Community foundations across the country mobilize funds for emergency relief

A woman stands inside a food bank warehouse

Since the community foundation concept was launched here in Cleveland in 1914 by our founder Frederick Harris Goff, place-based philanthropy has played an important role promoting the well-being of communities around the world. In times of crisis, residents often look to their local community foundation as a trusted leader in the response. In recent years, community foundations have established relief funds to respond to natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other tragedies in their backyards. Today, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens communities across the country, place-based foundations are stepping up to help. 

Across every state in the U.S., community foundations have launched relief funds in response to COVID-19. So far, more than $718.7 million has been mobilized by nearly 350 community foundations, and more than $284.3 million in grants have been made to nonprofit organizations that are serving on the frontlines of the pandemic. You can learn more about how the community foundation field is stepping up here.

Here in Cleveland, partners across the philanthropic, corporate and civic sectors – as well as individuals and families – wasted no time launching and growing the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to support nonprofit organizations and groups serving the basic needs of residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. So far, more than $8.1 million has been raised for the fund. In the fund’s first six weeks of grantmaking, more than $3.8 million has been awarded to 65 nonprofit groups and organizations. These grants are helping nonprofits provide food, shelter, safety and other supports to the most vulnerable residents in our community. You can learn more about the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and its grantmaking here

While philanthropic dollars are merely a drop in the bucket compared to the government funding that must be deployed, every bit counts when the need is this great. As we continue to navigate this pandemic and its effects, community foundations from coast to coast will continue to mobilize local resources to help.  

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