(March 25, 2020) The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina announced 38 grants totaling $286,800 from its Emergency and Disaster Response Fund to nonprofits addressing COVID-19 pandemic response and relief efforts in 18 counties of Western North Carolina including the Qualla Boundary.
The grants respond to immediate needs not currently covered by other emergency funding sources. They fall into broad categories including hunger mitigation, physical and mental health, emergency childcare and support for marginalized people.
“Twelve days ago, in partnership with Dogwood Health Trust and WNC Bridge Foundation, CFWNC announced the activation of the Emergency and Disaster Response Fund,” said President Elizabeth Brazas. “In less than two weeks, we’ve been joined by six additional funders and received contributions from many individuals who support the collaborative goal of quickly providing flexible assets to front-line organizations experiencing increasing demands for help due to the pandemic.”
As fundraising continues, grants will be awarded weekly through a simple, expedited process. A second round of grants is expected to be announced next week.
“Dogwood Health Trust is working on several fronts to support community organizations throughout the region during this unprecedented health challenge,” said Brian Myers, Chief Strategy Officer and Interim VP of Impact at Dogwood Health Trust. “Partnering with The Community Foundation and other regional funders, we are able to quickly get funds to human service organizations working across our shared service area.”
In addition to CFWNC, Dogwood Health Trust and WNC Bridge Foundation, funding partners include AMY Wellness Foundation, Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund, Nantahala Health Foundation, Pisgah Health Foundation, Ramble Charitable Fund and Wells Fargo.
“This coordinated first response demonstrates a commitment on the part of regional funders to support nonprofits stepping up during this crisis,” said Scott Buchanan, President & CEO, WNC Bridge Foundation. “We all share the goal of supporting the health and well-being of as many people in Western North Carolina as possible.”
Community members who wish to support aid to those affected by COVID-19 may donate to the Emergency and Disaster Response Fund. Administrative fees are waived so that every dollar will go directly to expanding local capacity to address the pandemic. Donors are asked to consider a contribution in addition to, not instead of, ongoing support for regional organizations dependent on charitable donations.
Bringing people together to address regional issues is a key role of community foundations. Across the country, more than 150 community foundations have launched programs addressing COVID-19.
Learn more about collaboration and pandemic response in WNC.