COVID-19 Response and Relief Funds: Finding a Grant for Your Nonprofit

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Carolyn White

July 13, 2020

    Reduced revenues, redirected funds, and emergency funding are part of the new normal for many nonprofits and organizations across the country. From government supported payroll protection to exhaustive efforts working to gain donations and relief funds, here’s what to know now to help your nonprofit find the potential new funding support you need.

    Emergency Funding and COVID-19 Relief Fund Grants
    While federal government support provides some relief to the 501(c)(3) sector, nonprofit organizations can access emergency grant funding outside of the CARES Act and Small Business Administration (SBA) in the form of relief funding directed at sourcing the dollars needed to keep critical programs and services up and running.

    Partnering with Community Brands, Cause IQ, a leading data insights provider that helps companies better serve their nonprofit client base, has conducted an analysis of over 50,000 grantmaking organizations to find those with established COVID-19 related grant opportunities. These grantmaking foundations are aimed at helping fellow nonprofits and organizations gain access to the relief they need.

    Community-based & Human Services
    According to Cause IQ’s analysis, Community Foundations make up the majority of COVID-19 related grantmakers. These community-driven grants focus on providing relief funds statewide, which is good news for many local, community-based organizations providing services and programs that support local areas:

          • Student meals and food banks
          • Emergency food distribution and delivery
          • Assistance to low-income families
          • Domestic violence and other related shelters
          • Crisis support and essential supply distribution
          • Senior care and homeless assistance

    United Way of Northern California established their Coronavirus Relief Fund for just this purpose, providing grants and supporting coordination regionally to organizations assisting North California State residents affected by the crisis.

    Healthcare, Mental & Behavioral Health, Religious & Faith-based
    A variety of foundations that are community-based or traditionally focused on supporting nonprofits within the spaces of healthcare, religion, and schools are also responding with new grants and added funding in support of reopening efforts:

          • PPE distribution, sanitization and security expenses
          • Essential worker assistance (family support, childcare expenses, etc)
          • Bridging healthcare costs
          • Mental health services and case management

    The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego has created a phased response and a dedicated COVID-19 Emergency Fund aimed at activating opportunities to support reopening efforts and emerging needs of organizations and communities

    Education & Arts
    Community Foundations are also providing grant funds tied directly to local and regional nonprofit organizations working to support K-12 students and schools, such as Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and their newly established COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund:

          • Technology for remote services/distance learning
          • Art supplies and learning kits
          • Remote technology for employees and teachers
          • Cleaning and disinfecting supplies and services
          • Summer youth arts and camps

    Museums, Theatres, and Libraries
    Foundations traditionally aimed at supporting arts and culture are working to further invest in and provide necessary funds in support of the operations and reopening efforts of libraries, museums, and theatres:

          • Materials for collections care
          • Sanitization and cleaning efforts for reopening
          • Sustaining operations and staff support

    Many arts and culture based foundations, nonprofits, and organizations are also specifically setting up their own COVID-19 Relief Funds, accepting donations that aid in keeping local area fine arts centers, museums, libraries, and theatres running despite temporary closures, reduced ticket sales, and postponed fundraising events.

    Cause IQ has identified trends among these organizations establishing COVID-19 relief funds that can aid nonprofits actively seeking emergency funding to better understand where to look. Nearly 90% of grantmakers are primarily focused at the city or state level, meaning grant seekers may need to think bigger and expand their search regionally to find more potential grant opportunities that can support their current and future needs during this time of hardship.

    See more findings and access a list of COVID-19 grantmakers identified by Cause IQ, Nonprofit Insights: COVID-19 Grants for Nonprofits.

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