On April 3, the COVID-19 Emergency Campaign passed its initial goal of $750,000 when the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s Women’s Giving Circle decided to donate $18,000 to the crisis campaign after an emotional phone call.
“It was a beautiful, thoughtful and tearful experience,” says Wendy Kahn, who both staffs and participates in the giving circle. “We all should be proud – they would not have made the decision to shift if it were not for the trust they have in all of the work we are doing and how magnificently we have pivoted and responded in the face of this crisis.”
The Women’s Giving Circle had just accepted grant requests for 2020 and was about to conduct site visits when the pandemic altered reality.
“To that end, the members of the giving circle unanimously decided to both honor and acknowledge the fact that each woman has made a financial commitment to the giving circle to her best capacity with the expectation that her funds would impact the Portland Jewish community,” says Kahn, JFGP associate director of financial resource development. “The women understand that the agendas of the agencies who submitted grant requests were for growth and development and of a different time. The impact we want to make is through the Emergency Fund with the understanding that crises like these are what Federation is set up for, and we want to help the community in this time and then look forward to returning to our regular grant-making process next fall.”