program was announced.
“The Winter Park Health Foundation is proud to commit $100,000 to support these 15 outstanding local non-profit organizations who are critical to the health of our communities,” said WPHF President and CEO Patricia Maddox. “The last couple of years have been exceedingly difficult, and we are looking forward to an ongoing collaboration as we strive to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.”
There are an estimated 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S., and 65% have budgets under $500,000, according to the Harvard Business Review. This means even before the pandemic, nonprofits were under-resourced, under-staffed, under-funded. COVID-induced death, illness, economic chaos, and social disruption have sent client needs escalating while nonprofit revenue has not kept pace.
The resulting uncertainty and drastic changes are also taking a severe toll on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of nonprofit staff, many of whom have become as vulnerable as the clients they serve. The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College has assessed the impact of COVID-19 on our local nonprofit community. The results of its Unified Community Assessment for Central Florida Nonprofits validate the increasing demands on our local nonprofit organizations and their workforce.
The Program: Phase One
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s “Philanthropy and COVID-19” report places providing unrestricted support to community-based nonprofits as the top strategy for effective giving for funders during the pandemic. Nonprofits need the flexibility of unrestricted funds to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Many organizations may be coping with lost income from canceled fee-based services or fundraising events. Unrestricted funding gives grantees the flexibility to assess and determine where grant dollars are most needed and allows for innovation, emergent action, and sustainability.
WPHF will provide $5,000 in unrestricted funds to each of the 15 nonprofit organizations to help provide much-needed support to survive the pandemic and continue to provide valuable community services.
The Program: Phase Two
According to a University of Southern Indiana survey, seven in ten nonprofit employees surveyed felt they needed their employer’s help to make sure they are mentally and physically healthy and financially secure. Despite a strong desire among nonprofit leaders to relieve staff of the emotional burden of their work, the unpredictable and unreliable nature of funding means this can be a challenge. Funding for staff wellbeing and development often competes with the pressure to invest all available resources into supporting beneficiaries, which at the end of the day is what the nonprofits are judged on. Furthermore, in the FL Nonprofit Alliance’s report, “Closing Out the Year: COVID-19 Effects on Florida Nonprofits in 2020,” more than 75% of the nonprofits surveyed report staff burnout and staff feeling effects on their mental health as health effects of COVID-19.
To support wellbeing in local nonprofits, WPHF will provide stipends, mini-grants, and technical assistance to participating nonprofits from the list above.
Leaders from the 15 organizations will be invited to identify a “Wellbeing Champion” from their organizations to lead organizational efforts in 2022 for Phase Two. WPHF will offer technical assistance, resources, and idea-sharing opportunities to the Wellbeing Champions. Each Wellbeing Champion will receive a stipend for their work in launching and implementing efforts at their nonprofit organization and each participating organization will receive a mini-grant up to $1,000 to support wellbeing activities.