Charities have been going above and beyond to respond to the strains of the pandemic.

When the pandemic began, charities acted fast. They began adapting programs to virtual formats. They created new services to meet emerging needs. And they protected the health and safety of staff, volunteers and participants.

It was clear from the start that there would be serious financial repercussions for organizations. With restrictions on gatherings, fundraising opportunities evaporated overnight. The costs of PPE, cleaning and sanitation added up quickly. And the need to invest in outdated tech systems put pressure on budgets that were already tight.

But local organizations rose to the challenge. They were resilient, collaborative, and innovative at a time when uncertainty, isolation and restrictions were the ‘new normal’. They found creative ways to continue to deliver on their missions, keeping the best interests of the community front and center. And they weren’t alone. Throughout 2020, our community stepped up to make sure charities had the support they needed.

Last year, our community came together to support local charities in a big way.

Together, our community created the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. It was a way for us to help sustain the local charities supporting our community’s most vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic.

More than 200 individuals contributed nearly $400,000 to provide support to charities. It was an amazing act of collective generosity. The Community Foundation combined local donations with funding from partners and government. As a result, we were able to flow more than $1.5 million in emergency grants to local charities.

And it really made a difference. Our grants helped charities navigate the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. Another round of grants in the fall helped charities keep up during the second wave.

But right now, we need to do more to sustain local charities.

As we pass the one-year mark of the pandemic, local charities are stretched further than they thought possible. Some organizations are unsure how long they will be able to keep their doors open.

Costs continue to rise, while revenues remain low. Many charities are still struggling to keep up with demand for programs and services. Some local organizations have had to lay off staff, and are running with fewer volunteers. After months of working at top speed, charity leaders worry about their staff burning out.

It’s time for a third wave of giving.

Many of us have been struggling with feelings of helplessness, isolation and insecurity. Despite all the uncertainty, there are two things that we know for sure. The first is that we need charities now more than ever. And the second is that local charities still need our support. That’s why the Community Response Fund will be providing grants again in May. We want to give our all to sustaining the vital work of local charities, so we’re looking to the community to help us fill up the pot.

Whether you give $10 or $10,000, we know that by giving together we can make a bigger difference. Every donation to the Community Response Fund helps local charities, and moves our community one step closer to recovery. Click here to make your gift online now.


Contribute to the Community Response Fund