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Kresge commits to full flexibility for grantees and partners during COVID-19

COVID-19, From the President


As COVID-19 accelerates into every corner of our nation, we find ourselves face-to-face with a challenge unlike any in our lifetimes. But rather than yield to fatalism and inertia, community after community in America has begun to draw on deep reservoirs of the kind of courage, creativity, and fortitude that will be required to get to the other side. A foundation like Kresge must do everything in its power to affirm, support, and fortify your resolve and enhance your capacity to endure and prevail.

A moment like this casts in bright relief that our mission to expand opportunity in American cities and to protect the health, wellness and welfare of the least fortunate among us has never been more important.

Viewed from the ground-up, that mission can fully meet the magnitude of the challenge only if we extend to you on the front lines of social change full flexibility to do what you believe is best for those you serve. You’ve conveyed that to us and to philanthropy at large with absolute clarity. We need to respond in kind. Here is our commitment to our grantees:

  • If you need flexibility during a cash-flow crisis, we will convert restricted funding to general operating support;
  • We will suspend grantee reporting requirements and site visits for the foreseeable future;
  • We will expedite grant approvals and amendments; and
  • We will permit those who have been forced to cancel events to retain and re-purpose the funding we have made in support of those activities.

This may not be the full answer for some of you. And there may be other steps we can take that would be equally beneficial. We strongly encourage you to be in touch in either case. Please contact your Kresge program officer to discuss how we can be of deepest service to you.

Regardless of need and how these options may be of interest to our partners individually, we are committed to listening with compassion and respect, and will communicate actionable messages with clarity and assurance – leaving no ambiguity about what we propose to do in partnership with you.

Yours in safety and good health,

Rip Rapson
President & CEO
The Kresge Foundation