Above & Beyond Solidarity Fund

Above & Beyond Solidarity Fund

The Above & Beyond Solidarity Fund seeks to support grassroots actions responding to COVID-19.

Created by Thousand Currents, the fund responds to the needs of grassroots organisations in the Global South who are struggling to deal with pandemic and the existing inequalities it is exacerbating. These needs include:

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Global Relief Initiative

The Global Relief Initiative by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation focuses on both the short and long term issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, utilising $100 million to address and mitigate a wide range of challenges.

The pandemic has wide-reaching socioeconomic implications and the initiative forms part of the Foundation’s commitment to helping to address the pandemic’s many dimensions. Special attention is provided in Greece, as it is particularly vulnerable to the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, but the initiative will work across the globe to support work aiding physical wellbeing, mental health, and the socioeconomic welfare.

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“We stand with the sector”

Coordinated by London Funders, the pledge “We stand with the sector” saw 350 organisations from across the UK recognise that COVID-19 is an exceptional event that warrants an exceptional response and beneficiaries may need to be supported differently.

To support organisations affected by the outbreak, grant funders committed to four main ways of working. These are:

  1. Adapting activities – acknowledging that agreed outcomes may not be achieved in the time frames originally set.
  2. Discussing dates – not adding pressure on organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines.
  3. Financial flexibility – allowing organisations to use money differently e.g. buying equipment and covering staff sickness.
  4. Listening – encouraging frank conversations between funders and grantees, with funders being supportive of their needs.

Although this statement is coordinated by London Funders, it is open to all civil society organisations in the UK.

The statement was the inspiration behind the European Philanthropy Statement on COVID-19, coordinated by DAFNE and the EFC.

Find out more.

Resources for Caregivers and Practitioners Caring for Babies and Toddlers During Covid-19

The Bernard van Leer Foundation has compiled a variety of ideas and resources for people caring for babies and toddlers, and for programmes that are seeking to adapt the way they support families through COVID-19. 

The curated selection provides a resource to help both parents and children to stay mentally healthy through periods of physical distancing and offers a wide range of diverse activities that are beneficial to the physical and mental well-being of children.

Find out more.

Green Stimulus Index

The Green Stimulus Index, by Vivid Economics and funded by the MAVA Foundation provides an assessment of COVID-19 stimulus in relation to climate change, biodiversity and other environmental impacts.

Released on 29 April, 2o2o it sheds light on where COVID-related funding has been allocated with roughly 89% of the money going directly to individuals, households and those on the frontline and the remaining 11% going to support environmentally-intensive businesses directly. As a result, the vast majority of the money going to business in the short term could be risking future environmental sustainability.

Find out more. 

Culture of Solidarity Fund

The Culture of Solidarity Fund sought to support cultural initiatives that reinforce European solidarity in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

The spread of COVID-19 across Europe has weakened European unity and solidarity as national governments have stepped forward to deal with the pandemic. The fund created by the European Cultural Foundation seeks to try and reverse this, and capture and encourage the European culture of solidarity by supporting cultural initiatives, big and small that expand the notion of Europe as an open and shared public space for everybody.

The European Cultural Foundation’s Director, André Wilkens outlined his thoughts behind the call, and the need for a new culture of solidarity in his recent blog; “Definitely Maybe: Europe’s moment of solidarity“.

Find out more.

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Tools for Grantmakers

The Ford Foundation has created a toolkit to help funders, organisations and the philanthropic community at large identify and utilise best practices for diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI) related issues.

The toolkit utilises the foundations experiences and case studies to help formulate a guide for grantmaking and draws from four real-life scenarios to help grantmakers and grantees become more adept in establishing processes and policies in their own work. The tools come in the form of three separate guides:

View the guides.

European Social Catalyst Fund

The European Social Catalyst Fund (ESCF), launched in January 2020 at the opening of the exhibition ”Facing Change” in Philanthropy House, will support the development of detailed implementation plans to scale proven social innovations within and across European Member States.

The Fund is envisaged to act as a catalyst to unlock public and private resources (e.g. philanthropy and social investment) to achieve improved outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable people to live as participating and valued members of society. Phase 1 of ESCF will be funded by a combination of the European Commission and philanthropy. The aim of Phase 1 will be to support a range of robust implementation plans for at least five initiatives that, if implemented, will contribute to meeting or reducing key social challenges at national levels and have the potential for shared learning, application and duplication across borders.

Phase 1 is being supported by the European Commission, the DG for Research and Innovation and a consortium of Genio, the King Baudouin Foundation and Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Find out more on the European Social Catalyst Fund.

AI for Health

AI for Health” is a ITU/WHO Focus Group (FG-AI4H) composed of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning specialists, healthcare practitioners and researchers, regulators, ethicists, and social scientists seeking to develop a framework through which AI solutions for health, diagnosis, triage, or treatment decisions can be tested in a standardised manner.

To achieve this objective, FG-AI4H has topic groups representing various areas of health that could benefit from AI solutions such as cardiovascular disease risk prediction, dermatology, and neurological disorders. The group holds workshops/meetings every two months with participation in the workshops/meetings open to all and free-of-charge. The workshop provides an opportunity to engage with local stakeholders and to learn about local-to-regional health priorities.

The focus group is a collaboration of multiple stakeholders and receives support from many organisations including Fondation Botnar and Fraunhofer.

Read more on AI for Health.

A new existence, a new job

A new existence, a new job” is a programme run by Instituut Gak aiming to support the integration of refugees in the Netherlands into the labour market.

According to CBS (2018), it appears that no more than 11% of adult asylum seekers who received a residence permit in 2014, have paid work two and a half years later and this figure stands at 4% for women.

The programme seeks to rectify this by supporting sixteen projects for two years aiming to aid settled asylum seekers in entering the market and offers financial support, knowledge and experience sharing, network support, tools to get the projects of the ground and a mechanism to evaluate the projects and stimulate knowledge development. 

Find out more on ”A new existence, a new job”.

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