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New tool makes giving during a pandemic easier
October 21, 2020

Rebecca-Moffett-243x243-1
Rebecca Moffett

Rebecca Moffett is Chief Strategic Planning Officer, Vanguard Charitable.

This blog also appears in Candid blog.

NAVi helps donors understand the COVID-19 giving landscape, ensuring their relief efforts make an impact.

We at Vanguard Charitable are proud to introduce the Nonprofit Aid Visualizer (NAVi), a free new mapping resource available to anyone interested in supporting COVID-19 relief.

When word of the coronavirus pandemic spread and the United States began to realize its magnitude, Vanguard Charitable started to see a sharp rise in granting dollars for COVID-19 relief.

While I’m not sure any of us could ever be fully prepared for a global pandemic, our donors were uniquely situated to make a charitable impact. Through their donor-advised fund (DAF) accounts, they had immediate access to charitable dollars and supported charities responding directly to the pandemic. Between March and September 2020, more than $80 million in Vanguard Charitable grants were sent to more than 4,000 charities supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

Navi

Additional charitable resources needed

Although we provide resources to support our donors, such as a pre-vetted list of organizations providing COVID-19 relief, we knew additional support might be needed. We reached out to our donors and asked how we could better help them make a charitable impact.

Part of the feedback we received was expected: Our donors wanted to make a significant impact when supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. We also heard something new, however. Giving in a pandemic, where information and need are evolving, came with its own challenges. We found that 79 percent of our donors surveyed wanted more resources to give to COVID-19 relief in their local communities, and 50 percent wanted more opportunities in geographic areas most severely impacted by the pandemic.

NAViTM makes giving simpler

To answer those needs, we created a new tool: The Nonprofit Aid Visualizer, or NAViTM.

This tool is an interactive charity locator that combines several sources of data. The data, provided by the Surgo Foundation, Candid’s information on COVID-19 grants and nonprofit organizations, and the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, is displayed in custom software built by the geospatial services firm Azavea.

To enable donors to sort through the data quickly, we included filters based on cause area and need. These filters quickly and easily zero in on the specifics donors might want to support. For example, you can widen your search to include charities by location or cause areas, or limit your search by filtering for the hardest-hit locations or the highest vulnerability factors, such as socioeconomic status, epidemiology, or healthcare system considerations.

Ease of use

NAViTM is easy to use, and open to all individuals for free. When visiting NAVi, start at the top of the screen to set the filters or enter information to begin a charity search. NAViTM generates a list of charities based on the COVID-19 incidence rate and community vulnerability filters applied. Once the charity list is generated, it can be saved to reference later.

Thanks to donor feedback, we’ve been able to help people interested in supporting COVID-19 relief efforts and support our mission to increase philanthropy and maximize its impact over time. We hope this new tool helps make your charitable-giving decisions easier.

For more information and to access NAViTM, visit vanguardcharitable.org/map.

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