Arnold Ventures sent the following notifications to the Sponsored Projects Office.


From: Arnold Ventures
Date: Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 6:59 AM
Subject: COVID-19: Announcing Grantee Accommodations

Announcing New Grantee Support

Dear Friends and Partners,

We hope you, your family, friends, and colleagues remain safe and healthy. As our grantees, your needs and well-being are foremost in our minds.

In our last update, we committed to partnering with you to find solutions to the many challenges COVID-19 presents for your work. Since then, many of you have reached out, and together we’ve worked on COVID-related requests for more than 100 active grants.

At Arnold Ventures, it’s in our DNA to analyze this evidence of your needs to seek broader solutions. Today I’m writing to announce a set of accommodations we’re offering to all grantees, based on what we’ve observed.

In light of COVID-19, we are:

  1. Cancelling scheduled interim reports due in 2020. This will occur automatically. Changes will be reflected in the Grantee Portal by April 30, 2020. Payments that currently follow an interim report will be made as scheduled in the grant agreement, unless a specific request is made otherwise (see #4 below). Please note the interim report record will still exist in the Grantee Portal, and the report status will say “Cancelled (CV-19).” To the extent that you have materials prepared that you wish to submit, you may still do so via the Grantee Portal. Your Initiative Lead will follow up if an exception is required. 
  2. Extending scheduled final reports due in 2020 by three (3) months. This will occur automatically. Again, changes will be reflected in the Grantee Portal by April 30, 2020. If we have already accommodated an extension for you in the past month, it will remain unchanged unless you make a specific request at a later time (see #5 below).
  3. Loosening adherence to AV’s reporting requirements. While we still ask that grantees submit future grant reports via the Grantee Portal, we will accept report updates that have been used for other funders, particularly with respect to answering the Narrative Questions.Financial Updates should at a minimum continue to include an accounting of total funds spent to date, even if the format does not follow our standard guidelines.
  4. Releasing scheduled payments earlier. We understand your work is shifting and we do not want you to experience cash flow constraints. If you would like to seek this accommodation, please contact your Initiative Lead and Grants Manager to discuss. Payments will be made within 1-2 weeks of such a request. Otherwise, any outstanding payments will be made in accordance with the schedule in your grant agreement.
  5. Extending timelines for grant reports beyond 2020, individual milestones, or agreement terms. We encourage you to think holistically about all remaining activities for your grant(s) and let us know if this includes re-evaluating the scope of individual milestones. If so, please contact your Initiative Lead and Grants Manager to discuss.
  6. Supporting budget reallocations. Grant funds will not be rescinded if a program, conference, or other grant activity is cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. We understand you may have non-refundable costs, and we will work with you to repurpose grant funds to the fullest extent possible. If this is the case, please contact your Initiative Lead and Grants Manager to discuss.

Please note that some of these options may be limited for expenditure responsibility grantees, universities, fiscal sponsors, and governmental units. We will work with these grantees to provide as much flexibility as appropriate.

We hope these changes will help reduce administrative burdens, relieve stress, and enable you to better focus on your mission. If you have questions or suggestions for additional ways we can provide flexibility, we are eager to listen and help. Please reach out to

Lastly, you are doing vital research and work that far exceeds the scope of your grant(s) with us. We want to hear about COVID-19’s broad implications for your work and the needs you’re observing every day. How has COVID-19 impacted the communities you serve? What are the greatest needs you’re seeing that philanthropy could help address? If you would be willing, please send your thoughts to

Thank you for all you are doing to keep moving your critical work forward. We are grateful for your partnership.

Kelli Rhee
President and Chief Executive Officer

From: Jeremy Travis
Date: Tue, Mar 24, 2020
Subject: COVID-19 Outreach to Arnold Ventures Criminal Justice Grantees

Dear friends,

On behalf of my colleagues on the Criminal Justice team at Arnold Ventures, let me extend our sincere hopes that you, your families, your partners, your students and your networks fighting for justice are safe and healthy. We hope that you find the strength needed to get through these difficult times. We also commend you for your activism and advocacy on behalf of the people hit hardest by this crisis, particularly those in jails and prisons, their families and the front line workers responding to people in need. This is a time when the fight for justice takes on new urgency.

I am writing to follow up on the message you received from our President and CEO, Kelli Rhee, reaffirming our commitment to supporting you and your important work. We deeply appreciate the way that so many of our grantees have risen to the challenge of this moment. Kelli also encouraged you to let us know if the circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis pose particular challenges in terms of your fulfillment of the obligations under your Arnold Ventures grant. In the coming weeks, the Arnold Ventures team member managing your grant will be making personal contact with each of our grantees to see if there are ways that we can further support your work. If, for example, your timeline for completion of your milestones has slipped because your university has closed down, your staff are adjusting to working from home, or the promised dataset has not arrived because your government partner is responding to the crisis, please let us know.

Beyond this, we recognize that many of you are facing opportunities to respond more effectively and creatively to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or the team member managing your grant to float an idea, discuss a research opportunity, or strengthen your advocacy capacity. We certainly cannot act on all good ideas, but we want to be open to your thinking at this critical moment. You are on the front lines and we respect your ability to see solutions and openings for effective strategies.

Thanks again for your commitment to this important mission.


Jeremy Travis
Executive Vice President Criminal Justice
Email | Twitter @JTravis48
Office 212.430.3624| Mobile 917.577.5163
3 Columbus Circle, Suite 1601
New York, NY 10019

Date: Wed, Mar 18, 2020
Subject: Fwd: COVID-19: An Update from Arnold Ventures

An Update from Arnold Ventures to Our Grantees

Dear friends,

I’m reaching out, first and foremost, to express our hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

At Arnold Ventures we know the spread of COVID-19 is deeply challenging to our health care, criminal justice, education, and other systems—systems which many of our grantees have been working tirelessly to strengthen. It is disrupting travel and work, particularly for contingent and hourly employees, complicating health treatment, especially for those most vulnerable, and leading many to feel anxiety and concern.

We want you to know that we understand the challenges you’re facing right now and are here to help. Here’s what we’re doing in response to COVID-19:

• Arnold Ventures has chosen to suspend travel and switch all staff to remote work for the foreseeable future. This will have implications for any in-person events scheduled with Arnold Ventures staff. Your project lead will be in touch to discuss postponements or alternatives.

• Other than workflow, expect nothing to change in terms of continued new grantmaking and the dissemination of resources.

• We understand that many of our grantees are unable to go to their universities or work spaces, attend conferences, or move their work forward as expected. This may mean that some of our grantees may not be able to meet their milestones, or may even find their work jeopardized. Please know that we are aware of the challenges you’re facing and are committed to partnering with you to find solutions.

• You will receive further guidance shortly from your programmatic team lead, but the long and short of it is: If you are experiencing, or anticipate, any difficulties with your work related to COVID-19, please reach out to your project lead and grant manager to discuss if you haven’t already.

• We will update you frequently through emails and our website. If you have any questions or requests for us, or if you need support managing stakeholder issues or media inquiries related to COVID-19, please contact

Above all else, our top concern is your health and well-being. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent work you are doing to advance justice, equity, strong governance, access to health treatment, and to protect individual rights and well-being. You have dedicated yourselves to advocating for those in our country who need it most, and we are grateful to you.

Kelli Rhee
President and Chief Executive Officer

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