Unity Foundation COVID-19 Response UPDATE 4/15/20
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 those we serve. Here is what we have done and plan to do
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1. We activated our La Porte County Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, which people can contribute to via
check, direct deposit, wire or on-line. We encourage donors to support charities directly, but if you like
what Unity does, we will effectively deploy funds at the right time. There are no fees, (except credit card)
and it is not endowed meaning funds can be used immediately. Visit:
2. We made proactive grants to several frontline organizations to get ‘early’ money to them for food &
supplies, while other funding sources were gearing up.
3. We are partnering with fellow funders such as the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, United Way of La
Porte County, Duneland Health Council and others, including our regional community foundations. Our
goal is to avoid duplication, and to coordinate and simplify grantmaking, reporting and delivery of the
funds – for everyone. Much can be found at: https://hflaporte.org/covid-19-resources/
4. Unity is staffing a newly deployed Volunteer Hub, using existing resources from United Way and HFL. It
connects potential volunteers with organizations for virtual or physical help. Visit:
5. We have 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.
6. 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 you to connect with us.
Non-profit Support & Grantmaking:
7. We gave our 2019 Power for Good Grantees the option to divert any unused grant funds to crisis
8. 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
9. We will re-tool our annual Power for Good community grant program, which would have opened on April
1st We will share updates on our website and social media channels as decisions are made around what
we believe will be a long duration crisis.
10. 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, many charitable causes, and for the ever-changing community needs…like this crisis. We are
reviewing all of our resources as we determine the most impactful ways to serve the community’s needs of today,
tomorrow and into the future. Together, we are a Power for Good.
Unity is proud to have Jon Gilmore, President and CEO of Tonn & Blank Construction, serve as our Board Chairman. Tonn & Blank developed and implemented plans to support the hospitals and staff by the refocusing and repurposing of their resources. And...