Episcopal Impact Fund, the outreach arm of the Diocese of California, announces Covid-19 Pandemic Response

Posted on April 7, 2020. Updated on April 7, 2020

“I'm sitting here in shock and gratitude. We have whole families that have lost their work. Thank you again. May God bless the Episcopal Impact Fund team.” – Rev. Anna Lange-Soto, Missioner, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Episcopal Impact Fund has more than doubled its annual granting in response to the pandemic and quickly pushed out funding, dispensing with its usual grant process.

Episcopal Impact Fund has donated to the discretionary fund of each congregation in the Diocese to be given to people who find themselves suddenly needing shelter or food because their paychecks have stopped. This grass roots approach honors the deep connection clergy have with their local communities and allows an immediate response to pressing needs.

Episcopal Impact Fund has also set up a rapid response fund to help nonprofits providing safety net services who are facing a triple threat of increased costs, more people to serve, and often cancelled fundraisers. Grantees from this fund have included:

  • Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, which has served recent immigrants to San Francisco for 125 years, and reports that as many of 300 of their families will run out of food within a week.
  • Episcopal Community Services, the largest houser of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, has asked for help housing their essential workers who are afraid to go home at end of each exhausting shift because they live with elderly parents or family members who have compromised immune systems.
  • Gilead House, in Marin County, which provides transitional supportive housing to single mothers and their children has asked for help meeting their budget following the cancellation of its annual fundraiser.
  • All Souls Episcopal Church in Berkeley to expand its feeding program.
  • Abundant Grace, Coastside Worker on the Peninsula, to provide cash and food aid to very low-income people.

Finally, for those organizations with which Episcopal Impact Fund has a current granting relationship, Episcopal Impact Fund has relaxed any restrictions on how its grant can be used, allowing nonprofits to prioritize their most critical needs in this unprecedented time.

Executive Director Kathleen Piraino commented, “I have never been prouder of our board and staff than when we decided that we had to act boldly and take financial risks by greatly exceeding our normal granting budget – in fact more than doubling it. As the great teacher Hillel said, “If not now, when?”