The effect of the Corona Virus on Oregon and SW Washington communities has quickly changed our way of life and philanthropy is in a unique position to be a part of a coordinated effort to address the impact of the pandemic. We know that this is a disconcerting experience for all of us, but Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington is ready to be your resource for the latest information and offer you ways in which your foundation can support our collective responses. This is our moment to pull together as a community and we are here to help.

The situation with COVID-19 in Oregon and SW Washington has escalated significantly. As your local philanthropy-supporting organization, GOSW is here to maintain a convening and centralizing role for such a critical effort in the philanthropic community. We have an email list of over 700 people in philanthropy throughout the region, so our ability to get the information out to you is second to none. We are working in partnership with our members to keep you informed and to connect you to other sectors who will share in our efforts to manage this situation. This is especially important because you will certainly be called upon to help and likely at times, lead our communities through these difficult times. Therefore, we are here to help make it possible for you to do what you do best: support our communities and neighbors in good and challenging times.

This is a fast-moving situation and communication is very important, so the following items will update you about what is happening so far:

Foundation Efforts

Oregon Community Foundation

Established in collaboration with partners throughout the state, the Oregon Community Recovery Fund will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. Donations are coming in from around the state – from business, individuals, other foundations – all stepping up to support our fellow Oregonians.

Oregon Community Foundation joined more than 100 top philanthropies, in the U.S. and around the globe, in a pledge to provide our nonprofit partners flexible funding support during the #COVID19 crisis. #PhilanthropyPledge2020. @COF_ #coronavirus #philanthropy.

McKenzie River Gathering Foundation (MRG)

MRG Foundation has decided to release $300,000—30% of its operating reserves—to start a Community Response Fund. The Fund will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon. More Information.

Women’s Foundation of Oregon

COVID-19/Coronavirus Rapid Response Fund: Given the emerging and uncertain nature of COVID-19, we recognize this moment will have large and lasting impacts on service providers and organizations working with those most vulnerable in our communities in Oregon and surrounding Indigenous communities and nations. Read More.

James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation is working with other funders interested in supporting our statewide arts and cultural communities whose gatherings, galleries, performances, productions, and exhibitions are closed for the time being. If you are interested in learning more visit or write to

Also, you may be interested in the Portland Area Artist Emergency Relief Fund

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette

United Way’s Safety Net funding mobilizes nonprofits across our four counties (Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Clark, WA) to help individuals and families meet their basic needs. In the wake of the new virus, and the rippling effect it will have, we remain committed to providing critical services including short-term housing assistance, utilities assistance and access to food boxes and pantries. Read More.

Benton Community Foundation

BCF has established a rapid response fund to provide resources to local nonprofit organizations that have expanded their operations or encountered unique funding challenges while responding to COVID-19. Read More.

Pride Foundation

Pride Foundation launched the Crisis Community Care Fund as part of its efforts to support community groups and organizations responding to this crisis, and whose work is being impacted by the factors surrounding the spread. Read More.

Oregon Jewish Community Foundation

The Oregon Jewish Community Foundation has joined with the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, our community partners and leaders to establish a COVID-19 emergency response fund for the Jewish Community. Read More.

Northwest Health Foundation

NW Health Foundation will be making 7 immediate changes in response to COVID-19:

  1. Convert all open NWHF project grants and sponsorships to general operating support, retroactively to the grant start date. 
  2. Defer all grant reports for 90 days automatically.

Read More.

Trail Blazers Foundation

In collaboration with the Portland Trail Blazers organization and players, the Trail Blazers Foundation is establishing a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support local nonprofits serving the community. Read More.

Portland General Electric

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed our world. The impacts of this public health crisis are felt in our health and safety, our financial well-being and even in how we live and work. Now more than ever we are focused on delivering safe, reliable and affordable power to customers. Read More.

Community Foundation for Southwest Washington

Managed by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, this fund will provide flexible financial support to trusted nonprofit partners across our region who are responding to increasing needs as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Read More.

COVID-19 News

Executive Order to Stay Home Except for Essential Needs

On March 23, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor.

Executive Order to Stop Residential Evictions During COVID-19 Crisis

On March 22, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-11, placing a temporary moratorium on residential evictions for nonpayment in light of the public health emergency caused by the spread of coronavirus in Oregon. The order is effective for 90 days.

Governor’s Executive Orders

COVID-19 Philanthropy Funds and Collaboration Opportunities

If you are interested in joining a group of foundations and philanthropists who would like to contribute to a COVID-19 Philanthropy Fund, please click here. There are several foundations who have already begun to join forces around this idea, so we are gathering a list of others who would like to participate. Once we have put together a list of interested members, we will share information about next steps that will include answers to the “who, what, how and when” questions that we will need to answer as a community regarding a COVID-19 Philanthropy Fund.

GOSW is working with several partners to provide our members with a place to pool their resources. Currently, the Oregon Community Foundation has generated a COVID-19 fund that is an option for foundations who would like to work with others as a response to the crisis. We are also working on an alignment funding strategy that will make it possible for funders to support our nonprofit partners as they continue to manage community impact on the ground. We will have more information on Alignment Funding soon. To contribute to the OCF Fund, click HERE.


How to Support our Nonprofit Partners

As a means of ensuring that philanthropy receives the latest and most pertinent information from the nonprofit sector about the impact of COVID-19, GOSW is officially working in collaboration with Jim White and his team at the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO). We are planning several joint sessions to collaborate and maximize our efforts because it is important that we work together in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. The negative impact that COVID-19 is already having on the nonprofit sector is huge, so these are the times that we hope that you will:

  • support nonprofits by investing in the work they are doing;
  • be flexible in how their funds are being used;
  • and support operations whenever possible. 

We also know spring is one of the major fundraising seasons where nonprofits raise a significant portion of their revenues. For those who have had to cancel or are canceling fundraisers, consider not asking for refunds, but instead donate those dollars back to nonprofits that you care about in support of the important work they do.


GOSW’s Action Plan

  • GOSW will offer weekly teleconference calls every Tuesday from 10:00 am – 11:00 am, beginning March 17th. These calls will be used to share information that we receive, as well as offering our members an opportunity to talk with one another about what they are experiencing as funders in this crisis and ways in which we might work together to address them.
  • GOSW will offer twice weekly e-communications with updates for those of you who cannot join the weekly call and to cover any fast-moving information.
  • We are working with state and local government officials to provide informational conference calls so that we can engage in a dialogue about the most significant COVID-19 concerns and how we can partner to address them. Keep your eye on this space for more details.