I have worked with many of our grant-writing customers to create a covid impact statement, and I have one for our company. An impact statement should demonstrate how the pandemic has changed your operations and revenue. Having it ready speeds up the time it takes to apply for pandemic-related grant funding since most funders want to know how an organization has changed. The impact statement is one of the 6 Actions to Take to Rapidly Apply for Covid Grants.
I like to create the Covid Impact Statement in Word and update it quarterly. In your impact statement, you can describe the challenges and opportunities that have arisen over the past few years. It may be helpful to create a 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word statement for various length grant applications.
This area of the grant does not have to be very interesting, so please don't spend too much time on writing style. Our motto is to stick to the facts and provide a roadmap of where you were before the pandemic, what happened due to the pandemic, and where your organization is heading.
What should I include in the covid impact statement?
In your statement, it is essential to set the stage of where your organization was in the months or years preceding the pandemic and what happened in the initial months or years after it. You may want to include a sentence or two on each of the following that applies to your organization's circumstances. Discuss loss of earned income, fundraising, and program event cancellations, higher operating and staffing costs, extra expenses for protective gear and sanitation, and reduced revenue from donations and grants. Financial software, like QuickBooks, can be used to compare annual quarter-to-quarter differences in spending and revenue. Creating charts or graphs can visually highlight the changes over time.
In this section, you can highlight the unexpected positive outcomes of the pandemic. For many organizations, this includes new and different sources of revenue or grants. Increased support from donors. It may include transitioning to virtual programs, which allow new ways to work with your beneficiaries.
How will the funding be used?
Similar to other grant sections, your impact statement should start and end with the purpose of your request. This means clearly outlining how much money you are asking for and how it will be spent. Covid grants usually cover capacity building, money for staff or supplies, funding to replace/ offset the loss of income, and new solutions/ programs.
It can be helpful to see an example of how to write an impact statement. Please use what we have created below as a roadmap.
"Good Leaf is a 501c3 nonprofit in Detroit, Michigan, that plants trees in urban communities with little green space to create a healthier living space for all. The historic neighborhoods we serve were once the epicenter of the industrial boom for nearly a century. Now that many factories have closed, it is time to revitalize and restore the natural beauty of our communities.
Before the pandemic, Good Leaf's budget grew for five consecutive years. Our organization had an annual revenue of $500,000 and 5 staff members. Our income came from 25% grants, 50 % individual donations, 15% corporate sponsorships, and 10% earned revenue from contracts with the local business improvement coalition, Detroit Advance. In addition, we were embarking on a 10-neighborhood planting project that involved partnerships with three universities, five businesses, and more than 50 volunteers.
The pandemic initially changed the trajectory of these plans. The previously mentioned project lost nearly 50% of its sponsorship revenue. Our corporate sponsors were cash-strapped during the uncertainty of business closures, and we were not able to use any of the volunteers. The estimated loss of revenue for this project was $50,000. We have yet to receive five grants that we depended on as funders switched priorities to food and safety net programs. At the same time, our expenses increased. We purchased masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment for socially-distanced planting projects to keep our community volunteers safe.
Although the pandemic changed how we work, there were many areas of opportunity. Good Leaf received $50,000 in emergency grants from the SBA and the state. The grant enabled us to transition to virtual programs. We hosted seven virtual garden plantings and three virtual nature walks. Interest in our programs increased as people began to use the outdoors for exercise and recreation. Our emergency grants provided financial assistance to residents who led community tree plantings. Finally, our list of volunteers and newsletter subscribers has grown.
Now that businesses are recovering, we have regained 75% of our sponsorship and grant revenue. We have also started working with new partners. The $25,000 covid grant will help us maintain the support and commitment the community has come to expect from our organization. We will use the funds to continue financial assistance for community plantings. Grant funds go towards shovels, gloves, etc. The grant will also fund a part-time operations assistant to help manage the increased request for planting and technical support. "