Ideas and Impact

Philanthropy and COVID-19

Like people across the country and around the world, the team at Arabella Advisors is committed to fighting COVID-19, flattening the curve, and saving lives in the many communities we serve. As we help our clients navigate their philanthropic responses and move more resources to those in need, we have created the following materials to share. If you have any questions or wish to share your own ideas and resources, please contact us at

Looking Toward Philanthropy’s New Future

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, many foundations have moved quickly, removing restrictions on existing grants, contributing to (or standing up) emergency response funds, and looking to serve those in need. Even as they do, a rapidly changing reality leads us to ponder four questions: 1. How will we meet an explosion of individual needs, especially for those most vulnerable? 2. How will our nonprofit partners survive? 3. Who will fill the gaps government leaves? And 4. Who will continue to innovate?

We invite you to read, think, and start a conversation with us about how philanthropy can effectively respond to COVID-19.

Responding Now to Build a More Equitable Future: Four Opportunities for Philanthropy

Senior director Loren McArthur looks at opportunities for funders responding to COVID-19 to support advocacy efforts designed to save lives, strengthen communities, and build equity, both in this moment and for the future. He examines ways in which philanthropy can strengthen the nation’s safety net, expand health care and paid time off to more Americans, ensure safe and democratic elections, and fight fear-mongering, scapegoating, and misinformation.

Click here to read the article on our blog.

How Impact Investors Can Respond to COVID-19

Impact investing can be a powerful tool for philanthropists, and that remains true during the pandemic. Two of Arabella’s impact investing experts, Alexandra LaForge and Cyrus Kharas, offer insights and considerations for those who may not be sure how best to leverage the tools of impact investing in such a crisis.

Click here to read the article on our blog.

Philanthropy Should Support Frontline Workers During Pandemic and Beyond

Published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, this article by Arabella senior managing director Gwen Walden and founder Eric Kessler examines ways in which philanthropy can provide immediate as well as long-term support for frontline heroes working in healthcare, food systems, day care and education, safety net services, and small businesses.

Click here to read the article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

In Moments Like These, Keep Listening and Learning 

We can’t learn the lessons of this crisis (or any other) unless we take time to listen, both to the data and to the voices of those most impacted. Here our head of evaluation, Julie Slay, reflects on the need to listen and learn even as we respond quickly in the context of COVID-19. 

Click here to read the article on our blog.

Ensuring Equitable Governance of COVID-19 Response Initiatives 

Reflecting on lessons our team has recently learned about embedding equity in governance (available here), Jessyca Dudley and Jessica Robinson Love consider the most current case in point: COVID-19 response. They note that, as we seek to move quickly to respond to COVID-19, we may risk deepening existing inequities if we fail to address underlying power structures and inequities.   

Click here to read the article on our blog. 

Supporting CDFIs to Build a More Equitable Post-COVID Economy 

In the wake of the current pandemic, philanthropy has an extraordinary opportunity to help steer the nation toward a more equitable economic future (see “An Economy for All”). Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) can play a crucial part in this essential work, but they need philanthropy’s help. 

Click here to read the article on our blog. 

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