News & Politics

How to Support Local Charities Right Now

If you're looking to help, #GivingTuesdayNow is directing funds to where they'll be used wisely.

Image courtesy of the Catalogue for Philanthropy Greater Washington.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

Many Washingtonians are looking for ways to help during the coronavirus pandemic. And many local nonprofits are in need of help. Barbara Harman, the founder and chair of the Catalogue for Philanthropy Greater Washington, calls this time, harkening to a quote by Martin Luther King Jr., as “the fierce urgency of now.”

“In the first phase of a crisis the most pressing needs are the most basic ones: support for those who care for the sick, food for families who can no longer pay for it, medical care for those who lack access to it, financial resources for people who have lost jobs,” according to Harman.

But Harman also says that beyond immediate needs will be a “fierce urgency of later.”

“Our next challenge is to look downstream: Which problems, though perhaps less immediately visible, are emerging as significant?” she says.

To bolster charities responding to Covid-19’s impact, as well as nonprofits focused on less-immediate needs currently going unmet, the Catalogue is sponsoring Give Local Together 2020, part of a nationwide #GivingTuesdayNow campaign happening on Tuesday, May 5.

You don’t have to wait until Tuesday to give; those who go to the Catalogue’s Give Local page will find a list of about 170 small to mid-sized charities, all based in the Washington area, which could use support now. Each of the charities has been vetted by the Catalogue, so donors have some assurance that the money will be used well. (Washingtonian is a media partner.)

Without donor support, Harman says, some nonprofits may not survive.

“While people are absolutely right to focus on the immediate concerns, there are a wide range of nonprofits that are in need,” Harman says. “It could be an environmental group that’s disappeared from focus right now. It could be a community arts organization that’s not being supported right now. There are many nonprofits that are critical to their communities, and the Covid response funds are not supporting them. We hope people will give to organizations they want to see around now and around in the future.”

Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.