COVID-19 Response: What can philanthropy do?


  • Review your sick leave and remote working policies to make sure employees understand their options. Although the state is in the reopening process, every organization is different, and employees who are high risk or caregivers may need to continue to work from home. If your organization works with volunteers, make sure they are also up to date with precautions.
    • Free COVID-19 testing is available. The DHHR website has a list of testing sites HERE, which is updated weekly.
    • If closures or quarantine restrictions result in furloughing or reducing hours for employees, they may be eligible for unemployment benefits, which have been expanded to address COVID-19. There is a general Q&A here, and a more in depth look at the options here.
    • If you are unable to keep employees on your employer health insurance during the crisis, encourage them to look into other options, like the ones explained here.
  • Review your emergency plan, if you have one. If you don’t have a plan yet, take some time to think through what changes your organization would need to make if your community were impacted by a serious outbreak. The CDC has guidance on emergency planning here.
  • Check in with your grantees and try to be flexible. Non-profits are experiencing challenges related to event planning, volunteer management, and other areas of operations, so their plans will change. We’ve provided more detailed suggestions on working with grantees HERE
    • Wondering how COVID-19 is impacting nonprofits? The West Virginia Nonprofit Association has some preliminary data here.
  • Create a COVID-19 emergency fund. We have a list of emergency funds around the state HERE. If you have a fund that we haven’t put on our list yet, please send it to us at so that we can add it.
  • Until schools reopen, we need to ensure that students are able to access food and other resources normally provided by schools. The Department of Education’s list of sites for free meals is here. Consider supporting food banks like Mountaineer Food Bank (here) or Facing Hunger Food Bank (here). There are also many smaller feeding sites around the state, many of which are listed here.
  • If members of your organization are interested in volunteering, Volunteer WV has some safe opportunities, here.
  • With the moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs ending soon, there will be a need for philanthropy to partner with local nonprofits and government agencies to provide direct relief to individuals facing evictions or shutoffs.