Rapid Response Grants

Thanks to the generosity of many donors, past and present, who gave to our Community Foundation with the instruction “Just use it wherever the need is greatest,” the Foundation’s Board of Directors has launched the DISASTER RELIEF FUND FOR WHITLEY COUNTY in response to the COVID-19 emergency. This Fund provides flexible financial support to trusted nonprofit partners across Whitley County who are responding to critical needs. The Fund also allows the Foundation to pivot in response to addressing our community’s emerging challenges, specifically with organizations working with our most vulnerable citizens.

To expedite our regular granting procedures in this evolving COVID-19 crisis, the Community Foundation will distribute grants from the DISASTER RELIEF FUND FOR WHITLEY COUNTY by utilizing a method called “rapid response grantmaking”. The main purpose in activating emergency grantmaking is to quickly and efficiently support the emerging needs of our nonprofits, which include, but are not limited to, food access, homelessness, medical services, and equipment needs. Once the state of emergency has expired, any remaining funds will support nonprofit organizations impacted financially as a result of program disruptions or cancellations resulting in revenue loss. 

Priorities: Initial priority will be given to requests related to “flattening the curve,” meaning the funding application should be related to efforts to slow the rate of infection of the COVID-19 virus. The hope is to reduce the number of patients who simultaneously require urgent medical care. We will give full consideration to frontline human service organizations with strong, proven experience working with vulnerable populations in Whitley County, Indiana. Our rapid response grantmaking will address gaps in services and increase capacity of organizations to meet basic needs of our community’s most vulnerable individuals and families.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Simple Application: To move resources quickly, we have opened a simple, rolling application process from now through May 1. Funds may be requested for urgent needs over the next two-week period; if needed, organizations can re-apply. Grant amounts will be determined by funding availability. In addition to the initial $100,000 directed from the Community Foundation’s Board to establish the Fund, any additional contributions received from Whitley County donors will be added to the Fund for continued grantmaking. Other than related credit card fees, there will be no administrative fees drawn from the fund.

Awards will be assessed based on need and may be used for both service delivery and operations essential to emergency response. To apply for a Rapid Response Grant from the Disaster Relief Fund for Whitley County, 501c3 organizations working with populations in Whitley County impacted socially or economically by the pandemic can access the COVID-19 Rapid Response Simple Grant Application below. Please note, due to IRS regulations the Community Foundation is unable to grant funds to individuals but instead makes grants to local health and service organizations working to meet needs.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Timeline:  Rapid Response Grant Recipients will be announced via email and on the Community Foundation’s website as they are made available. This grant opportunity will be extended if additional community donations to the fund afford us the opportunity to lengthen the grantmaking period. 

Final Grant Report: Final grant use and expenditure reports will mirror those of our regular grantmaking cycles and will be required at a later date to allow our nonprofit partners to dedicate their time to their front-line clients during this time of hardship.


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