OPEN LETTER TO FUNDERS Spirit of Collaboration URGENT APPEAL TO SUPPORT THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR April 22, 2020 Dear Funders, We are an informal group of 174 nonprofits in Hong Kong, all non-subvented (not subsidised by the government) and exempt from paying tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. We write to you on behalf of the social sector, with an urgent request for help. The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a material impact on Hong Kong, especially on vulnerable and marginalised groups in our community. Many of us took part in a survey in February 2020, which found that, among the 102 nonprofits polled, we support more than 1 million service users each year. The social welfare services sector provides critical programs to these groups, but is facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to funding. Our survey revealed that all 102 nonprofits have experienced a reduction in funding; 63% of the charities have experienced a reduction in funding of at least 30%, with 18% experiencing a reduction of at least 70%. As a result of this reduction in funding, all 102 nonprofits have had to reduce their services. 77% of the nonprofits are now not able to provide services to 30% of their service users, and 48% of the charities are now supporting 70% less service users. This means that approximately 350,000 beneficiaries are unable to access critical services. Some of the reasons for the reduction of funding have come from having to call off fundraising activities indefinitely, particularly events-based activities. Also, grant writing is made more difficult than ever before as we attend to urgent matters stemming from the situation - both in the professional and personal domain. Moreover, a looming economic crisis raises concerns about donations and cash flow from individuals and corporates in the coming months. Our concerns have been shared widely in the media: with the current state of affairs in Hong Kong, the number of marginalised individuals is on the increase. If the nonprofits that serve as a lifeline for these individuals reduce their services or are forced to close, these individuals will lose that crucial support. We are grateful to the HKSAR Government for the inclusive Covid-19 relief package announced on 8 April 2020; this will provide much-needed support over the next six months. Despite this, the nonprofit sector still faces financial challenges and without urgent and concerted action by charitable foundations and the private sector, we know that some nonprofits are facing imminent closure. This is why we, as nonprofit leaders on the frontline, have come together to call for an immediate and strategic response. We know that you understand the gravity of the situation and are looking for the best ways to help. In the spirit of collaboration, we propose the following measures you can take to maximise your impact:
1. Be open-minded and trust us As each nonprofit has a unique vision and mission, our current challenges and needs are different. There can be no one-size-fits-all response, so we ask you to be flexible and open-minded as we all continue to adapt and evolve during ongoing uncertainty. Now, more than ever, we ask for your trust. We will do our best to keep you updated, but if we don’t respond immediately, please be assured that it is because we are putting extra effort to meet the service delivery needs of our beneficiaries. As well as supporting your existing nonprofit partners, be open to helping new nonprofit partners who are facing unprecedented challenges, including considering offering them emergency funding. 2. Be flexible with existing commitments Loosen restrictions or consider converting your support to unrestricted funding: We have been working hard to adapt to the fast evolving situation: for some of us, that has meant postponing planned activities to focus on the new and changing needs of our beneficiaries. For others, it has meant innovating and experimenting with how we run activities and/or creating contingency timelines. Restricted and project-related funding mean that we are financially hamstrung by planned activities, timelines, deliverables and budget restrictions. We ask you to consider converting restricted funding to unrestricted funding; this will give us maximum flexibility to respond to the crisis and still remain agile. Ask your nonprofit partners how funds can best be allocated - whether they be for operating costs or for application towards building a reasonable level of reserves to increase future resilience and sustainability. If you had planned to distribute funding later in the year or after project completion, consider bringing the distribution forward to ease nonprofits’ cash flow. Relax reporting requirements and extend deadlines: Many of us have funding agreements that specify certain deadlines for deliverables, reporting and the spending of funds. Given the postponement or cancellation of activities, and the additional needs of our beneficiaries, these once feasible deadlines may now prove to be a challenge. Please reduce what you ask of nonprofits, consider cancelling or relaxing reporting requirements, and be flexible with funding deadlines so that we can adapt or complete projects. Also keep in mind that, whilst we may not achieve all original deliverables, your support enables us to respond to the urgent and unforeseen needs of communities and teams during this crisis and beyond. 3. Offer assurance by renewing your commitment If you have provided a grant (thank you!), whether one-off or multi-year, and the funding has recently expired or is soon to finish, we urge you to extend your partnerships by another year. We appreciate that this is not business as usual and will require everyone to expand their comfort zones, whether that be relaxing funding term limits, committing unrestricted funding or thinking of, and accepting, creative solutions. But during such an uncertain time and in the face of such an unprecedented situation, your actions will provide huge reassurance, and will promote stability and sustainability, for nonprofits and our beneficiaries.
