Dear Friend of ABF,

I hope that you are holding up and discovering new ways to physically distance while maintaining social connectivity. Personally, I find that the uncertainty and unknown increase my anxiety on a daily basis, and managing that is my challenge. However, I find comfort in knowing that ABF is doing all we can for Minnesota girls.

Over the past three weeks we have all had to navigate new territory, and for ABF that has meant rescheduling our Annual Celebration and making the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 Spring Grant Cycle. This may be especially disappointing for the girls who were in the process of submitting their applications, but it is the right thing to do at this time. My hope is that we will quickly rebound, but my worry is that the recovery will take longer than any of us anticipate.

Nonprofits across the country are struggling with how to continue to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. But among all of the uncertainties, organizations and foundations have expressed a commitment to advancing their mission and serving their constituencies. Like ABF, many may have to pivot in how they reach their goal, but the community is resilient and innovative and will continue to provide resources to those who need them.

Our reality is that many of the activities in which our applicants were hoping to enroll have been postponed indefinitely. Our new Program Director, Donnie, has been thinking about how we pivot to provide needed support to our past grant recipients-our ABF Trailblazers-as well as additional areas of support we can offer as we seek to understand the needs of girls more fully going forward. She sends this message to our ABF Trailblazers:

You are strong and resilient! We have watched you meet and overcome life's challenges with grit, with strength and with grace. While granting is one of the most important ways that we support Minnesota girls like you, we are now building additional resources to strengthen that support. For example, we have compiled a list of COVID-19 related resources that may be helpful for you here , and we will be sending out an invitation to participate in a survey as well as a virtual focus group soon. We invite you to join us as volunteers and committee members (especially our Alumnae Relations Committee) in order to amplify our efforts to support your fellow ABF Trailblazers and the larger community of girls across the state. We hope to hear from and connect (or re-connect) with you soon!

For so many girls, school is the hub of activity. We have received countless calls and emails from our grantees and their allies about activities being canceled due to COVID-19. We are planning to honor the grants awarded in 2019 and we have developed a policy to help grantees retain their awards while navigating these unanticipated changes. Out of an abundance of concern and care for our applicants, we have decided to postpone our Spring 2020 Grant Cycle. We understand that our support is needed and want to be sure that we are showing up for girls in the way they need us to. To that end, we are preparing a survey to learn more about what girls need and will be using that data to inform our granting and programming going forward. Lastly, we will be hosting a number of virtual focus groups and invite you to share your recommendations and insight with us via email through [email protected] .

You know as well as we do that girls will need our support more than ever. With that in mind, we would be honored and deeply grateful if you would consider making a gift to the Ann Bancroft Foundation-giving is easy, and your support of any amount will enable us to respond to the needs of girls as they are identified. For now, we will continue gathering information about how the nonprofit and foundation communities are responding and rallying on behalf of our communities. I don't know what the future holds, but I am confident that we will get to the other side. As we move toward success it will undoubtedly be, in great part, due to you.

On behalf of everyone at the Ann Bancroft Foundation, I thank you for your commitment, and support. Please, stay healthy, stay at home and stay in touch.

Executive Director, Ann Bancroft Foundation
Stay Connected