No words can adequately describe what is happening at this moment - both here at home in North Carolina, and all around the world. As we are faced with evolving uncertainty, we wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you - our partners - recognizing the gravity of this situation for grantees, for the communities you serve, and for each of you as individuals. While the immediate challenges are still mounting, and the long-term impacts are unclear, we are committed to helping you weather what lies ahead. We are in this together.
To begin, we want to let you know what steps we're taking in the interest of public health, business continuity, and community support.
- Consistent with the recommendations of public health and state officials, all members of our staff are working remotely, in support of social distancing efforts; however, we are fully open for business. We welcome your calls, your emails, and your video chats.
- Related, we have suspended all travel and restricted meeting attendance. We look forward to hitting the road in the months ahead and seeing you again in person soon.
- We know that for many of you, your work brings you to the front lines, but in cases where you have options to implement social distancing or other measures to 'flatten the curve', we encourage you to do so. The State of North Carolina is doing a great job providing updated information and resources.
Secondly, we are in the midst of internal discussions about ways we can support you directly. We recognize your operations could be adversely affected - from a business standpoint if you rely on earned income, from a workforce standpoint as employees face workplace disruption and manage challenges in their own lives, and because of shifting priorities related to mission.
- To this end, we are reducing our normal reporting requirements on existing grants from now until June. While we still welcome your report - if you are able provide it - we will not require regular grant reports, including financial reviews, prior to making payments due between now and June 30.
- If you have a project grant, please know that we are flexible. You may need to reallocate time and resources away from the work you are currently doing with our grant funds to respond to emerging community or organizational needs. This may be as simple as reallocating a budget item to increase staff capacity to work remotely, or more substantial re-allocations that would cause you to spend down your grant significantly ahead of the planned end date. Regardless, we encourage you to do what you need to do to support your organization and the communities you serve. To that end, please send a brief email to your program officer outlining the budget adjustments you'd like to make, and we can handle the administrative processing from there.
Lastly, we're considering how we can further support both grantees and other organizations across the state as they respond to immediate needs and chart a long-term course to recovery in our state. We are in communication with other health funders and anticipate we will collaborate with them to leverage shared resources and promote greater impact. We welcome your input on what this might mean for your organization - what impacts you are anticipating and what type of support you may need.
If you have questions, concerns, or simply want to connect, please don't hesitate to reach out to your program officer, or any member of the team.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation Team