Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Announces New COVID-19 Resiliency Fund

Mar 19, 2020

More Than $500,000 Already Raised to Support Local Rapid Response Grants-

(Norwalk, CT) The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund has been established by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation with the support of generous seed funding from a cross-section of individuals, private foundations, corporations and other concerned entities. The Community Foundation is pleased to share that more than $500,000 has already been pledged by these Founding Fund Partners who have each contributed at least $25,000 at launch.

The new Fund is now accepting donations from the public. Donations of any amount are encouraged and welcomed. Learn more and donate http://www.FCCFoundation.org/COVID19ResiliencyFund.

“In response to this unprecedented time in our lives, we have launched The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund with the intent of quickly raising contributions from the entire Fairfield County community to support our most vulnerable residents. Our deepest gratitude goes to our founding Resiliency Fund Partners who immediately answered our requests to initiate the Fund. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is fortunate to be part of a caring, generous, and resilient community and we are confident with your help we can meet this goal, states Juanita James, President and CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

She continues, “In addition to urging you to support The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund, we encourage you to continue to support local nonprofit organizations that work with the people and families who are most vulnerable in our community. Community health centers, homeless shelters, pre-school and afterschool programs, food pantries and others, which are already dealing with reductions in state and federal funding, will be further stressed. In times like this, philanthropy can shine.”

The new Fund will rapidly deploy resources to trusted, frontline community organizations that meet the basic needs of local residents in Fairfield County. The Fund’s purpose is to help alleviate the social and economic consequences of this global pandemic and to prevent the widening of disparities in education, employment, housing, and health. The fund’s resources will be directed to organizations serving high need, vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals and residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days; immigrants; persons with disabilities; and communities of color, among others.

Founding Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund Partners have contributed a minimum of $25,000 to the Fund. Those Founding Fund Partners include, to date: Anne S. Leonhardt Fund, Anonymous Fundholders, Buckeye Fund, Dan Levinson, Don Kendall, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Board of Directors, Herbert and Nell Singer Foundation, and Social Venture Partners Connecticut.

In addition, an anonymous donor has offered to contribute an additional $100,000 challenge grant, which will be activated upon the Fund raising $100,000 in gifts from other contributors.

The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund is designed to be flexible in its focus, nimble in its action, and to complement other resources and responses at the national, state and local levels.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation will administer responsive grants from the Fund through its Community Impact Team, which will identify potential grant recipients and accept open inquiries for funding. Given the dynamic nature of this moment, grant funding will be considered and released on a rolling basis. The Community Foundation will begin distributing grants as soon as possible.

Consideration for grants from The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund is limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations serving community needs, and other public entities based in or primarily serving Fairfield County communities and residents. Consideration will also be given to 501c4 social welfare organizations.

If you believe that your work is aligned with the Fund’s purpose as described above, you may submit a request for funding here. For general inquiries about funding, please contact your Program Officer or send an email to COVID19@FCCFoundation.org.

 

NEW COVID-19 Resiliency Fund FAQs

I’m an individual or a member of a family who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?
While the Fund is not able to provide grants directly to individuals or families, we will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. The Fund’s resources will be directed to organizations serving high-need, vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals and residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days; immigrants; persons with disabilities; and communities of color, among others.

As we begin to award grants, we will post them on this page. We also plan to post other resources for those in need, so check back on our site.

We encourage all residents to closely monitor updates and review valuable health and safety resources from the State of Connecticut and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as their local health departments. The State of Connecticut has partnered with United Way of Connecticut to launch an information hotline for questions from the public regarding issues related to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). People who have questions can call 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211.


My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?

We understand the COVID-19 crisis is impacting local nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for services, lost revenue due to closures and program and event cancelations, as well as other challenges.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation will administer responsive grants from the Fund through its Community Impact Team, which will identify potential grant recipients and accept open inquiries for funding. Given the dynamic nature of this moment, grant funding will be considered and released on a rolling basis. The Community Foundation will begin distributing grants as soon as possible.

If you believe that your work is aligned with the Fund’s purpose as described above, you may submit a request for funding here. For general inquiries about funding, please contact your Program Officer or send an email to COVID19@FCCFoundation.org.

Consideration for grants from The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund is limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations serving community needs, and other public entities based in or primarily serving Fairfield County communities and residents. Consideration will also be given to 501c4 social welfare organizations.


I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

To ensure we move critical resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of nonprofit organizations serving the most impacted and vulnerable communities and residents, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. Information on how to make donations can be provided in the Contact Us section of this page.


Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?

This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community needs during this outbreak. If this Fund’s priorities align with your interests, we hope you will consider making a donation.

In addition to making a gift to this Fund, we encourage you to support local nonprofit organizations that work with the people and families who are most vulnerable in our community. Community health centers, homeless shelters, pre-school and afterschool programs, food pantries and others, which are already dealing with reductions in state and federal funding, will be further stressed. In times like this, philanthropy can shine. If you’re a fundholder or donor interested in specific recommendations, please contact your relationship manager or email Karen Brown, VP of Development & Philanthropic Services at kbrown@fccfoundation.org.


What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

The Fund’s resources will initially be directed to 501c3 and/or 501c4 organizations serving high-need, vulnerable populations in Fairfield County, including low-income individuals and residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days; immigrants; persons with disabilities; and communities of color, among others.

We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In the first phase, we are prioritizing the deployment of resources to trusted, frontline community organizations to help them continue to meet the basic needs of local residents in Fairfield County. The Fund’s primary purpose is to help alleviate the social and economic consequences of this global pandemic and to prevent the widening of disparities in education, employment, housing, and health.

In the initial phase of funding, we are not able to prioritize organizations outside the scope of the Fund’s primary purpose that have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs. We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts unfold, we will continue to assess and evolve our funding strategies.


Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The Fund will prioritize community-based organizations serving residents of Fairfield County. Consideration for grants from The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund is limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations serving community needs, and other public entities based in or primarily serving Fairfield County communities and residents. Consideration will also be given to 501c4 social welfare organizations based in or primarily serving the same geographic region.


When will you share who you fund?

Given the dynamic nature of this moment, grant funding will be considered and released on a rolling basis. The Community Foundation will begin distributing grants as soon as possible. As we begin to award grants, we will post them on this page.


Is there a fee to contribute?

Due to the generosity of select donors, the Community Foundation will not charge an administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will support the community, excluding credit card processing fees. Donors contributing online will be given the option of adding 3% per transaction to cover credit card processing fees charged to the Community Foundation by our payment processor.


How will the Fund shift gears if needed?

The near-term goal of the Fund is to provide a rapid response that delivers financial resources to address immediate needs. Fundraising and the distribution of resources will continue through the outbreak and into the recovery phase, which has an unknown timeline. As we are dealing with unprecedented and unpredictable short- and long-term implications of COVID-19 on our communities and neighborhoods, we will frequently review the Fund’s criteria for grantmaking to ensure we are responsive to the changing needs of our communities based on the dynamic nature of this crisis.