Click Here to Give to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

A coalition of Northeast Ohio philanthropic, corporate and civic partners have joined together to create the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to deploy resources to nonprofit organizations serving on the frontlines of the pandemic in our region.

updated May 29, 2020, 1 P.m. EST

About the Rapid Response Fund

The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund was established on March 18, 2020, to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible. The Rapid Response Fund will provide grant awards on a rolling basis to nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.

Support for the Rapid Response Fund has been made possible by individual contributions and major gifts from:

  • The Abington Foundation
  • Bank of America
  • The Bruening Foundation
  • Catch Meaning Fund
  • Chip and Karen Chaikin
  • Citizens Charitable Foundation
  • The City of Cleveland
  • Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse organization
  • Cleveland Foundation
  • Cleveland Indians Charities
  • Community West Foundation
  • Pam Conover and Jon Adams
  • Cuyahoga County
  • The Dan and Ellen Zelman Family Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland
  • The Davies Family
  • Deaconess Foundation
  • The DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement
  • Dollar Bank
  • Dominion Energy
  • First National Bank
  • The Frank Hadley and Cornelia Root Ginn Foundation
  • Barbara and Peter Galvin
  • The George Gund Foundation
  • George W. Codrington Foundation
  • Giant Eagle Foundation
  • The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A.
  • JoAnn and Bob Glick
  • The Gries Family Foundation
  • Gries Financial Partners
  • Haslam 3 Foundation
  • Karry and Jonathan Hatch
  • HealthComp Foundation
  • The Higley Fund
  • Huntington Bank
  • Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation
  • Jewish Federation of Cleveland
  • The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation
  • KeyBank Foundation
  • Kramer Family Foundation
  • Lincoln Electric
  • Lowenthal Family Fund
  • The McHale Family Foundation
  • Medical Mutual
  • The Meisel and Pesses Families
  • Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation
  • Mullin, Shank & Rehak Family
  • The Neary Family
  • David and Katharine Outcalt
  • Jane and Jon Outcalt Foundation
  • Robin and Jon H. Outcalt Jr.
  • PNC
  • Judy and Bob Rawson
  • The Reinberger Foundation
  • William W. Rowley
  • RPM International Inc.
  • Saint Luke’s Foundation
  • Samuel H. and Maria Miller Foundation
  • The Sherwin-Williams Company
  • Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
  • Solarflo Corporation
  • The Stone Family Fund in memory of
    Lael Stone, M.D.
  • Bill and Pam Summers
  • Swagelok Foundation
  • TEGNA Foundation
  • Third Federal Foundation 
  • The Thomas H. White Foundation, a Key Trust
  • Three Arches Foundation
  • The Treu-Mart Fund
  • Union Home Mortgage Foundation
  • United Way of Greater Cleveland
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • U.S. Bank
  • William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation
  • Margaret W. Wong
  • Woodruff Foundation
  • Sandy and Tim Wuliger

Grantee Partners: Nearly $5.7 million awarded

Round 8 Grants: Awarded on May 29, 2020

Food & Shelter

  • CHN Housing Partners ($50,000): To provide proactive emergency rental assistance to families in Cuyahoga County with limited resources.
  • Emerald Development and Economic Network, Inc. (EDEN) ($70,000): To continue to provide housing and related supports to at-risk individuals and families with disabilities, returning citizens, and those experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
  • West Park United Church of Christ ($25,000): To support its newly established food delivery program for vulnerable populations in Cleveland’s West Park, Kamm’s Corners and Puritas neighborhoods.
  • Rid-All Green Partnership ($50,000): For its efforts to deliver nutritious food boxes on a weekly basis to veterans throughout the City of Cleveland and residents in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood who are in need.
  • Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope ($40,000): To prepare and deliver food boxes on a monthly basis to nearly 1,000 families facing food insecurity in East Cleveland.


  • Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland ($14,000): To purchase technology resources that will allow the agency’s staff to deliver remote services to economically disadvantaged individuals and families in Cuyahoga County, including early childhood education programming, behavioral health support and rent assistance.
  • Lexington-Bell Community Center ($20,000): To establish a virtual platform to continue providing early learning services and youth programs for families in Cleveland’s Hough, St. Clair and Superior neighborhoods.
  • Merrick House ($24,000): To purchase technology resources to allow staff to continue the organization’s MomsFirst, Early Childhood Education and Adult Learning and Workforce Development programming virtually.
  • Seeds of Literacy ($20,000): To purchase IT equipment and additional supplies to provide adult literacy services via tele-tutoring and live video sessions to the agency’s more than 1,100 students.

