Collaborative leadership and teamwork deliver sixth round of support region-wide
The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a joint effort from Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, today announces the Fund’s sixth round of grants. To date, the Fund has raised more than $25 million through collective resources. The two organizations have together identified the areas of greatest need and the most vulnerable populations to determine where to deliver funds.
This sixth round of grants total $5.3 million and will be distributed to 245 organizations in response to the region’s needs as a result of COVID-19. A grand total of more than $17.3 million from the Fund has been mobilized to benefit 320 nonprofits thus far. A full listing of today’s grants are detailed below. These, as well as those made in the earlier rounds, are listed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website.
Individuals who wish to contribute to supporting our region’s nonprofits can donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund here. Support funds will be released on a rolling basis throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis.
During an open, public application process in April, more than 650 nonprofit organizations requested funding and today 245 are receiving grants. The grant review committee placed strong consideration on racial and gender equity in their decisions. Geographic spread and the ability to reach underserved communities and neighborhoods with vital support were also among the considerations.
Grant awards were also informed by a digital listening tool which captured input from more than 300 organizations. Multiple themes have emerged depicting nonprofit experiences:
· Increase in service requests and new clients requesting assistance
· Loss of revenue, fees for service and donations
· Loss of volunteer assistance due to shelter-in-place orders
· Moving work and services to digital platforms such as telehealth, leading to added technology needs and training
· Supply shortages for staff, clients and distribution (cleaning supplies, food, household paper products, personal protective equipment/PPE)
Grants are given to nonprofits for general operating support, allowing the receiving organization to direct funds to where they are most needed as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding priority areas include childcare, education, emergency financial assistance, food security, health, housing and small business support. Prevailing needs in each of these areas are:
Childcare ($315,500 in total grants this round)
Many childcare centers have had to close, putting financial burdens on facility owners and creating fewer options for frontline healthcare professionals and first responders. Cost and accessibility to quality childcare were issues for families before COVID-19, exacerbated now by the pandemic. Funds help early childhood centers remain open with new safety standards and centers that are providing virtual learning opportunities and family supports.
Education ($957,050 in total grants this round)
With schools closed, over 344,000 students in our region do not have access to the support needed for learning. Grants include educational support provisions and fill gaps in digital/online access, meals and mental health supports.
Emergency Financial Assistance ($990,000 in total grants this round)
The immediate loss of income for thousands of individuals and families has depleted or eliminated any savings for emergency needs, especially for hourly, service industry and gig workers. Grants will support an increased need for emergency financial assistance that ranges from rent and utility assistance to diapers, cleaning supplies and medications.
Food Security ($965,000 in total grants this round)
COVID-19 has disrupted the system of food access for hundreds of thousands of individuals and families, especially seniors, students and the homeless population. Grants for this area will address the exponential increase in demand for food at area pantries and food distribution sites and innovation in delivery options to replace volunteers that can’t be used for safety reasons.
Health ($918,575 in total grants this round)
The health safety net has experienced significant reductions in services. Most school-based clinics and some community-based centers have closed and others have faced lost revenue with declining patient volume. Charitable clinics are reporting increasing numbers due to people losing healthcare related to loss of jobs and not having other options for affordable care. Specific areas of need include access to care, behavioral health, chronic health specialty organizations, maternal and child care and services for people with disabilities.
Housing ($695,000 in total grants this round)
With unprecedented job loss and reduced hours, low-income renters are now challenged to afford their rent. There will be a growing number of unhoused and displaced persons, especially of low-income people of color and young adults. Grants for this area focus on legal support for people at risk of losing housing, basic needs to address housing stability and safety, providing stable housing for people experiencing homelessness and support for people living in residential facilities facing increased needs.
Small Business Support ($495,000 in total grants this round)
Many small business owners have not had access to Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government. It is estimated that up to 72% of small businesses will not survive if the crisis extends 4 months or longer. The largest grants are going to organizations that provide direct support for small business owners of color, which have historically had less access to capital, and are significantly less likely to obtain bank funds as white business owners.
Today’s grant recipients are (individual grant amounts are available here):
1. 180 Your Grief, Inc. DBA Widow Strong – to cover costs for modified operations and increased demand for services. 2. 21st Century Leaders – to support an immersive leadership development experience. 3. 3D Girls, Inc. – to support basic needs for babies and new mother