Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund partners open application process for Phase II

More than $3 million committed to date; individuals and organizations encouraged to give

Release Date: 10.13.2020

CLEVELAND – Philanthropic partners across Northeast Ohio today announced that the application process is now open for Phase II of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. Nearly eight months into our community’s response to the virus, this second round of funding will continue to support nonprofit organizations dealing directly with the ongoing effects of the pandemic in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.

In determining the focus for Phase II, partners collected input from nearly 750 stakeholders, including more than 300 community residents, almost 320 nonprofit organizations, and dozens of local and national leaders across sectors. Through these efforts – and with more than $3 million in initial support to launch this next phase – three areas of focus have emerged as grantmaking priorities:

  • Basic needs: New and emergency needs, particularly for service offerings outside of normal operations to respond to social distancing, isolation and quarantine. Examples include expanded services or hand-delivered products and services to people who are home-bound or quarantined as well as protocols to keep housing-insecure residents sheltered while reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Family supports: Services that help marginalized families and those most impacted by the pandemic maintain and/or secure employment, position students to thrive in a changing school environment, and assist families with other challenges they face as a result of COVID-19. Examples include distance learning, technology training, mental and behavioral health care supports, and learning pods.
  • PPE, testing and contact tracing: PPE and community testing equipment as well as services for marginalized populations and those most impacted by the pandemic.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Rapid Response Fund, the second phase is currently accepting grant applications from eligible organizations serving Cuyahoga, Lake and/or Geauga counties. The fund is designed primarily to support human service nonprofits with operational budgets of less than $20 million. The fund partners encourage collaborative proposals that involve multiple organizations within similar sectors or neighborhoods working on shared issues.

Grants will be awarded every two weeks beginning the first week of November 2020 and will continue for one year. Awards will range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000 for any nonprofit organization throughout the next year, ending Oct. 31, 2021. Organizations that were funded during Phase 1 (between March-July 2020) are eligible to apply for additional funding. 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. Visit for more information and to apply.

In addition to the Rapid Response Fund, the partners are in the process of establishing a broader, long-term aligned collaboration focused on:

  • helping the nonprofit sector adapt its services and programming to be able to meet the increased needs of the community;
  • advocating for more explicit and intentional anti-racist policies, processes and practices in government, nonprofit, and philanthropy;
  • advancing economic well-being and stability for all; and
  • leveraging philanthropic power and capital to spur greater collaboration and better leadership.

Contributions to the second phase of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund have already exceeded $3 million, including new funding partners Frank & Fran Porter. Thanks to the generosity of more than 80 corporate, civic and philanthropic partners, as well as nearly 2,300 individuals and families across the region, more than $8.6 million was distributed to nearly 160 organizations across Northeast Ohio during the first phase of the fund. Funding partners urge other foundations, corporate entities, individuals and organizations to contribute to the fund via Donations of any amount are welcomed, and all contributions are tax deductible.

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