Broward Nonprofits Deliver Dynamic Online Services During Stay-At-Home Orders

Community Foundation Grant Flexibility Helps Nonprofits Respond

April 23, 2020
The Slow Burn Theatre Company has launched new online Elder Arts Workshops to keep seniors engaged with the arts during the coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

When the coronavirus threatened to close the curtain on an arts program that breaks through senior isolation, the Slow Burn Theatre Company decided the show must go on.

So the Fort Lauderdale-based theatre group launched its online Elder Arts Workshops. These engaging videos are a fill-in for preshow workshops that were cancelled, along with the shows, by coronavirus stay-at-home orders. The new online workshops feature singalongs, name-that-tune challenges and dance lessons (that seniors can do while seated), all inspired by the theatre group’s musical productions.

At a time when seniors especially aren’t supposed to leave their homes, the Slow Burn Theatre Company found a way to keep them connected to the arts.

“Although we are currently all experiencing social isolation, we feel that seniors in our community are perhaps the forgotten group,” said Julie Valent, of the Slow Burn Theatre Company. “Staying involved in the arts will help them stay active while continuing an activity that they are familiar with and enjoy.”

Slow Burn Theatre’s new website videos are just one example of how local nonprofits are finding innovative ways to provide online services that help Broward residents face the local effects of the coronavirus.  For example:

  • Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital:  The Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital is tapping into technology for more educational outreach. The center is posting educational videos on its Facebook page and is offering to collaborate with teachers to craft virtual field trips.
  • Junior Achievement of South Florida: As schools have switched to online learning for the rest of the school year, Junior Achievement is offering free online resources to parents and teachers. They include money management lessons, career planning tools and more created for students from elementary through high school.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County: While the clubs themselves have been closed, the organization is posting virtual lessons and activities for kids stuck at home. How to make puppets, an online exploration of national parks and a celebrity read-along are examples of the fun, engaging and educational online activities available through the clubs’ website.

These nonprofit groups and many more are able to pivot and provide dynamic online services like these thanks to help from Fundholders at the Community Foundation of Broward.

In response to the coronavirus, the Community Foundation is modifying existing grants and moving up annual endowment distributions to nonprofits, which results in $3.5 million of support they can use for coronavirus relief. Fundholders with endowed charitable Funds at the Community Foundation make it possible to provide this support for nonprofits on the front lines of the local coronavirus response.

“The grant flexibility and support from the Community Foundation of Broward has allowed the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County to do whatever it takes to continue shaping futures,” said Chris Gentile, of the Boys & Girls Clubs. “While our service delivery model has changed, supporting families will continue. We are working hard to meet the current challenges and the many more that lie ahead.”

As nonprofits have to cancel fundraisers and deal with a dip in donations during these uncertain times, the lasting resources that come from endowed charitable Funds at the Community Foundation are a source of enduring support they can rely on to help sustain their important work.

The local consequences of the coronavirus are still unfolding and will be with us for years to come. Creating an endowed charitable Fund at the Community Foundation or adding to an existing Fund are great ways to tackle Broward’s biggest challenges during this crisis and beyond.

Contact Information

To talk about how your philanthropy through the Community Foundation can help Broward during this crisis and beyond, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at or 954-761-9503.

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