Clinical & Behavioral Health

  • Lake County Free Clinic ($34,000): To hire temporary staff and purchase enhanced personal protective and technology equipment to continue to provide essential medical care to uninsured and under-insured individuals in Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula and eastern Cuyahoga counties.
  • Northern Ohio Recovery Association ($42,000): To purchase IT equipment so inpatient clients can access mental health and recovery support services virtually, and to expand its food pantry, which it operates in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Other Vulnerable Populations

  • Epilepsy Association ($12,000): To help individuals in Cuyahoga County with epilepsy who need assistance with basic needs such as utilities, medication, housing, cleaning supplies, PPE, food and transportation.
  • Our Lady of the Wayside, Inc. ($100,000): To continue to assist developmentally disabled clients in Cuyahoga and Lake counties with nursing support and essential supplies, as well as job training and placement services.
  • Franciscan Communities, Inc./Mount Alverna Village ($80,000): To provide funding for PPE, sanitation supplies, hand sanitizer and diagnostic testing devices, in addition to the purchase of three open-front shelters that will allow for in-person visits with family members at the Parma location.
  • Blossom Hill Inc. ($36,000): To provide support for increased PPE, disinfecting products and procedures and transportation costs for developmentally disabled individuals in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
  • March of Dimes ($40,000): To provide parents with babies in the NICU at Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, face masks and resources on safety for newborns.
  • First Year Cleveland ($100,000): To provide blood pressure cuffs, doppler fetal monitors and body weight scales to COVID-19-positive pregnant women and those considered to be high risk due to other medical concerns. Funding will also provide iPads in labor and delivery rooms for connecting with significant others as well as post-delivery care packages.
  • Progressive Baptist Association ($20,000): To purchase diapers, wipes, Pack & Plays and essential household cleaning products to help ensure a safe environment for African American mothers and families who reside in impoverished communities and have been terminated or furloughed from their jobs.

Small Community Grants

  • Neighborhood Connections ($200,000): To provide grants ($500-$5,000) to small nonprofit organizations, faith-based congregations, and grassroots and neighborhood civic groups throughout Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties for a broad range of essential human needs such as healthy food and safe shelter. Since receiving its first round of funding on April 10, Neighborhood Connections has awarded 62 grants totaling $209,000.
Round 7 Grants: Awarded on May 15, 2020

Food & Shelter

  • Asian Services in Action, Inc. ($20,000): To provide emergency food assistance, basic needs and small business support for immigrant and refugee populations across the organization’s Northeast Ohio service area.
  • Bellaire Puritas Development Corporation ($32,000): For the Community Essential Needs Collective, a collaborative effort between Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation, The Bountiful Basement at Blessed Trinity Church, Neighborhood Family Practice, and St. Paul AME Church Pantry to distribute emergency food resources, public health information and cleaning supplies and emergency assistance to families in the West Park neighborhood.
  • Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. ($65,000): To prepare and distribute hot meals and care packages containing PPE, hygiene products and cleaning supplies to homebound residents in Cleveland’s Buckeye-Shaker Square, Buckeye-Woodhill, Central and Kinsman neighborhoods.
  • Family Pride of Northeast Ohio ($30,000): To support the immediate needs of individuals and families throughout Geauga and Lake counties who are clients of this behavioral health organization including access to food, technology, and emergency shelter and housing support, as well as resources for families to keep kids physically and emotionally healthy.
  • Front Steps Housing and Services ($75,000): For food, supplies and staffing to serve the growing needs of its clients, who are formerly homeless individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Greater Collinwood Development Corporation ($16,000): To safely scale up its provision of free food packages to residents in need.  
  • Harvard Community Services Center ($40,000): To serve homebound adults and families across the Lee-Harvard, Miles and Seville neighborhoods through the mobile delivery of care packages containing food and basic hygiene items.
  • Lakewood Community Services Center ($34,000): For staffing needed to continue its zero-contact food delivery and distribution system for individuals and families in Lakewood who are facing food insecurity.
  • MidTown Cleveland ($30,000): For bulk meal purchases from AsiaTown restaurants, providing a direct infusion of business to locally owned restaurants while serving the needs of food insecure residents.
  • The Phillis Wheatley Association ($65,000): For staffing, food and other basic supplies to continue to provide meals and critical services to older and disabled adults in the core city of Cleveland.  


