SOUTHERN PARTNERS FUND
Democratic Philanthropy in Action
Southern Partners Fund’s core value of democratic philanthropy is incorporated in its response to COVID-19. Its COVID-19 grantmaking committee consists entirely of people of color rural grassroots community leaders from the states eligible to receive COVID-19 funds. These folks continue to have a profoundly deep understanding of communities experiencing the greatest needs and which community organizations have the capacity to meet those needs.
SPF COVID-19 grants are funded through its Justice Fund for Disaster Relief and Renewal, formed to heal the devastation following hurricanes Katrina and Rita and has continued funding similar relief efforts with each subsequent calamity.
Many of our disaster fund grantees have qualified for COVID-19 grants. They are already a vital part of emergency management systems in SPF’s 12-state region. They have compiled community profile data that includes names and ages of each household member, their doctors, medicines, medical conditions, nearest relatives, important phone numbers, transportation needs, and other pertinent information that will help facilitate wholeness after a disaster.
SPF grantees are connecting government agencies at local, state, and national levels to vulnerable populations, lobbying for test kits and protective gear for healthcare workers. They are helping rural small town and county governments to ask state health departments and FEMA the right questions, and to demand services be provided in their towns and counties. They are forming partnerships with local rural hospitals, helping them identify state and federal funds they need in order to stay open so they can serve grantee communities.