Coordinated Crisis Response Ef
Third Sector close-out highlights collective good
A group set up to help non-profit organisations cope with the Covid-19 pandemic handed out more than $1.5 million in donations over just two months, its close-out report has shown.
The Third Sector Co-ordinated Crisis Response Effort thanked people and businesses who contributed to the Bermuda Emergency Fund or offered goods or time. Its report said: “Bermuda’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been a testament to the community’s generosity and resilience.
“Businesses and people gave time, goods, services and money to help members of the community who have little or less.”
The round-up highlighted the work of the CCRE, which was “a rapid-response collaboration between funders and non-profits aimed at ensuring resources were co-ordinated to meet the greatest needs during Phase 1 of the disaster relief shelter-in-place protocol”.
The group was formed in March after it was realised there would be a “serious need” for charitable efforts when the economic impact of the coronavirus hit the island. The CCRE included the Bermuda Community Foundation, the Bank of Bermuda Foundation, the Bermuda Health Council, the Inter-Agency Committee for Children and Families, Age Concern Bermuda as well as Danielle Riviere, a former executive director of the Centre on Philanthropy.
Tina Nash, a former executive director of Raleigh International Bermuda, and adventure charity for young people, and the newly appointed executive director of WindReach, an outdoor centre for the disabled is also a member of CCRE.
Representatives became members of an Emergency Measures Organisation subgroup headed by Steve Cosham, the national disaster co-ordinator.
The CCRE’s report explained that the Emergency Fund made grants to “core essential service providers” and “non-profit organisations requesting emergency support to maintain or transition services to existing clients”.
It showed that by May 24 — nine weeks after its work started — $1.56 million was either deployed or earmarked.
About one third, $518,700, helped to provide food, meals or vouchers throughout the island.
Almost $500,000 supported seniors and nursing homes and $138,400 helped mental health services, including those that deal with substance abuse. More than $200,000 went to “disaster relief”, which included ambulance transportation for coronavirus tests. Support and counselling for people affected by domestic violence received $75,000.
The report added that the funds helped to provide accommodation assistance to more than 30 homeless people.
Agencies were also able to distribute medicine and equipment to people with insufficient health coverage.
Learning points from CCRE members included: “Ensure that non-profit service providers are remunerated for their work.
“Recognise that crisis response work will involve increased demand on some participants, especially those involved in group co-ordinating work while undertaking their full-time day jobs. Meeting the intense productivity demands of crisis at this level, while unsustainable in the long term, proved critical for most of the team members during the height of the shelter-in-place order. Longer-term sustainability plans, however, must now emerge.”
The report added: “Thank you to all the amazing volunteers and individuals who helped during this extraordinary time.”
The IAC, with support from other organisations, will run a follow-up forum on July 1, for non-profit organisations to consider how to highlight the third sector’s “vital role” in the future.
A spokeswoman for the CCRE said: “One of the final activities of the CCRE was an assessment of the impact of the pandemic on non-profits.
“Data showed that 50 per cent of non-profits have transitioned to online services and 38 per cent had either increased or maintained services, reflecting the strength of non-profits in adapting to crisis conditions.
She added: “Data also showed that non-profits are experiencing cashflow crunches and employment impacts with almost 20 per cent of staff employed by non-profits having been laid off, and an additional 31 per cent working on reduced hours.”
The spokeswoman said: “The CCRE provided recommendations and resources to support non-profits as they continue to respond to and recover from the current uncertainties.”
• To view the summary and close-out report of the Bermuda Covid-19 Third Sector Co-ordinated Crisis Response between March 20 and May 20, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”
• Anyone interested in attending the Third Sector Forum on Wednesday should register at www.iacbermuda.org/events/
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