Dear Nonprofit,

The COVID-19 epidemic is undoubtedly challenging us in profound ways. We are deeply aware of the significant impacts on your personal lives and livelihoods, the St. Louis region, and our national and global communities. We also acknowledge the unique burden and negative impacts on our most vulnerable populations, many of which receive vital services from organizations like yours. St. Louis is truly a resilient community, and the levels of civic engagement we have seen over the past few weeks are an indicator of that – neighbors helping neighbors, people coming together to secure resources, organizations adapting and expanding their services to meet heightened needs, and many taking action to care for the most vulnerable among us.

In the spirit of mutual support, Washington University has examined how we can offer support and partnership to our St. Louis community at this challenging time. Because of the university’s move to remote work and other COVID-related impacts, we have a number of talented university employees who cannot continue their usual responsibilities at the present time. At the same time, we know that St. Louis area nonprofit organizations and university departments are experiencing heightened need for support due to COVID-related impacts.  We are launching an initiative to meet this anticipated need and facilitate temporary reassignment of university employees that best support the emerging needs of vital St. Louis nonprofits and university departments.

The purpose of the university redeployment project is to support employees, local nonprofits, and university departments who have experienced organizational impacts due to COVID-19. Those WashU employees whose work has been reduced completely or significantly will be redeployed temporarily to other university departments or to St. Louis area nonprofits who seek additional support due to employee vacancies, heightened demand, or strategic priorities that can benefit from additional support. Redeployed employees will be matched by Human Resources based on skills and level of need. This is a temporary redeployment due to COVID-19. 

The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement is reaching out to you to extend an invitation to participate in this project. If your organization has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and is in need of additional personnel to sustain or expand your work, please fill out the intake form here. We are also accepting requests that advance the mission of your community organization. Once we receive your request, you will be contacted by the Gephardt Institute so that we can better understand your organization’s needs in relation to WashU employees that are available. If your needs fit the scope of this project, we will match you with an employee who is available and has the skills necessary to perform the tasks at hand. Human Resources will fulfill requests based on the level of urgency and fit. University employees who are assigned to your organization will be paid by Washington University.

To learn more and submit requests, please visit our website. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. Colleen Smyth is our project leader and will be glad to hear from you by email ( or by phone (314.935.9659). We hope to be a resource during this difficult time and deeply appreciate the work you are doing to sustain the well-being of the St. Louis community.


Stephanie Kurtzman
Peter G. Sortino Director

Stefani Weeden-Smith
Assistant Director for Community Engagement

Colleen Smyth
Project Manager