  • Salaam Clinic of Cleveland ($25,000): To purchase personal protective and infection control equipment and additional technology resources that will allow the clinic to resume operations providing health care services to the uninsured and underinsured population of Northeast Ohio.
  • Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association ($85,000): To support the #Masks4Community project, which will distribute 33,000 kits in Cleveland and East Cleveland neighborhoods. The kits will include: a washable mask, safety outdoors coloring sheet, 2020 Census, Election/Voting and COVID-19 safety information. The kits will be distributed to essential community locations, including grocery stores, pharmacies, discount stores and food bank sites.

 Vulnerable Populations

  • Forbes House ($80,000): To help Lake County’s only domestic violence shelter increase capacity to support the growing number of low-income and at-risk families dealing with trauma by providing emergency shelter, mental health counseling and access to technology.
  • HELP Foundation ($100,000): To continue providing uninterrupted services, including expanded meal delivery, virtual programming, emergency sanitation and PPE supplies, to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities at more than 20 residential locations.
  • Kidney Foundation of Ohio ($25,000): To provide medications, transportation support, emergency assistance and patient service programs to those living with kidney disease in Greater Cleveland and throughout Cuyahoga County.
  • Long Term Care Ombudsman ($13,000): To upgrade existing technology to allow certified staff and volunteers across a five-county footprint to advocate for excellence in long-term care services while nursing homes and other care facilities are closed to outside visitors.
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America, Buckeye Chapter ($18,000): To provide food, medical supplies and other basic needs to honorably discharged veterans with spinal cord injuries or disease, including Multiple Sclerosis and ALS.
  • Cleveland Rape Crisis Center ($90,000): To support case management and hotline staff and coordinate new service delivery methods for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.
  • Ravenwood Mental Health Center ($15,000): To provide emergency food delivery, toiletries and hygiene products at this community mental health and addiction treatment center serving Geauga County.
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland ($50,000): To cover increased staffing expenses due to COVID-19, including 24/7 care at group homes, virtual employment services, tele-education, telehealth and nursing services for individuals with disabilities.
Round 6 Grants: Awarded on May 1, 2020
Food & Shelter
  • Cleveland Chesed Center ($25,000): To continue to provide food, including kosher options, via drive-through distribution to financially vulnerable families in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties.
  • Denison Avenue United Church of Christ ($25,000): To provide food, shelter, counseling and therapy for unsheltered individuals on Cleveland’s near west side.
  • Grace C&MA Church ($25,000): To provide assistance with medication and grocery acquisition and delivery, including cleaning supplies, toiletries and other basic needs for at-risk populations in Middleburg Heights.
  • Little Africa Food Collaborative ($47,000): To deliver the needed equipment, supplies, information and most importantly food to seniors, mentally and physically disabled residents and homeless populations on Cleveland’s near east side.
  • McKinley Community Outreach Center ($20,000): To provide food and basic needs items for underserved, low-income individuals in western Lake County.
  • Cleveland Kosher Food Pantry ($25,000): To meet the increased demand for food deliveries among seniors and low-income families in eastern Cuyahoga County.
  • Smart Development Inc. ($50,000): To provide food, basic needs items, language translation and shelter for new immigrants, people of color, and refugees in Cuyahoga County.
  • St. Herman’s FOCUS Cleveland ($25,000): To purchase additional supplies to better protect shelter residents and staff, including cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, and to provide emergency and transitional housing assistance for unsheltered men in Cleveland.
  • St. Paul’s Community Outreach ($22,000): To provide funding to assist with utility bills, home repairs, food and employment services for at-risk and low-income residents in the Ohio City and Detroit Shoreway neighborhoods on Cleveland’s near west side.
  • Thea Bowman Center ($25,000): To provide food deliveries to at-risk seniors, and to accommodate the increase in general food bank needs for residents in Cleveland’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood.
  • Union Miles Development Corporation ($50,000): To assist the Little Africa Food Collaborative with food and crisis preparation kit distribution throughout the Union-Miles, Harvard and Mt. Pleasant communities.
Behavioral Health
  • Beech Brook ($47,000): To continue to provide mental and behavioral health services via telehealth solutions to low-income individuals and children in Cleveland.
  • New Directions, Inc. ($27,000): To continue providing residential and recovery housing, as well as intensive outpatient and recovery services for individuals and their families seeking substance use recovery and mental health assistance in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
  • Recovery Resources ($94,000): To continue providing services via telehealth including assessments, individual and group therapy, psychiatry, nursing, prevention and employment support, while increasing access to food, for residents in Cuyahoga County seeking assistance with mental illness, alcoholism, drug and other addictions.
Round 5 Grants: Awarded on April 24, 2020
  • Family Promise of Greater Cleveland ($30,000): To continue to provide supplies, food, beds and other resources for unsheltered families and recently housed families in Cuyahoga County.
  • West Side Catholic Center ($16,000): To continue to offer takeout meals, shower facilities, emergency shelter, as well as remote case management and one-on-one social work for low-income and unsheltered clients in Cuyahoga County.
  • The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland ($50,000): To purchase additional food and sanitation products that will be needed in order to meet the increase to weekly service deliveries (from twice monthly) to those in need in Cuyahoga County.
  • Famicos Foundation ($80,000): To purchase and deliver food, toiletries and cleaning supplies to seniors and disabled residents in Cleveland’s Hough, Glenville and St. Clair-Superior neighborhoods.
