The Center's

Covid-19 Response

We are committed to keeping social impact CENTRAL during this pandemic.

Here to help.

With the pandemic threatening our most vulnerable populations, our team is working around the clock to develop innovative solutions. We are proud to empower organizations — and the general public — with our expertise in data science, policy innovation, impact investing, and strategic storytelling.

We’ve identified three essential themes as we move forward:  

  • Impact investors cannot waver from their mission during this crisis. Rather than retreat, now is the time to catalyze social change. (Please use this link to complete a brief survey on how Covid-19 has affected your impact investing strategy. We appreciate your participation).

  • Data is more important than ever in understanding the social impact of both the pandemic and its economic fallout. 

  • We remain optimistic about the commitment of individuals and organizations across sectors in finding creative solutions for equitable social impact.

Data was last updated May 16, 2022


Opportunity Alabama From OZs To Covid-19

Opportunity Alabama’s singular skill for connecting capital, community leaders and developers earned the nonprofit a Forbes OZ 20 Grand Prize. Now that knack for coalition and capacity-building work is being leveraged to help Alabama communities bounce back from Covid-19’s economic blows.

Next week, Opportunity Alabama (OPAL) will be announcing  the first cohort of a new initiative called the Rural Recovery Accelerator, aimed at providing economic-development training and resources to counties with populations under 175,000 across the state.


Children are among those most affected by food shortages, diminished public services, mental health strain, and worsening poverty wrought by the pandemic.

"We developed the Early Childhood Data Playground (ECDP) at the Sorenson Impact Center to better understand the lives of children at the community level. As a society we struggle to objectively measure the well-being of children, especially those under five. There are few reliable measures of childhood development that community leaders and policymakers can rely on to help them understand a child’s trajectory between birth and starting school."

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Written in partnership with Michael Novogradac, Grant Baskerville and Kyrene Clarke

"As we seek to emerge from the public health and global economic crises, serious questions remain about how to deliver recovery that is equitable and builds resilience across our nation.


We must make sure not to repeat history, and look to lessons learned by those vulnerable communities that have still not fully recovered from the aftermath of the Great Recession. One way to do this is by looking at OZs."


Interview with Sorenson Impact'sGrant Baskerville 

"I think this crisis has exposed an unbelievable structural deficiency on data, on products, on intermediaries, on business support organizations, on business models.


And I think coming out of this crisis, we have to start using data right now to understand what are the different situations that micro-business and particularly businesses owned by people of color find themselves in with regard to access to mainstream financial capital." 


Written by the Sorenson ImpactData Scientists

We believe that data can be used to empower better decision-making. Understanding the social context of the COVID-19 spread will be essential to informed policy discussions.


This analysis is not meant to replace peer-reviewed research, but to open a discussion on the type of social impact analysis that should be conducted on the spread and impacts of COVID-19. All of the data we analyze is public and can be found at the end of this article. 


Written in partnership with Matt Dunne at the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI).

Rural communities could be more vulnerable to the long-term economic impacts of this crisis. Their economies are built around small businesses, have older workforces, and are highly dependent on industries likely to be disproportionately impacted by current events.


Written by the Sorenson Impact Founder Jim Sorenson 

The global spread of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on a booming U.S. economy and forced the creation of a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at averting the onset of what would likely be a bruising recession. This is all the more difficult to comprehend because this current period of financial instability is not rooted in the misguided of toxic subprime mortgages or the unabated over-inflation of stocks. Instead, communities, businesses, and governments across the globe are for all intents and purposes being held hostage by a highly contagious disease.


Virtual Convening:
Small Business Survival Amid Covid-19

Explore the ramifications of the COVID-19 epidemic on micro and small businesses (1-19 employees).

     + Overview of the SBA's $350B relief package

     + Panel discussion led by Bruce Katz and other experts

RSVP by April 10

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A Community-Engaged Art 


In an effort to spark creativity and connection during quarantine, the Sorenson Impact Center has launched PROJECT apART. Now more than ever, we must band together to celebrate our shared humanity and resiliency. 

Our Team's Insights.