Needs and Responses

Innovation and Startups


Startups face all the same challenges more established nonprofits face as a result of the coronavirus and its economic impact: difficulty continuing operations (including holding fundraising events) under quarantine/social distancing restrictions; reduced philanthropic resources; potential decline in fee-for-service revenues (as a result of social distancing and economic downturn) and the risk of being considered nonessential during a period of heightened human service needs.

But as young and small organizations they have unique vulnerabilities:

  • They are less likely to have savings or reserve funds.
  • They may already rely on a very small group of funders – and not be well-known or have brand recognition beyond this founding circle of patrons.
  • As fledgling organizations with bare-bones budgets and staffs, they have few options for further budget cuts.

According to Upstart, which helps support the Jewish innovation sector, innovators need:

  • emergency financial support due to immediate loss of fundraising and earned-income programming;
  • support for alternative program delivery
  • operational guidance support


Upstart has created a Jewish Innovator Payroll Relief Fund. The fund, for members of Upstart’s Venture Accelerator Cohort or its Venture Accelerator Network, will provide grants of up to $25,000 and may cover up to 75 percent of a venture’s payroll and benefits for three months. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak will cause a decrease in revenue between February -June 2020; must have a current fiscal year budget of $150,000-$5 million; and must have a “track record of accomplishment and potential to grow and thrive post-crisis.”


Service for a Strong Future

Service for a Strong Future

Date and time - Tuesday, June 23
1:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern

Source - JFN webinar
June 23

Where is the Impact Investing in the Time of COVID-19?

Description - Op-Ed

Source - Inside Philanthropy
June 4

Pearlstone Retreat Center to Reduce Workforce by 75%

Description - News article

Source - Jewish Telegraphic Agency
June 4

Unlocking the Future of Jewish Engagement: Study of Jewish Young Adults

Description - Report

Source - Berman Jewish Policy Archive
Spring 2020

A ‘Super Fund’ Aims to Keep Jewish Nonprofit World From Sinking

Description - News article

Source - New York Jewish Week
June 2

Jewish Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Why It Is Key to Our Recovery

Jewish Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Why It Is Key to Our Recovery

Source - JFN webinar
May 27

May All Who are Hungry Come and Eat: Jewish Community Farming in the Face of Coronavirus

Description - Article

Source - eJewish Philanthropy
May 20

How to Assess Adaptive Capacity, a Critical Part of Responding to Coronavirus

Description - Article and guide

Source - Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality & Shared Society

The Biggest Jewish Coronavirus Relief Fund Will Soon Start Giving Out Loans

Description - News article

Source - Jewish Telegraphic Agency
May 12

What We’re Hearing from the Field (April 25-May 8)

Description - Article by Leading Edge, JPRO Network, UpStart, Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, & Board Member Institute for Jewish Nonprofits

Source - eJewish Philanthropy
May 8

Resources Coming Soon

Nonprofit Funding Proposals

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