  • Joseph’s Home ($20,500): To purchase medical and disinfecting supplies for the medical respite shelter, help transition to mobile capabilities for staff and to expedite the relocation of medically at-risk clients in Cuyahoga County to permanent housing.
  • Malachi House ($90,000): To continue to serve low-income, terminally ill patients free of charge in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.
  • Providence House ($55,808): To maintain phone-based family support services and provide delivery of basic needs items for at-risk, vulnerable and low-income families in Cuyahoga County.
  • True Freedom Enterprises ($20,000): To continue to provide transportation services to places of employment for formerly incarcerated citizens in Cleveland.
  • West Side Community House ($30,000): To continue providing meals and support services for seniors and disabled adults on Cleveland’s near west side, through weekly meals to-go and home delivered meals to housebound seniors.
  • WomenSafe, Inc. ($50,000): To maintain the emergency domestic violence shelter, while providing tele-counseling services, case management and basic needs items for adult and child survivors of domestic violence throughout Northeast Ohio.
Round 4 Grants: Awarded on April 17, 2020
Food & Shelter
  • Community Service Alliance ($15,000): To continue to provide safe and supportive housing, job assistance, and life skills training at four locations on Cleveland’s near west side for men transitioning to independence and self-sufficiency from poverty, homelessness and addiction.
Comprehensive Basic Needs
    • Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland ($91,240): To provide mental health services through new telemedicine and telemeeting models, while increasing food distribution and rent assistance to at-risk populations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
    • Linking Employment, Abilities & Potential (LEAP) ($50,000): To facilitate individual telephonic and video peer support, and online programs such as recreation, youth transition and community education training for persons with disabilities in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
    • Koinonia Homes, Inc. ($50,000): To hire and train up to 100 additional direct support professionals to provide assistance with personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, preparing and consuming meals for clients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities across Northeast Ohio and to support its current direct support professionals.
    • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio ($20,000): To support the organization’s weekly grocery box delivery service, including “HopeWork” kits providing hands-on enrichment and literacy programming to fill the educational gaps for youth and families in Cuyahoga County.
Other Vulnerable Populations
    • Birthing Beautiful Communities ($59,000): To provide housing assistance, food delivery, and birth kits for expectant mothers, as well as essential items such as strollers, diapers, wipes, and car seats, and telehealth services for low-income women in Cuyahoga County.
    • Jordan Community Resource Center ($20,000): To help women who are victims of human trafficking and substance use residing in its recovery houses stay safe from contracting the virus and stay connected to their children, support services and therapy via online options.
    • LGBTQ Community Center of Greater Cleveland ($45,023): To help provide food assistance, transportation, social-emotional support via tele/virtual community group meetings and programming, virtual wellness options, street outreach, and legal referrals and advocacy for the LGBTQ population in Greater Cleveland.
    • Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center ($29,700): To create a mobile food pantry for the organization’s HIV/AIDS clients in Cuyahoga County, and to continue to monitor, assess, and assist them with their medical, housing, and legal needs.
  • Ohio City Inc. ($40,000): To disinfect and sterilize 13 emergency bathroom and handwashing stations that were set up to serve unsheltered individuals in downtown Cleveland and on the near west side, while also providing shower availability for individuals.
  • Senior Citizen Resources, Inc. ($22,750): To provide meals, transportation and personal hygiene supplies for high-risk homebound seniors in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood.
Round 3 Grants: Awarded on April 10, 2020
Food & Shelter
  • Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging ($100,000): To provide meals, telephone reassurance and wellness checks, and telehealth behavioral health services for older adults and caregivers in Cuyahoga County.
  • YWCA Greater Cleveland ($101,500): To provide basic needs, food security, and on-site and remote case management at Permanent Supportive Housing for formerly homeless and low-income women at two locations as well as Cleveland’s largest emergency homeless shelter for adult women.
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Case Western Reserve University + Yellowcake Shop ($50,000): To facilitate the production of 10,000 protective facemasks, which will be distributed to Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry for non-contact circulation within the Cuyahoga County Continuum of Care’s homeless service provider network.
Comprehensive Basic Needs
  • East End Neighborhood House ($70,000): To continue to provide meal deliveries to seniors and childcare services as a Temporary Pandemic Center in the Buckeye neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side.
    • Community of Hope ($15,000): To provide funds for housing, transportation and basic needs for youth who have aged out of foster care in Cuyahoga County and are at a high risk for homelessness.
Other Vulnerable Populations
  • SMART Recovery ($70,000): To help facilitate nearly 400 online addiction support meetings free of charge, while maintaining confidentiality and anonymity for at-risk populations across Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
  • Centers for Dialysis Care ($20,000): To provide personal protective equipment for staff and patients, and to help pay for transportation for patients across Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties in order to travel to the clinic for treatment.
Small Community Grants
  • Neighborhood Connections ($200,000): To provide grants ($500-$5,000) to small nonprofit organizations, faith-based congregations, and grassroots and neighborhood civic groups throughout Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties for a broad range of essential human needs such as healthy food and safe shelter.
Round 2 Grants: Awarded on April 3, 2020

