During this unprecedented time, Unity Foundation is transforming how we meet our mission of strengthening La Porte County now and forever. Through a lot of listening, learning and collaboration, we’re taking action to support and strengthen those we serve. We wanted to take a minute to share with you what we have done and plan to do.
For the health of our employees and community, Unity staff began working remotely on March 12, and are able to communicate via email and phone. We welcome all emails and calls from you. We activated our La Porte County Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, which people can contribute to via check, direct deposit, wire or on-line here. We encourage donors to support charities directly, but if you like what Unity does, you can use us to effectively deploy funds. This fund has no fees, (except credit card) and is not endowed.
We were able to make proactive grants to several frontline organizations to get early money to them for food & supplies, while other funding sources were gearing up. We are partnering with fellow funders such as the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, United Way of La Porte County, Duneland Health Council and our regional community foundations. Our goal is to avoid duplication, and to coordinate and simplify grantmaking, reporting and delivery of the funds – for everyone.
We’ve increased our support of the HOME Team of La Porte County. The goal is to save lives by avoiding large scale homelessness and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst those already homeless. La Porte County has an amazing group of leaders and funders on this front.
We gave our 2019 Power for Good Grantees the option to divert any unused grant funds to crisis response. We will re-tool our annual Power for Good community grant program, which would have opened on April 1. We will share updates our website and social media channels as decisions are made around what we believe will be a long duration crisis.
Unity did not cut our endowment fund spend rate. Unity staff expedited the distribution of all our Agency funds payouts. The timing couldn’t be better as they worry about their very existence. It is interesting to note that the average spendable amount for our non-profits is less than $6,000, which was already in their budgets. Unity gives over $200,000 in scholarships annually. Our scholarships and the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship will continue for 2020.
Over the past 27 years, Unity has supported La Porte County and its organizations through many challenges by being flexible, nimble and responsive. We are grateful to our generations of donors who had the vision to start funds for nonprofits, charitable causes, and for ever-changing community needs like this. We are reviewing all of our resources as we determine the most impactful ways to serve communities needs of today, tomorrow and into the future. Together, we are a Power for Good.