Adapting and Innovating During COVID-19

May 11, 2020


In February, the GreenLight Fund team came together in Philadelphia for a two-day meeting filled with team building, learning and planning for the year ahead. Soon after, the world changed.

In the early days of this pandemic, we shared how our immediate crisis response was centered on the health, well-being and safety of our staff and active support of our portfolio organizations.

Adapting and Innovating
During this time, each of our sites is adapting, innovating and leaning into GreenLight’s model, mission and unique assets in different ways, resulting in a range of responses to support our local communities.

Actions taken in each community remain the decision of our site executive directors (EDs) as they collaborate with city leaders and residents to determine what is needed locally. Being rooted in community, one of our core values, has always been critical to our model’s effectiveness and will continue to be as we know that each city is unique.

Supporting Portfolio Organizations to Innovate: On-the-ground support to existing portfolio organizations is ongoing and GreenLight is committed to fulfilling the multi-year financial commitments we’ve made.

Local GreenLight sites are leveraging partners, resources and available funding to support portfolio organizations’ innovative COVID-19 initiatives that tackle current, urgent challenges, and to ensure their sustainability.

Adapting Selection Cycles to Fit this Time: With each site at a different stage in their selection cycle, approaches will differ, with some efforts paused while others are accelerated.

EDs are collaborating with local partners to re-examine issue areas and potential solutions given the current crisis in order to focus on what is most relevant and urgent for their communities now.

Sites are holding virtual meetings and proceeding with due diligence remotely as feasible to bring much-needed programs to our cities in the near term.

Sites with a recently completed selection process will launch the selected portfolio organization in their local communities as quickly as possible with innovative approaches.

Sites with a specific, urgent community need where a selection is not already in progress may consider an accelerated selection cycle that adheres to the core aspects of the GreenLight Method and is able to deliver a well-vetted local solution more rapidly with measurable results.

Staying Close to the Community: With our site teams deeply embedded in communities, they are in a unique position to leverage their expertise and networks, connect people and nonprofits with resources and convene local leaders and experts on emerging issue areas.

Some EDs have been consulted in the allocation of response fund grants, others are offering strategic support to local nonprofits that are struggling, others are working alongside local grassroots efforts to support families hardest hit, and all are connecting individuals and organizations with helpful and timely local resources.

Rebuild and Recovery
GreenLight’s community-driven method will be even more critical as we rebuild and recover from this crisis, and our innovative, proven portfolio organizations on the ground will continue to play an instrumental role for so many in their communities. We are committed now and for the long term to working with local communities to bring proven solutions that address critical, unmet needs for children and families in those communities. Work that will be more urgent as a result of this pandemic.