The Groundwork Hudson Valley team and I wish you health and safety during this challenging time, and send our love to those of you that have lost loved ones, are caring for loved ones, and are impacted directly by the Coronavirus.
As I reflect on these trying times, and do my very best to keep Groundwork Hudson Valley strong, I keep returning to two core strengths of the human spirit which I know will carry us through this: our hope and our resiliency.
No matter how daunting or terrifying this challenge is, it does not own us. It can never take away our resolute faith, our freedom to respond, our deep well of resilience, and most importantly, our power to take action.
To that end, I am writing to share the actions Groundwork Hudson Valley has taken to be resilient in the face of this crisis:
- Our team is devising ways for Green Team youth to work virtually, developing online sustainability education curricula, and continuing planning and coalition-building for our work along the Saw Mill River, our work on the Yonkers Greenway, and our Climate Safe Neighborhoods work. We are lucky to have staff, partners, and supporters who are incredibly creative and flexible in adjusting to new strategies to reach our ultimate goals.
- We are planning for short term, mid-term, and long term contingencies. We have completed the short term scenario through June, and are currently in process for mid-term planning through September.
- We cut our budget to identify a cost savings of $250,000 on a $1.7 million annual operating budget. We are proud that we were able to identify these savings without impacting staff salaries.
- We are connecting with donors and trusted partners to let them know how much we value their partnership and contribution to our mission. Our supporters have positively responded to this outreach, and have been incredibly flexible in adjusting activities and timelines on grant deliverables. Some have even converted restricted support to general operating support.
- We have developed a matching gift Resiliency Campaign to help weather the Coronavirus uncertainties that will impact our programming in the coming year. We hope the Campaign will provide an additional incentive for contributions to be made earlier in our fiscal year versus later.
- We applied to the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act, which allows for forgivable loans to cover 8 weeks of costs related to payroll, rent, and utilities.
- Though our Yonkers office is closed we are busy working remotely and supporting our community by sharing local emergency relief resources and information.
We are open and eager to hear any additional ideas you have for us to proactively respond to this crisis. We value your insights tremendously.
Your support now is more important than ever. For that reason, our new Resiliency Campaign will match dollar for dollar all contributions up to $100,000 received between now and June 1st. You can double your impact by making a contribution now so we can be creative and nimble in our approach to our community-based programs for the foreseeable future.