We understand that you, too, may be facing challenges; if you cannot make a new commitment, at the very least, we ask you not to withdraw existing commitments at this delicate time. We ask that, for funding renewals, you minimise application requirements to free up nonprofits’ resources to focus on the job at hand rather than on paperwork. In addition to funding, lend your voice to advocate for partners’ causes and further support for nonprofits during this crisis. We need champions like you to speak up for the sector. Our request for strengthened partnership echoes calls by nonprofits and the philanthropic community amplified from around the world, and we have already seen leading foundations pledging their support (see references). Now, we invite you to pledge your support for Hong Kong. The double impact of the socio-political unrest and the outbreak of Covid-19, has sent shockwaves through our nonprofit sector and beneficiaries. Yet, we remain resolute in our commitment to help Hong Kong’s most marginalised communities. We hope this letter serves as inspiration whilst you develop your response, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss these suggestions. Most importantly, we look forward to working through this crisis, together, and rebuilding Hong Kong for the better. 尊敬的資助者: 我構所們組是成⼀的群⾮17正4間式未聯有盟享。⽤我政們府謹補代貼表，整並個且社根福據界，《致稅函務給條您例，》望第能88得條到獲緊豁急免援繳助稅。的⾹港⾮政府資助機 新2供的0挑⽀冠20戰援肺年。。炎2⽉社爆參福發加界，⼀⼀對項直整問積個卷極⾹調為港查這造。些成結群重體果⼤提發影供現響重，，要受特服訪別務的是，1社0然2區個⽽中慈，的善我弱團們勢體現及每時邊年卻緣合因化共資群為⾦體超短。過缺我⼀，們百⾯許萬臨多名著機受前構惠所都未者在有提 構不構根更⾯得據中對不調斷削削查近減減顯七⾄其⽰成少服，服三務受務成。訪。經現的這費時10意；，2個味其有慈著中77善本1%8機港慈%約構慈善3⼀善機5致0機構,0認構表00為更⽰名，銳，受他減無惠們⾄法者現少向無時七近法的成三享營資成⽤運⾦服重資。務要⾦由使服都於⽤務⽇資者。朘⾦提⽉短供减缺⽀，。援所當，有中⽽慈6438善%%慈慈機善善構機機都 減我動加之少們困憂難需資慮。要⾦。此的處外理其因，中迫疫⼀情在些引原眉因睫起來的的⾃緊經機急濟危構事必宜機須，亦挑無無論限起期各是取社在專福消籌業機構款領活域對動抑未，來或數個尤⽉⼈其是，領以域來⾃項上個，⽬摘⼈為寫及本企撥的業款活申動的。請捐都款此外⽐和以，現往⾦由流於更 資得他我助知們們，⾹的的我港⾮憂們特政慮是區已府⾮政廣資常府助泛歡在機在迎2構媒0的體削20。減上年流服4⽉務傳8，。⽇據甚提⾹⾄出港被的⽬迫保關前就閉狀業況，計這顯劃些⽰能，⼈為邊將有緣失迫去化切尤⼈需如⼠要「的的救數⾮⽬⽣政有圈府」上資升般助重趨機勢要構的。提若社供⼀福六援直個協助⽉助。的 各機雖紓緩構界然⽅的⽴如法即緊此。急，採本⽀社取著各援福攜項界，⼿資仍將合⾦⾯⾯作援臨對精即財助神時措政，倒挑施我戰。閉們我。。希據們故望我相此您們，信能了您作採已解為取前了，以部解線下⾮現分措牟時⾮施情政利，況府機為的構資社迫的助福機領切界袖和構帶嚴，若來未我重最能們性⼤，需獲程並得要度正慈⿑的在善⼼正基協尋⾯⾦找⼒幫會呼最助和籲有：私效社⼈會的
1. 以開明的態度相信我們 於由任伴明不之。付於可朗時能我的每出，們有情更個不⾮會多⼀況忘盡汗牟下個向，⽔利萬⼒其為全機我，他構們您的拼現都仍解提盡正有決供全會⾯⽅最繼其⼒臨地獨新案續前資特竭，滿所⾜因盡訊的未此；受所願有惠景能但我挑適們者和是戰的使應懇如的和需命求若新，您求蛻果夥能所變。我伴在。以以們施靈現我此未以們活在，能援我，當和做⼿們前我開到，放懇們⾯即包求的⽐對時括的您態以回考在挑往度應慮⽀與戰任，為持我何和請他現們需時不們候有合求要注都的作各擔⼊更。有⾮⼼緊即渴牟不，急利使同求此資得。⾯機因⾦對到構世我。界合持您們的作上久正信夥不並忙 2. 靈活履⾏現有承諾 放各應包上為作寛括付受機⾮夥限如指受到構伴制何已定惠⼀詢或推⼈⽤納直問考動努⼠途⼊分慮活⼒，的計配將動使各適劃資您及種的機應⾦的/構新瞬活的或⽀需動能息最建持最求萬、佳⽴轉。變⼤時策應換對程間的略急為度於形表−時⾮−、其地勢間指不他。成靈表定論果機對活。⽤他某構和運當途們來⽤些預機資是機算資說構⾦⽤限⾦，構⾯：作，制⽽則對營代的⾔迅與運阻速表，項成這應他礙⽬本意對。們相，需我危味關還要著們機的是懇。需接資⽤我請受要⾦於林您們延受建林建辦考限⽴議已慮總時合總計您將，理的劃不指這⽔⾰妨定好意平新⽤的向味的⾮和活途著儲牟考的動他備，利驗資們在基，⾦機以財⾦當專構轉務，中注合換 這均有效提⾼其未來服務項⽬的彈性和可持續性。 放我現了彈管⽇寬後時我們社性報應們福許不更告對機改少多的社要活⼀機資構區求構⼤助未動和並挑被項早能團延戰迫按⽬前隊⻑。推都所的截不我遲有完跟⽌可原資們或結⽇預⽇定助建取⾒期者消議期計之：劃，達資，緊助成以，以急者及協取便需能議部得我求降分相們，。仔低更關服容細對成務果列受易⾮牟明惠適，遞利者應但或您正機交完的索構成取成的慷果慨要⽬額有求外關標⽀，援項、持包⽬匯助卻可。括報，和考帶這此資些領外慮，我⾦取早期⽀們消我們或在可出還放⾏的這的危懇截寬急期⽌報請您限⽇關告條明現期頭在件⽩，。