Community Foundation and United Way to open grant applications for COVID-19 relief


Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta open applications for additional COVID-19 response grants

More than $18.4 million distributed to date across the region

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 an open application process for nonprofit organizations to receive grant funding for pandemic response efforts. The Fund plans to issue $5.5 million in grants in the next 30 to 60 days, in addition to $18.4 million distributed to date.

Application eligibility requirements and materials are posted on United Way’s website via this link. Applications must be completed by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 9 and funding decisions will be announced on a rolling basis beginning mid-October, with updates on timing of additional grant announcements posted on the Community Foundation’s website here.

Grants will focus on nonprofits that address four priority areas of need: education, food security, housing and mental health. Further, the Fund actively seeks applications from organizations founded and/or led by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and organizations with annual budgets under $2 million that are responding to local needs. Applications should detail how nonprofits have served constituents during the pandemic, as well as each organization’s plans for how funding would be used in the next 90 days.

“We launched the COVID-19 Fund in mid-March when the significant challenges brought on by COVID-19 were just being felt in our region,” said Frank Fernandez, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “Our initial response was triage, directing funds to organizations that could scale a large response to critical needs such as food and childcare with broad geographic reach. We recognize that the region is still challenged and smaller nonprofits, especially, are well-positioned to serve harder-to-reach individuals and families in underserved communities.”

“Our grantmaking has been informed by a digital listening tool that revealed broad community needs, as well as through meetings with diverse nonprofit leaders representing Black, Latinx and other constituencies,” said Milton J. Little, Jr., president and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta. “Racial equity lies at the core of our collective work. We know that our Black neighbors have been harder hit by the pandemic and that we must continue to support nonprofits working directly in these communities.”

Representing a combined 185 years of serving our region, both United Way and the Community Foundation are committed to an equity agenda to support the emergence of a Greater Atlanta where every child, family and community has the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, school buildings closed down, businesses temporarily closed, arts and cultural performances shuttered and workers were laid off. When faced with these economic, health and social crises, the institutions partnered on a swift and significant financial response that continues with this additional funding.

Initial grants from the Fund were determined by a volunteer advisory committee and were focused on providing crucial services to high-risk audiences including seniors, families with children who normally receive free or reduced meals at school, front line workers and other families in need of childcare, homeowners and renters at risk for eviction and hourly/low-wage workers. As the pandemic continued to impact our region, funding priorities expanded to respond to additional identified needs, feedback through the digital listening tool and outreach to area nonprofits. Subsequent grants focused on getting technology and connectivity to students across the region to enable distance learning, while further funding addressed emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities to keep people in their homes.

More than $18.4 million has been awarded from the Fund to more than 320 nonprofits in the region and are detailed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website. A comprehensive timeline of the Fund that details how the Fund launched and evolved as funding priorities shifted for ongoing pandemic response can be found here.

The Fund was announced March 17 with Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta committing $1 million and United Way of Greater Atlanta contributing $500,000 to seed the Fund. As of today, commitments have been secured from The Coca-Cola Company and Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, each donating $5 million to the Fund in support. Other current funders include, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Goizueta Foundation, The Klump Family Foundation and Truist Foundation. A complete list of corporate, foundation and individual donors to the Fund can be found here.

Individuals and families impacted and in need of support can contact United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 Contact Center. Due to high call volumes, texting is the quickest way to get in touch with United Way 2-1-1. Text 211od to 898-211 to get a list of resources by zip code. The 2-1-1 database is another quick way to find resources during this time of increased call volume. 2-1-1 is a valuable resource that is available 24-hours and 7 days-a-week.

Individuals who wish to contribute to supporting our region’s neighbors who need help can donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund here. The Community Foundation will continue to update details for donors and nonprofits through its blog and via social media via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. To view updates from United Way of Greater Atlanta, click here or follow on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.


From the Web