Food & Shelter

  • Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry ($285,000): To immediately reduce the number of people housed in local homeless shelters where the risks of the spread of COVID-19 are especially high by providing them with temporary hotel lodging that allows for safer social distancing.
  • Project Hope for the Homeless ($22,000): To expand staffing and hours at the only Lake County emergency homeless shelter, which has shifted its practices to house adults and families in a setting that complies with CDC social distancing guidelines.
  • Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland ($75,000): To adjust its practices to compensate for volunteer shortages and follow social distancing guidelines while responding to a significant increase in need for food, baby formula and hygiene products at its 72 hunger centers as well as food rescue donor and recipient sites across Cuyahoga County.
Comprehensive Basic Needs
  • May Dugan Center ($50,000): To continue making vital services and programs available for vulnerable residents – including its food distribution, trauma recovery center, MomsFirst program and behavioral health services.

  • University Settlement ($50,000): To provide Slavic Village residents with limited economic means a variety of critical services and resources, including relief boxes with food, hygiene and activity items, mailings with important health and community resource information, personal finance education and more.

Behavioral Health
  • Murtis Taylor Human Services System ($70,000): To fully implement telephone and telehealth service models for its lines of service – Behavioral Health, Family Center and Special Needs Childcare – for Greater Cleveland residents with low/fixed incomes.
  • David’s Challenge Young Achievers Ohio ($50,000): To re-start its operations – including the hiring of temporary staff and the purchase of needed technology equipment, food and other items – so it can provide social-emotional learning support to East Cleveland youth. 
  • YWCA Greater Cleveland ($26,000): To continue providing emergency financial support (food cards, temporary housing, bus tickets, etc.) through the “A Place 4 Me” initiative for homeless youth in Cleveland.
Immigrants, Refugees & New Americans
  • Global Cleveland ($35,000): To continue to translate state and local information in order to raise awareness of critical resources (health, employment, food, housing, etc.) in nearly 20 different languages for Greater Cleveland’s international community.
  • HOLA Ohio ($50,000): To better facilitate access to medical care and unemployment assistance for the Latino and immigrant populations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, while also providing funds for help with basic needs including housing, bills, groceries, medicines and immigration fees.
  • Refugee Services Collaborative ($50,000): To institute a two-pronged effort aimed at reducing health and economic distress in Northeast Ohio’s refugee population by providing an emergency cash assistance program for necessities and instituting an emergency employment initiative to place applicants in temporary employment.
  • The Spanish American Committee ($50,000): To give food, utility and rental assistance stipends to low-income and elderly Latino populations in Greater Cleveland, while also providing clients with emotional and mental health resources and crisis financial planning assistance.