，，鑑已以於並成及儘 3. 承諾延⻑資助項⽬ 提供更有⼒的⽀援保證 如將果於您近已期向約⾮滿津或助即⾮將政到府期機，構我提們供懇⼀請次您性能或延數⻑年合的作資關助係(⾄我最們少在⼀此年先。表基⽰於感現激時不情盡況）與，往⽽常有甚關為資不助同項，⽬ 我慮嚴峻們並的接真情誠納勢希創，新望您您的的解能⾏決助動我⽅將案們為，彈我性均們對處及我理受們項惠⽬有者所及提服幫供務助巨。。⼤在不保這論證是充，滿放並未寬促知資進⾦數我期的們時限的期、穩提，定各供和⼤⾮可機指持定構續⽤迫性於途發資⾯展⾦對。，如抑此空或考前 我時源意⾒們投刻，理放，倡解於撤導回您⼿合亦現頭作有上可夥承能的伴諾正項進。⽬⾯⼀對我和步各們服⽀⼤務懇持請，挑⾮您⽽戰牟⾮。在利延如⽂機續書果構您資⼯。作助現我時上合們未作。需除項能要了⽬作像注時出您⼊，新這的盡資樣承⾦量的諾降外同，，低⾏申您我者們還請為希可要社以求望福您，在界⾄這讓別少場⾮發不牟危聲利要機。中機在表構這能達個艱將個難⼈資 承關我諾倡們守⼀議護向已⾹促在港全請。加球得強與到廣商泛企傳之間播，的夥我們伴已合作經看關到係某，這些基與時⾦下會先⾮牟鋒利承組諾提織供和⽀慈持善。團現體在的，呼籲我們互相誠邀呼您應⼀。有同
社們初有會⼼機，政會治致與⼒動您幫盪討和助論處新這冠於些肺⾹建港炎議最爆。發邊最緣的重化雙要重的的社影是響區，，。我對我們們社期希福待界望與及這您封相⼀關信同服能昂務在⾸受您跨惠作過出者是回構次成應危衝時機起擊，。啟共發可同作是重，⽤整我，⾹們也港仍期。望堅我守 簽署SIGNED BY ⾃強協會1st Step Association Empower Asia Services Limited Action Care International Limited ⾹港啟迪會End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation 加油⾹港基⾦Agent of Change Foundation Enlighten Hong Kong Limited AIDS Concern Enrich HK AnAn International Education Foundation Hong Kong Eye Fund (Charity) Ltd. Fair Employment Foundation Angels for Children Limited 維護家庭基⾦Families of SMA Charitable Trust Animals Asia Foundation Family Value Foundation of Hong Kong Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong Feeding Hong Kong Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants Food Angel Asian Charity Services Foodlink Foundation Ltd ⾹港地球之友Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women Friends of the Earth (HK) Association of World Citizens Hong Kong China 環保觸覺Gateway Services Asia Ltd. BEYOND Bollywood Limited Green Sense BLOOM Hong Kong Greeners Action Boötes - Cultural Cooperatives Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong Branches of Hope HandsOn Hong Kong Hebe Haven Sailability Trust 書伴我⾏（⾹港）Bring Me a Book Hong Kong CarbonCare InnoLab Heifer Hong Kong CareER Association Ltd. HER Fund Centre for Restoration of Human Relationships HeroesToo Foundation Limited Chain of Charity Movement ⾹港愛滋病基⾦會HK Saving Cat and Dog Association Limited (HKSCDA) Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer's Disease Hong Kong AIDS Foundation Chatteris Educational Foundation Hong Kong Alliance for Rare Diseases ChickenSoup Foundation Children Chiropractic Foundation 礙症協會 ⾹港認知障Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association Children’s Medical Foundation Hong Kong Association for AD/HD Christian Action Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation CNEC Kei Shek Social Service Centre Hong Kong Children's Discovery Museum CODA Hong Kong Hong Kong Christian Counseling Service Community Business Limited Community Drug Advisory Council 利委員會 ⾹港兒童權Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights Compassion Revival Ltd. Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR) CROSSROADS FOUNDATION LTD Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association Design Trust an initiative of the Hong Kong Hong Kong Network for the Promotion of Ambassadors of Design Inclusive Society Dialogue in the Dark (HK) Foundation Limited Hong Kong New Immigrant Service Association Direction Association for the Handicapped Hong Kong Paws Foundation Doctor BB Hong Kong Prostate Foundation Early Psychosis Foundation ⾹港造⼝⼈協會Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services Limited 環保⽣態協會Eco Association Ltd Hong Kong Stoma Association Employees' Safety, Training & Rehabilitation Services Hong Kong Unison Limited Limited Hong Kong Women Workers' Association
Hong Kong Workers' Health Centre The Bethune House Migrant Women's Refuge Hope Worldwide The Center for Research and Development Hong Kong ImpactHK Limited The Child Development Centre Inner City Ministries The Comfort Care Concern Group InspiringHK Sports Foundation The Conservancy Association Institute of Integrated Rural Development, Hong Kong The Elephant Foundation International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) The Fred Hollows Foundation International Tin Lang Ministry Ltd. The Green Earth JA Asia Pacific Limited The Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society Junior Achievement Hong Kong The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society Justice Centre Hong Kong The Hong Kong Joint Council of Parents of the Mentally KELY SUPPORT GROUP Handicapped Kids4Kids Limited The Hub Children and Youth Centre Limited ⽣命⼯場Labour Education and Service Network Ltd. The Mekong Club The New Voice Club of Hong Kong Life Workshop Lifelong Animal Protection Charity The Samaritans Love 21 Foundation Limited The Sovereign Art Foundation The Zubin Foundation 願望成真基⾦Make-A-Wish Hong Kong Mental Health Foundation Time Auction MFMW Limited (Mission for Migrant Workers) Tin Shui Women Association Ltd Mind Hong Kong TREATS United Social Services Centre 新福事⼯協會Mission To New Arrivals Limited Neighbourhood & Worker's Education Centre Viva Network (Hong Kong) Limited New Territories Association Retraining Centre VolTra OCD & Anxiety Support Hong Kong Well Family Charity Foundation Limited Outward Bound Hong Kong 婦⼥服務聯會Women in Finance Asia Limited PathFinders Limited Women Service Association ⺠社服務中⼼People Service Centre 基督教互愛中⼼World Green Organisation PILnet Hong Kong Wu Oi Christian Centre Plan International Hong Kong YWAM Tuen Mun 中華傳道會基⽯社會服務中⼼Playright Children's Play Association 肺積塵互助會 勵智協進會Pneumoconiosis Mutual Aid Association 基恩之家Premiere Performances of Hong Kong Limited Blessed Ministry Community Church 基督教九⿓五旬節會粉嶺堂家庭服務部Produce Green Foundation ⾹港醫藥援助會 堅毅忍者。障殘⼈⼠國際互助協會Project Concern Hong Kong ⼤埔浸信會社會服務處Rainbow Project Company Limited 天⽔圍社區發展網絡Redress 恩光社會服務中⼼Resolve Foundation ⽅⾈協會RUN Hong Kong 沙⽥婦⼥會RunOurCity Foundation Limited 籽識慈善基⾦有限公司Soap Cycling Limited 藝造⼈才Sow Charity Foundation 露宿者⾏動委員會Splash Foundation ⾹港婦聯Summerbridge Hong Kong ⾹港肌健協會有限公司SUNSHINE ACTION ⾹港⻑者協會Sustainable Ecological Ethical Development Foundation Teach For Hong Kong Teen's Key - Young Women Development Network CONTACT US: Limited The Amber Foundation Limited [email protected]
