Often it takes a crisis for people to recognize the importance of charity and philanthropy. After a natural disaster like an earthquake or a hurricane, people from all over band together and part of that process is donating money to organizations working to help those in need. However, currently we are in the midst of perhaps one of the greatest crises in history, the COVID-19 pandemic. Philanthropic efforts have always been critical to the rebuilding of devastated communities in the past, but now philanthropy truly is more important than ever.
Randal Gindi is a real estate investor, devout family man, benevolent friend, and a philanthropist. He has an insatiable hunger to learn every aspect of a business, whether as an owner or an investor. Today, he is a full time real estate investor and a brilliant strategist. Outside of work, he makes sure to donate to important philanthropic organizations helping his community in Brooklyn and beyond. Mr. Gindi provides a few reasons as to why philanthropic endeavors are more important than ever before.
Philanthropy Supports the Work of Nonprofits
The first reason why philanthropic endeavors are more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic is because they support and strengthen the work of nonprofit organizations. According to Randal Gindi, nonprofits play extremely valuable roles in society, especially during a crisis such as a global pandemic. Nonprofit organizations fill voids that fail to be addressed by the government, or other public or private sectors. They are also outside parties that can hold these sectors accountable, as well as give voices to people or communities that are underserved.
In order to advocate on behalf of these people and support them, nonprofits require money. That is where philanthropy comes in. Charitable donations to nonprofit organizations during the pandemic are effectively allowing these organizations to continue their important work. During the pandemic, such work includes supporting community-based emergency response funds that deal directly with those who have been impacted by COVID-19. It also means addressing the ways that lower income citizens have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, both in terms of their health and economically.
Philanthropy Can Help Rebuild Communities
When a global crisis such as COVID-19 happens, it is individual communities that are most in need. In order to see an immediate impact of your philanthropy, the best way is to donate to local foundations working directly with community members. This will ensure your money gets put to good use, shares Randal Gindi. Take the example of COVID-19. There have been a multitude of community-based philanthropic activities that have popped up to help cities and communities all across the United States. The Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund, in Randal Gindi’s native Brooklyn, New York, was created by the Brooklyn Community Foundation. It helps provide resources to local residents who are more at-risk for COVID-19 when it comes to health, economic, and social factors. The Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund’s first step was to issue grants to their community partners who provide support to frontline workers. The Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund is another example of a community organization helping rebuild and strengthen communities during the pandemic. Like the Brooklyn Fund, this response fund is also aimed at providing resources to frontline workers and the most vulnerable members of the community. Within a few weeks of the pandemic reaching North America, Seattle’s COVID-19 Response Fund had raised over $13 million.
Further, it’s not just cities or boroughs that are creating these philanthropic organizations. Different companies, such as the Carnegie Corporation in New York, have also set up charities to help in this emergency situation. The Carnegie Corporation created the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, specifically to provide over $75 million in grants and loans to other nonprofit organizations in New York City that are handling the crisis. Overall, yet another reason philanthropic endeavors are more important than ever is due to the fact that philanthropy and charity can actually help rebuild communities in the wake of devastation caused by COVID-19, says Randal Gindi.
Philanthropy Brings Overlooked Issues to the Forefront
Finally, philanthropy is extremely important at a time like this due to the fact that philanthropic organizations are able to bring critical issues to light. Emergencies tend to exacerbate the pre-existing flaws and inequities in a country, giving nonprofit organizations a chance to highlight and raise awareness about these issues. COVID-19 has shone a light on specific hardships faced by the elderly and disabled, those without access to healthcare or sufficient health insurance coverage, those living in close quarters, low-wage or non-salaried workers, and communities of color, among other groups. These groups not only make up the fabric of American society, but they represent a significant portion of the population and yet they are overlooked again and again.
Now, not only are organizations able to bring awareness to these issues and hopefully make them part of public consciousness, but they are able to actively try and combat these issues. Randal Gindi asserts that there are a few key ways charities are working to help those affected by COVID-19, while specifically targeting the inequities that led to such problems. Deploying rapid response funds is one way for organizations to act quickly in responding to immediate challenges in the community. Foundations are also able to allocate their money to areas where workers are likely to be most impacted by reduced income due to the pandemic. As leaders in the community, philanthropic organizations are also actively fighting misinformation about the pandemic, while encouraging the government to employ an equitable emergency response. Ultimately, philanthropy has the ability to appeal directly to those disproportionately suffering not only due to the pandemic, but also due to the inequities that the pandemic has highlighted.