New Campaign Targets Lenders’ ‘Powerful Stories’ in Helping Communities Facing COVID-19 Challenges

A new campaign launched last week aims to showcase “powerful stories of businesses and organizations who are quickly pivoting to help their communities during these challenging times.”

The campaign, “Assets for Impact” (, is a partnership of business leaders, convened by the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University. Shekar Narasimhan, CMB, Managing Partner with Beeekman Advisors, McLean, Va., said the campaign’s goal is to educate and inspire more people to use their unique assets to meet community needs.

Narasimhan, CMB

“Across the country, people are deploying the assets of their businesses and organizations to meet urgent community needs in response to COVID-19,” according to the campaign’s website. “Individually, each local story is an inspiring example of how assets can be used for impact. When told collectively and elevated into the national conversation, these stories have the power to catalyze large-scale impact, reveal emerging trends, and inform scalable solutions. By showcasing stories of local impact, our goal is to educate and inspire others to take action, too. “

Narasimhan wants mortgage lenders, servicers and vendors to share their stories on the campaign’s webpage, which currently includes testimonials from several businesses, including Arbor Realty Trust, New York, which created the Arbor Rental Assistance Program, which assists families in paying monthly bills and rent.

“We want to do our part to help ease the burden for those who’ve been severely impacted by COVID-19,” said Arbor Realty Trust President and CEO Ivan Kaufman. “For those who have unfortunately lost income and are temporarily unable to meet their rent obligations, we are looking to provide some much-needed relief until they are able to stabilize their situations.”

Similarly, the MBA Opens Doors Foundation (, which last week marked its 5,000th family helped since its founding in 2011, has noted a sharp uptick in requests from families that have been directly impacted by the coronavirus.

ODF President Deb Dubois said nearly one-fourth of grant applicants in the past two months cited COVID-19 as a factor. “One of our grantees has a child who tested positive for COVID-19. Her parents were placed in quarantine and unable to work,” she said. “Fifteen grantee families lost at least one job specifically due to COVID-19. Eight indicated they lost income due to COVID-19.”

Opens Doors has helped families from 49 states, Guam and the District of Columbia, and has granted more than $7.2 million in housing assistance. Since first partnering with Children’s National Medical System in Washington, D.C., in 2012, Opens Doors has expanded its hospital network to 12 children’s hospitals across the country. ODF, through its Home Grant Program, provides relief to families with critically ill children with housing assistance grants of up to $2,500 a month.

Assets for Impact encourages businesses to get involved by exploring the stories currently on its webpage, “sharing them with your network and submitting your own story.” It offers the following tips to get started:

–Identify community needs. Seek input from those embedded in communities and closest to critical problems.

–Map your assets. Take inventory of what you can offer, such as property and other physical spaces; employees; and networks.

–Match your assets to community needs. Find where your assets can be most helpful and take action, inviting others to join to maximize impact.

For more information, visit