As the industry celebrates re-openings in some areas of the country, we can’t forget that many hospitality workers and businesses are still in crisis mode. And several hospitality foundations are still raising donations and awarding financial assistance to those in need. Just as important as monetary help is information and advice, from pro bono consulting to localized health and safety measures.
Of course, there is always good news to share in an industry comprised of people whose talent is in providing service to others. So, here’s a roundup of organizations accepting donations as well as those providing resources for hospitality industry workers.
Meetings Industry Fund
The virtual summit Untethered raised $17,500 for Meetings Industry Fund in an inaugural event May 19-21. The three-day event featured several prominent speakers, with breaks for virtual yoga sessions and remotely shared cocktails. The pay-what-you-can event donated all proceeds to MIF, which was set up by event industry leaders in 2015 to provide financial support in crisis situations for meetings and events industry workers. You can still support MIF by making a donation as it continues to give grants to those impacted by the pandemic.
Above and Beyond Foundation
Above and Beyond Foundation’s Helping Hospitality Urgent Aid Grant Program awards $500 virtual VISA cards to hospitality industry workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis to provide immediate relief. To be considered for a grant, industry workers must be nominated by a senior manager where they have worked for at least a year. Above and Beyond Foundation continues to accept donations specifically for its COVID-19 fund, which you can donate to here.
PCMA Foundation Industry Relief Fund
As easily as you can set up text alerts for discounts at your favorite online store, you can also donate through PCMA Foundation Industry Relief Fund. It’s working with Above and Beyond and Search Foundation to distribute donations, which can be made in seconds by texting the number listed on its site with your name and donation amount.
American Hotel & Lodging Foundation
American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA) responded to the crisis by giving a lift to the next generation of hospitality leaders. It offered free management and training courses for hospitality workers in April and May to further their careers during the shutdowns. Continuing education scholarships are on hold while the foundation raises more money, but furloughed workers can still apply for 2020 professional development scholarships. The site also has a comprehensive list of helpful resources. You can only donate to the educational initiative if you’re an AHLA member.
Another initiative by the foundation can connect hotels looking to aid the front line. Over 17,000 hotels volunteered to work with local governments during the crisis by signing up to be part of AHLA’s Hospitality for Hope Initiative, which offers a searchable database for government officials to find alternate spaces to house those in quarantine or medical personnel.
Another Round, Another Rally
Tackling the challenges with financial help and outreach is Another Round, Another Rally, a nonprofit resource for the hospitality industry with a specific aim to “further the education of underrepresented voices in the community, and supply emergency assistance to those employed in restaurants, bars and hotels who have fallen on unexpected hardship.” Not only is it taking donations and offering grants to hospitality workers across the gamut, but it’s also compiled an easily navigated state-by-state COVID-19 resource page, with links for tracking recorded cases, applications for unemployment and local relief resources.
Timothy S.Y. Lam Foundation
In Las Vegas, epicenter of tourism and hospitality, the Timothy S.Y. Lam Foundation made $200,000 in grants to unemployed Las Vegas hospitality workers over two rounds of funding. Though the second round of grants recently closed, it, too, has a comprehensive resources page with helpful links to everything from health and legal assistance to a list of codes for free trials for video streaming, fitness memberships and even virtual museum tours.
American Society of Association Executives
Last but not least on the information front is American Society of Association Executives, which hosts a resources page on its website with newly published articles on topics like budget planning during COVID-19 and job hunting in a pandemic market. Additionally, a list of on-demand webinars and talks, such as “The Shift to Virtual During and After COVID-19: A Young Professionals Dialogue” and “Preparing Your Office and Employees for Returning to the Workplace” can bring you valuable perspectives to prepare for reopenings across the country.