Other Vulnerable Populations
  • Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center ($75,000): To support a transition of services to telepractice over a 12-week period and support therapists, a care coordinator, and a deaf operations manager in designing and implementing new materials for remote speech therapy, audiology and deaf services.
  • Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center ($100,000): To help with the anticipated surge in domestic violence and child abuse in Cuyahoga County by providing funding for safe housing, technology costs, additional capacity for food, transportation and client assistance for basic needs.
  • Fairhill Partners ($55,000): To provide ongoing service for vulnerable older adults through emergency homeless sheltering, remote-access support for older relatives raising children, and continuing USDA food box and Senior Market fresh produce distribution.
  • National Church Residences Foundation ($37,000): To help provide for critical care needs of residents (food, paper products, and cleaning supplies) as well as supply building staff with the equipment needed to keep residents safe and healthy at its six affordable housing sites for older adults throughout Cuyahoga County.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Disabled Populations ($100,000): To support a consortium of nonprofit service agencies to purchase PPE for their collective 2,600 staff serving more than 1,600 clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other related challenges.
Round 1 Grants: Awarded on March 27, 2020
  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank ($300,000): To support the dramatically increasing needs of individuals impacted by food insecurity including children, families, seniors and individuals with health challenges. This funding will help to subsidize emergency food resources as well as programming and supplies that will be needed in the coming weeks and months. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio, having served more than 350,000 people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties in 2019.
  • MedWish International ($70,000): To collect and provide access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other in-demand medical supplies for local health care institutions. MedWish will identify the most needed items and pull those from its inventory to make them available as quickly as possible upon request. This includes ventilators, PPE and respiratory supplies. This grant will also help MedWish coordinate local donation drop-off locations throughout the community to collect excess items individuals may have in their homes that are in high demand by local health care facilities (such as gloves, masks and hand sanitizer).
  • Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) ($70,000): To provide emergency lodging that will allow unsheltered individuals to remain quarantined before the pandemic reaches its peak. By placing these individuals in emergency lodging, they will have the opportunity to avoid risks associated with sleeping outside and can practice more effective social distancing. Further, NEOCH will be able to centralize outreach and coordinate efforts more effectively since it will be easier to get food and supplies to the people it serves.
  • Senior Transportation Connection (STC) ($60,000): To continue to provide essential medical and food access services to older adults in the community. In many cases, STC serves as a last-resort service for older adults with mobility needs and limited social supports. More than half of those served by STC are 75 years and older, while nearly 60% are low income – two demographic groups identified as particularly vulnerable populations during this crisis.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the funding priorities of the Rapid Response Fund?

The Rapid Response Fund will deploy resources to address the urgent health, basic human services and economic needs of disproportionately impacted communities and individuals. Initially, grant funding will support nonprofit organizations that provide community safety nets and have strong experience working with the immediate needs of populations made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Rapid Response Fund will support nonprofit organizations that serve:

  • People over 60 years of age, people with compromised immune systems, those who are pregnant and others with increased health risks associated with the novel coronavirus
  • Low-income residents
  • Homeless people
  • Residents without health insurance and/or access to paid time off work
  • People with limited English language proficiency
  • Healthcare, service workers and part-time workers
  • People of color
  • People with disabilities
  • Incarcerated and returning individuals
  • Other populations emerging with needs as the crisis unfolds

The Rapid Response Fund will support organizations that are able to deploy resources quickly to meet emergent community needs. Funding partners will also advocate for scaling public sector action that promotes robust and timely public sector financial investment and needed regulatory, administrative and/or program adaptations to address this crisis, including issues surrounding evictions and utility shut-offs, unemployment benefits and lapses in health insurance coverage for children and those supported by Medicaid.

How can my organization apply?

Frontline nonprofits that have pressing needs related to the COVID-19 crisis response should email to receive more information about the streamlined funding process. The funding collaborative will continue to identify potential grantee partners, solicit guidance on proposed projects from community advisors and recommend final awards. Organizations that have already submitted funding requests will remain in consideration for future grant distributions until further notice.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Rapid Response Fund, grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations and other public entities. The partners are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions or other 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5) and 501(c)(6) organizations.

For now, the fund is designed to be fully distributed in 2020

How often are grants awarded?