REFERENCES Alex Daniels, \"9 Leading Nonprofit Groups Urge Foundations to Dig Into Endowments to Support Charities\", The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2 April 2020, available at: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/9-Leading-Nonprofit-Groups/248408 Antony Bugg-Levin, “6 Steps for Grant Makers to Take Now to Ensure Nonprofits Recover from Coronavirus Spread”, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 9 March 2020, available at: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Coronavirus-6-Steps-for-Grant/248202 CIVICUS, \"Open letter: Donors and supporters must act to ensure civil society resilience against COVID-19 pandemic\", 19 March 2020, available at: https://www.civicus.org/index.php/media- resources/media-releases/open-letters/4346-open-letter-donors-and-supporters-must-act-to- ensure-civil-society-resilience-against-covid-19-pandemic Community Foundations of Canada, \"A COVID-19 Statement from CFC, PFC, EFC, and The Circle on Supporting Grantees\", 26 March 2020, available at: https://www.communityfoundations.ca/news/a-covid-19-statement-from-cfc-pfc-efc-and-the- circle-on-supporting-grantees/ Council on Foundations, “A Call to Action: Philanthropy’s Commitment During COVID-19”, March 2020, available at: https://www.cof.org/news/call-action-philanthropys-commitment-during- covid-19 Ford Foundation, “A Message of Support for Our Grantees”, 16 March 2020, available at: https://www.fordfoundation.org/ideas/equals-change-blog/posts/a-message-of-support-for-our- grantees/ Global Fund for Women, “COVID-19: Statement of Solidarity and Call for Funder Flexibility”, March 2020, available at: https://www.globalfundforwomen.org/covid-19-call-for-solidarity- funder-flexibility/ Knowlton, Claire, \"Why Grantmakers Need to Break Their Restriction Habit—Permanently\", Nonprofit Quarterly, 17 April 2020, available at: https://nonprofitquarterly.org/why-grantmakers- need-to-break-their-restriction-habit-permanently/ Laura Pierce, “An Open Letter to Funders Regarding Coronavirus Response”, Washington Nonprofits, 13 March 2020, available at: https://washingtonnonprofits.org/open-letter-to- funders/ London Funders, \"Funder Statement on Covid-19\", March 2020, available at: https://londonfunders.org.uk/about/covid-19 McCambridge, Ruth, “Time for Philanthropy to Double Down in Response to COVID-19”, 18 March 2020, available at: https://nonprofitquarterly.org/time-for-philanthropy-to-double-down- in-response-to-covid-19/ M.J. Prest, \"Foundations Invite Proposals for Rapid-Response Grants (Coronavirus Roundup)\", The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 6 April 2020, available at: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Foundations-Invite-Proposals/248432 Victoria Vrana, “Funders: Now Is the Time for True Grantee Partnership”, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2020, available at: https://blog.candid.org/post/funders-now-is-the-time-for- true-grantee-partnership