Colorful image of handwashing from SC Arts Alliance and artist Amiri Geuka Farris. Says Help stop the spread of infection. Remember... wash your hands, cover your cough or sneeze, avoid shaking hands

GDDF Response to COVID-19

Friday, March 27, 2020

We hope you are staying safe and well, following the recommendations of health professionals. For the latest national and regional updates, visit the National Institutes of Health page.

A reminder that today’s report and application deadline was moved to Friday, April 10. We know that the current circumstances may make it difficult to share programming plans, present accurate financial projections, know timelines for outcomes, etc. We are relaxing the requirements for these forms; grantees, please see your email for more details from program staff.

We want to assure grantees that we are honoring all existing grant commitments for 2020. We are working out the specifics of how to address this and considering other ways we can be of assistance by program area and region. Stay tuned for more details.

As you’ve likely heard, the federal government is passing laws to deal with COVID-19, some of which impact non-profits. The National Council of Nonprofits has provided an overview. You can check with your specific membership group for more details:

We have started compiling a list of resources nationally, regionally, and specific to each of our program areas. If you have any information to add, please email

We are also compiling a list of virtual performances and other ways arts and collections organizations are remaining creative while being physically distanced. If you have anything to add, please email for Chicago region events, and for Lowcountry events.

This just in, Chicago Program Officer, Ellen Placey Wadey, was on WLS-AM discussing how to support the arts sector during this time – listen in here.

Take care, and please be encouraged to stay in touch with your primary GDDF staff contact. Working remotely during normal business hours, we are available by email.

Friday, March 20, 2020

We know how pressed you are with immediate needs, while fielding all sorts of communications across various channels. Thanks for staying in virtual touch with GDDF as you navigate these extremely challenging times. We share your concerns about the unique immediate impacts in each of our mission areas across our two funding regions. Staff remain fully engaged working remotely, including collaborating with other funders, to create and contribute to emergency funds, and strategize on the best ways to provide additional support through the pandemic and beyond.

As a first step, we have made $25,000 contributions to each of our community foundations’ emergency relief funds that will provide financial and other assistance to health and human services non-profits:

Mitigating immediate impacts and “flattening the curve” will help all of us to resume operations as soon as feasible. We know that this is a dynamic situation, and available public and private health, social services, and economic relief programs will continue to unfold.

For our grantees, in case you missed it, our next proposal / final report deadline has been extended two weeks to April 10th. We are considering a range of additional options to further support grantees and partners, and we will be in touch with details soon.

Resources, from support opportunities to creative online collaboration resources, will be shared on our social media channels and on our website here: This page will be updated often in the coming weeks. If your organization is doing any online programming, please share with us!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your primary GDDF staff contact. Working remotely during normal business hours, we are available by email: And, please stay tuned for further updates.

Be well.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear friends –

We recognize that the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, and in this time of uncertainly, wanted to share our current plans:

  • In order to minimize contact between people, our Chicago and Charleston offices are closed starting Monday, March 16. Staff will be working remotely, with access to email and voicemail.
  • In-person gatherings are postponed, cancelled, or moved to a virtual space for the foreseeable future. If you are a participant in one of those, you will hear from a staff member directly.
  • Proposals & reports due March 27th are now due April 10th.
  • If we provided sponsorship or paid attendance for a conference or event that is cancelled, we will not request a refund.
  • We will post updates here – – and on social media. Any major changes will be sent via this newsletter.

We value the relationships we have with you, and our virtual lines of communication remain open for conversation.

We wish you and your community health and peace of mind.


David Farren, Executive Director

For reference, here are links to regional health orgs for more local updates:

World and National updates:

  • World Health Organization –
  • The Centers for Disease Control –

Header image by artist Amiri Farris via the South Carolina Arts Commission.

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