Starting May 1, Ohio begins to implement its Responsible RestartOhio plan. As we deepen our understanding of the breadth and depth of community needs and hear from our nonprofit partners about some ‘big picture’ questions that require critical reflection, we are compelled to slow the pace of our grantmaking from weekly to biweekly. This new cadence will give grantmaking staff time to collect deeper information from our community partners, leverage and complement Rapid Response Fund resources with those of other sectors, and make even more thoughtful grants with an eye toward scale. This change of pace is a pilot for now, as we learn in real-time how we can most effectively support those working on the frontlines.
Please understand that the central purpose of the Rapid Response Fund has not changed: to quickly deploy resources that will assist our nonprofit partners in meeting the pressing needs of the region’s most vulnerable people. We hope the new biweekly schedule will allow us to meet these needs as our communities begin to re-emerge and navigate what’s next together.

What will be prioritized in early funding, and what will NOT be included?

As fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, funds will be released on a rolling basis, making it possible to deploy resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs. In the beginning, the fund is prioritizing nonprofit organizations that are serving individuals who are suffering immediately and disproportionately from this crisis. At this time, the Rapid Response Fund is not able to prioritize larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services.

I am an individual who has been affected by COVID-19. Can this fund help me?

We understand many people have already been affected by COVID-19, and more will continue to be affected. Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund partners are deploying resources to nonprofit organizations that directly support residents who are at the highest risk for emerging health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic. The Rapid Response Fund will not provide grants to individuals.

If you are looking for resources now, please consider calling the United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 2-1-1 Help Center. Visit or dial 2-1-1 for support and more information.

Event cancellations have impacted our organization’s revenue. Are we eligible to apply?

In the beginning, the Rapid Response Fund will not be able to prioritize organizations that have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs. The partners recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, the collaborative will continue to assess and evolve funding strategies.

Who can contribute? 

The partners encourage individual donors, companies, additional funders and other organizations to contribute to the Rapid Response Fund. Online gifts via credit card will have the most immediate impact. Donations of any amount are welcomed, and all contributions are eligible for a charitable deduction. If you are a Cleveland Foundation fund holder and would like to recommend a grant from your fund, please log in to the donor portal or contact your donor relations advisor for instructions.

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

To ensure the Rapid Response Fund moves resources as efficiently as possible and responds to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering donations restricted to specific agencies or causes at this time.

Is this the only community response fund?

The Rapid Response Fund was not created to be the only vehicle for getting needed resources into the community, but to deploy coordinated resources strategically and effectively. Pooling dollars allows for a unique opportunity for leverage that a single donation cannot alone provide.

This is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations that may have benefited from community giving in the past, as well as those that have had to cancel their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community.   

Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to be in contact with any foundation with which they already have a relationship. Many of the foundations that have given to the Rapid Response Fund are also conducting their regular grantmaking processes.

How will the Rapid Response Fund shift gears if needed?

The Rapid Response Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. Crisis philanthropy is centered on meeting immediate needs with an eye toward long-term recovery and community resilience.

What other types of response work are being emphasized? 

The Rapid Response Fund also seeks to award grants that:

  • Lift up approaches tailored to specific cultural, historic and language needs of disproportionally impacted populations.
  • Support demonstration projects from which others can learn. 
  • Enhance projects funded with public dollars and/or projects that are complementary to other recovery efforts. 
  • Help establish a structure whereby grantees can collaborate, thereby leveraging new resources and maximizing impact (e.g. environmental organizations, public policy groups, arts and cultural nonprofits, community engagement organizations and media outlets working collaboratively to address the pandemic).
  • Support and encourage collaboration among grantees, public health entities, emergency management personnel, first-responders and long-term recovery group members. 

Please contact for questions about the grantmaking process.

Latest News

May 29, 2020

Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund partners announce latest round of grantmaking

May 15, 2020

Partners announce latest round of Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund grant recipients

May 1, 2020

Partners announce latest round of Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund grant recipients

April 24, 2020

Partners announce fifth week of Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund grant recipients

April 17, 2020

Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund partners announce latest round of grantmaking

April 10, 2020

Musical artists help raise dollars for the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

April 10, 2020

Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund partners announce recipients of third week of grantmaking

April 3, 2020

Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund partners award $1.18 million in second week of grantmaking

March 27, 2020

Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awards $500,000 in initial round of grantmaking

March 23, 2020

Community rallies to raise more than $5.37 million to date for Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

March 18, 2020

Philanthropic partners announce creation of Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund