Viewpoint: Covid-19 response offers insight into future of local philanthropic giving

Viewpoint: Covid-19 response offers insight into future of local philanthropic giving

A recent report from the Bloomberg School of Health found that Baltimore fared better than most cities during the COVID-19 pandemic in cases of illness, mortality and vaccination rates. Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa attributed these outcomes to a collective and collaborative approach, involving multiple partners and stakeholders across the city. The fact is, to help families survive some of the pandemic’s worst side effects, it took a concerted and collaborative community effort to respond to immediate needs within our communities. What if this approach could provide a blueprint for the future of strategic charitable giving as well?

It takes partners at all levels to weave together a comprehensive web of support for Baltimore’s communities. Large institutions are great at strategy, coordination, and mainstream delivery; established mid-sized organizations have stable leadership and reach across multiple communities; and grassroots organizations tend to rank highly on trust and responsiveness among the hardest to reach communities. The pandemic underscored the necessity of collaboration between these different-size organizations and institutions to make a tangible impact. When the COVID-19 crisis erupted, large institutions struggled to address issues ranging from food insecurity to insufficient broadband on their own. Many turned to community-based organizations for their on-the-ground expertise and credibility.

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Source: Baltimore Business Journal, written by Shanaysha M. Sauls, president and CEO of Baltimore Community Foundation and member of Maryland Philanthropy Network's Board of Directors.


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