As the coronavirus crisis has escalated in recent days, our team has been closely monitoring the situation and assessing its potential impact on philanthropy across the country. The health and well-being of our donor clients, their trusted advisors as well as our staff and various partners and stakeholders, is our top priority in the face of this unprecedented situation.
So, how will this COVID-19 pandemic impact your Canada Gives Foundation account and your philanthropic work? The answer is not at all. It’s business as usual here at Canada Gives thanks to recent investments in digital technology such as advanced servers and work-flow platforms that allow us to work remotely. However, we have introduced several new policies to align with the government’s request to implement and promote workplace social distancing measures. Those include:
- Cancelling all in-person client and stakeholder meetings until further notice
- Cancelling all business travel for the time being
- Enhancing digital file transfer capabilities to ensure complete business continuity
With history as a guidepost, we know that all crises eventually come to the end—as will this one. As a charity that’s been working with philanthropists for more than 14 years, we’ve seen severe market shocks before. The financial crisis of 2008-09 was a challenge for us all, yet we managed to fully recover. We’re confident this time will be the same.
The obvious difference with the current challenge is the seriousness of the public health concern around COVID-19’s rapid spread and the uncertainty it has created. An intense social media cycle that allows for the lightning-fast sharing of information has also changed the way we perceive and address challenges such as this one.
It’s important to note that even in challenging times, Canada Gives’ flexible model allows you to continue supporting your preferred charitable causes however and whenever you choose. Many organizations are going to need added support as the pandemic widens and financial resources become challenged across the economy. That creates an opportunity to leverage your foundation to continue giving back to the community to create positive, lasting change.
We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and will keep you updated on any changes to our business practices. At this point, we don’t see any need to adjust those policies in the near term. We will continue to communicate with you over the phone or using video conferencing platforms for the time being until authorities lift social-distancing regulations and restrictions. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected], or to a member of our team at any time.
We’re living in uncertain times, but rest assured the Canada Gives team remains as committed as ever to helping you achieve your philanthropic goals.
Denise Castonguay, Executive Director and CEO