Emergency and Disaster Response Fund

The purpose of the Emergency and Disaster Response Fund (EDRF) is to provide funding for human service organizations in addressing basic needs that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of this fund is to respond to immediate/urgent needs not covered by other sources. Please note: if your organization is eligible for emergency public funding (local, state or federal), you will be asked to address that in the application.

Members of the community 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 assistance.

Deadlines and Dates

Nonprofits will use a simple, expedited process to access funds with grants considered and awarded on a rolling basis, as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the pandemic. Organizations can submit only one request for funding at this time.


To be eligible to apply, organizations must:

  • have missions or programs focused on human services
  • have a demonstrated track record of providing human services programs
  • are currently providing programs and have the ability to respond to a significant increase in demand for services
  • are tax-exempt as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • are located in or serving one or more of these WNC counties, including the Qualla Boundary: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey

What We Do Not Fund

EDRF grants generally do not support: debt retirement; sectarian religious purposes; partisan political purposes; individuals; or activities taking place or expenses incurred before grant decisions are made.

How to Apply

1. Access Community Foundation Staff Assistance

If you have questions regarding eligibility, contact Virginia Dollar, Senior Program Officer, by email or at 828-367-9907.

2. Submit an Application

Access the online application process. For technical assistance with the online grant system, please contact Diane Crisp, Grants Manager, by email or at 828-367-9904. Applicants will be notified by email upon receipt of application.

3. Review Process

Expedited review of applications will take place with funding decisions announced weekly.

Reporting Requirements

A brief online end-of-grant report verifying use of grant funds and results will be required. Instructions will be included in the grant award communication.

Return to Grants Directory