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May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

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COVID-19 Response

All of us at the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust share a deep concern for the safety, stability, and well-being of our community during this difficult time. We are grateful for the dedication and commitment of our grantee partners as they work mightily to support the Trust’s focus populations – Elders, Foster Youth, Adults with Disabilities, and Veterans and Military Families.


In reaching out to our grantees, we have heard inspiring stories of organizations rapidly pivoting services to meet peoples’ basic needs, all while working to ensure the safety of their own staff and navigating an extremely uncertain economy. We are truly humbled by their passion and professionalism.

We recognize that unprecedented times require an unprecedented response, as well as transparent and open communication. Therefore, informed by our discussions with grantees, we want to share the ways we will support them during this challenging time.

  1. Flexibility – We can adjust report and proposal deadlines, provide flexibility on anticipated outcomes and scheduled payments, and streamline reporting and/or application for new grants. Current grantees should contact their Program Officers to discuss what flexibility they might need.

  2. Rapid Response Grants – Most current grantees received small general operating grants ($10,000) to support immediate needs. These grantees were notified during the first two weeks of April.

  3. Emergency Funding Grants – A smaller number of current grantees will receive grants (up to $50,000 each) to continue or ramp up services in response to the pandemic. These grants will be distributed from April through August.

  4. Supplemental Budget – The Trustees approved a $1 million increase to the annual grantmaking budget to allow the Trust to respond flexibly over the remainder of the year to support current grantees, and a limited number of new grantees, providing critical services to the Trust’s focus populations. These funds will be disbursed through the Trust’s regular grantmaking process.

  5. Three-Year Grants – The Trust will approve a limited number of three-year grants to organizations providing critical services to populations affected by the pandemic, intended to support organizations’ stability and sustainability over a longer term than the Trust’s typical two-year grant cycle. Program Officers will communicate directly with organizations that are eligible for three-year grants.

The Trust has committed $4 million to the additional funding strategies above, and we will endeavor to support as many of our grantee partners as possible with these funds over the coming months. In addition, the Trust’s established three-year grantmaking budget means the current stock market volatility will have no negative impact on our grantmaking over the next three years.

While we work remotely, our operations continue uninterrupted. We encourage our grantees and funder colleagues to reach out to our Program Officers with their questions, updates, thoughts, and creative solutions.

Adults and Transitioning Youth with Disabilities – Lisa Trygg: ltrygg@smithct.org

Elders – Kelly Kent: kkent@smithct.org

Foster Youth – Elisabeth Cutler: ecutler@smithct.org

Veterans and Military Families – William Lockwood: wlockwood@smithct.org