Updated March 30, 2020
Gates Family Foundation is committed to helping our staff and their families, our partners, and our community stay healthy by doing what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To help mitigate the impact of this evolving public health crisis, we have implemented a number of precautionary policies that impact our staff, partners, and office guests. (Please see below for details.)
In addition, our staff is working closely with our board and partners in the philanthropic community to participate in coordinated, statewide response — while also considering a range of ways to work with our current grantees and community partners to directly support immediate and longer-term community needs:
- Applications Now Open for Statewide COVID-19 Response Fund; Gates Commits $250,000
- We expect to announce a number of additional COVID-19 response grants from Gates in the coming weeks.
- We do not expect any delays in pending grant applications that were submitted for decision at our April 9 board meeting.
We will keep this page updated with any developments. Below are our current office policies and operations, in support of social distancing.
- Gates office: The Gates Family Foundation office has been closed since Friday, March 13. Unfortunately, meetings scheduled by our partners that were to take place at the Gates office must be relocated until further notice.
- Gates staff contacts and meetings: Currently, Gates staff members are conducting all work remotely. Individual staff members are equipped to host virtual meetings via Zoom, and we encourage you to reach us by email or phone during this period. Our staff contact information is here. Messages left on our office numbers are being redirected to email, so please allow time for response.
- Grant requests pending for April 9 board meeting: The April 9 Gates board meeting will proceed as planned — held virtually. As usual, Gates staff members will notify applicants of board decisions following the meeting. If the situation changes, our staff will let applicants know directly.
- Capital grant requests submitted by March 15: If you applied for a capital grant in our spring review cycle (deadline of March 15), please be aware that we are monitoring the rapidly evolving public health situation to determine the best course of action. If we proceed with capital grant reviews as planned, it’s likely that Gates staff will limit site visits, or conduct applicant meetings virtually. We also may work with individual applicants to determine if it’s possible (or preferred) to defer to a later cycle. Our primary objective is to be responsive to the evolving and urgent needs of our grantees, frontline community partners, and the public health system.
- Gates Fellowship applicants: Harvard University is taking its own precautions to help limit the spread of COVID-19. As of March 16, Harvard is continuing its review of Gates Fellows and plans to follow the normal admissions process for executive education summer programs. If anything changes, applicants will be notified directly by Harvard and/or Gates.
- Staff travel: Staff have eliminated work-related and discretionary personal travel. Any employees undertaking personal travel to areas with significant exposure to the virus may be asked to self-quarantine before returning to work.
- Office mail and response time: While Gates staff is working from home, please realize that we will only be visiting the office periodically to gather mail and package deliveries. Office phones are being redirected to staff email. Please bear with us, and use staff email or mobile phone numbers for the quickest response.
We hope these precautionary measures will be helpful to our staff, partners, and community, and we will keep this page updated with any new developments. If you have feedback or questions, please email Carol Menard at firstname.lastname@example.org.