How our work processes will change in response to COVID-19All in-person meetings cancelled or moving online, when possible.
Dear Pittsburgh Foundation grantees, donors and partners:
All of us involved in community philanthropy are committed to the mission of improving quality of life in the region, and the lifeblood for our success comes out of our meetings, convenings and collaborations – often in large groups.
Regrettably, because of the public health emergency presented by the COVID-19 virus, we at the Foundation have decided to suspend all meetings hosted in our offices at PPG Place and in other venues in the community.
Also, until further notice, our staff will be working out of their homes. We have made these decisions after reviewing the latest guidelines issued by infectious disease specialists at the Allegheny County Health Department and the federal Centers for Disease Control. We are taking these actions out of an abundance of caution, because protecting the health of those inside the Foundation and those interacting with us is our highest priority.
We believe that stopping outside meetings and enacting a work-from-home policy will reduce infection risk that can occur when people interact close to one another or congregate in groups. We are fortunate to be able to take these measures, and we believe they will benefit public health as much as Foundation employee health.
In accordance with our office-interruption planning, we have systems and procedures in place to make this transition. While day-to-day business will continue, there may be delays in processing some grant requests. Some grantees may have concerns or questions about community disruption caused by the virus and its effect on funded programs and services. All of us on staff will be available by email and phone. Our office numbers are published on the website and any calls will be automatically forwarded to wherever we are working. We’ll be available to answer questions and work through problems. Whenever feasible, Foundation staff will be moving external meetings to phone or video conference.
As all of us are learning from infection control experts in the fight to overcome this challenge, the situation can change quickly. But we are up to the challenge of continuing the work of the Foundation and modeling best practices for public safety, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have.
What gives our staff and Board confidence and positive energy in rising to this challenge is that community philanthropy is designed to be an effective first-responder during times of adversity. The Pittsburgh Foundation has a long history of meeting a range of crises in the region – including health emergencies. We’re partnering with our colleagues in philanthropy, with government officials, with medical authorities and with grantees to assess the challenges and determine needs for support. Our convenings may not be in person, but they will be happening regularly throughout this period. We know that the key to this region getting past the COVID-19 emergency is to work together to build our capacity to solve problems and care for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable.
President and CEO
For up-to-date information on the virus’s presence in our region and how to respond to it, you can link here to the www.alleghenycounty.us/coronavirus Allegheny County Health Department website.
Photo credit: Felipe Esquivel Reed / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)