By Martha Cecilia Ovadia, Senior Program Associate, Equity and Communications  

We are looking forward to seeing our members, partners and other friends of TFN at our Annual Conference in San Diego this month. As we prepare for our Annual Conference, the health and wellbeing of our TFN members, staff and other conference attendees is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the potential impact of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local health agencies in California. In addition, our conference planning team is working to ensure appropriate precautions are in place at our conference venue. In the meantime, we hope you’ll take the time to review these public health recommendations and take sensible precautions, especially while traveling. Read below for CDC guidelines on prevention, as well as resources for funders seeking information on the role philanthropy can play during pandemics, including an upcoming webinar organized by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Coronavirus: Prevention Tips
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
(CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.)
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

What Can Funders Do?
We recognize that potential impacts of the coronovirus on the health and safety of our communities far outweighs any implications for our annual conference. As funders with close ties to the people and places you support and serve, we encourage you to be mindful of the important role philanthropy plays in ensuring responses to the coronavirus epidemic align with our values, especially in light of racist and xenophobic attacks against Asians and Asian-Americans. While the full economic impact of the virus is far from being known, we recognize that workers who rely on hourly wages, freelance work or gig-economy jobs do not have the safety-net resources of paid sick days and other employer benefits — meaning they will likely suffer a heavier economic burden should they or someone they care for fall ill.

Upcoming Events
We encourage you to register for an upcoming webinar, organized by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) and co-sponsored by TFN, to learn more about how you and your organization can help. Speakers will discuss the role philanthropy can play during pandemics including advocacy, sharing accurate messaging, and funding preparedness, response and mitigation.

COVID-19 Coronavirus: How Philanthropy Can Respond
Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 2 p.m. ET
Register here.
We will also delve into the topic of coronavirus and its impacts during one of our Pre-Conference Institutes on Monday, March 17. The session, moderated by CDP Vice President Regine Webster, will also share innovative examples of philanthropic action and the importance of understanding and addressing vulnerabilities and building lasting community power.

Disaster Resiliency: Philanthropic Roles, Opportunities and Stories
Monday, March 17, 9 – 11:30 a.m.

Read our full conference agenda here.

Cancellations & Refunds
We understand that some of you may be unable to join us in San Diego. If you will not be attending, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing Yleinia Jobe at

TFN will refund registration fees upon request, but we hope you will consider the amount a donation to TFN if you are unable to attend. TFN has already incurred considerable costs in planning the event and securing our venue, and also relies on conference fees to support our overall mission.

For those traveling from out of town, please check directly with the US Grant Hotel and your airline regarding cancellation policies.

Stay Tuned Please be sure to check out our conference webpage for more information. (And be sure to follow us on Twitter @funders_network for more #TFNSanDiego news.)