04.21.20

Weekly Update: COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County

Dear Friends,

Today, thanks to extraordinarily generous donors, we are making the third round of grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County, as part of our "Phase 1: Prevention" strategy. $121K is being granted countywide, bringing the total granted from the fund since March 20 to $391K. When she presented this slate of grants, Senior Program Officer Lisa Moreno described to me the advisory committee's rationale behind this third round:

"The longer this isolation phase lasts, the more at-risk people with mental health, disabilities, and disparities based on race, ethnicity and gender identity will be.  So, we wanted to look for and fund the "connectors" among vulnerable populations, or those who gather and build community and social connectedness, and some that provide therapy for those who are suicidal or in a high-risk population. We included additional funding for domestic violence shelters and hotlines, because they are also life savers and facing increased costs and decreased revenue. The others are a continuation of the foundation's support to existing safety-net services. The committee attempted to balance an organization's financial need and access, or lack thereof, (even if temporary) to federal or state resources. With the food providers, we prioritized those that specialize in perishables and work in partnership with vulnerable communities to ensure access, as well as those that serve as tent poles for nonperishables around the county."
 
Our School Readiness Initiative Endowment is also mobilizing an additional $28,800 to support early care and education providers around the county. The Early Childhood Council of Boulder County is receiving funds to support licensed childcare providers serving low-income families impacted by the pandemic. The Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition will support informal family, friend and neighbor (FFN) childcare providers also serving affected low-income families.
 
I am humbled by the incredible generosity of our community. To date, more than 500 donors have made it possible to distribute urgent funding since March 13. As of April 20, more than $1.3M has been committed to the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County, and I cannot thank you all enough. 
 
Partnership grantmaking this week at your Community Foundation
The Knight Foundation's Donor Advised Fund continued supplementing COVID-19 response grantmaking this past week by issuing a total of $25,000 in grants. Boulder County Community Action Programs has been awarded a grant for the development and dissemination of culturally competent information, in Spanish, regarding resources for Boulder County residents. Social Venture Partners Boulder County now has funds to help connect Boulder County nonprofits and small businesses to financial resources at the state and federal levels.
 
Lyons Community Foundation, a Donor-Advised Fund, established "The Lyons Share: A Small Business Economic Relief Fund" to provide immediate relief to small Lyons' businesses.
 
Boulder Chamber of Commerce established "The Boulder Chamber COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund" to support Boulder-based businesses that have incurred unexpected expenses as a result of COVID-19 and that are ineligible for reimbursement through insurance, relief aid, or other sources.
 
The Hemera Foundation's Donor- Advised Fund supported the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County with a $25K grant and will also grant $5K each to the Early Childhood Council of Boulder County (ECCBC) and the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition (CSPC). Mile High United Way plans to support both the ECCBC and CSPC through its Keeping the Lights OnFund. 
 
What's next?
Next week your Community Foundation will release a request for proposals (RFP) to begin "Phase 2: Intervention" grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County. While the fund will continue to support nonprofit organizations working at the nexus of those on the margins and most vulnerable to the virus, the multi-faceted implications of COVID-19 haves created a vast array of needs that continue to broaden beyond the most basic. The RFP will be announced on commfound.org on Monday, April 27.
 
What can you do? 
Submit, share, and listen to stories of connection and inspiration through the TRENDS Diary
 
Please complete the census online now. Census 2020 has taken on new importance. The number of residents we count relates directly to the amount of federal funding Boulder County will receive-funding needed now more than ever. You will also help free up census workers to focus on residents who experience barriers to participation. 
 
Listen to our most recent radio show on KGNU's "A Public Affair" to learn about the implications of COVID-19 on Boulder County's arts and cultural community and how you can make a difference. You can also read our recent blog about this sector.
 
Please continue to support the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County, and encourage others to help support our community during this difficult time. 
 
At a time like this, there are no degrees of separation between us. Know that you are making a vital difference in the lives of your Boulder County neighbors. Thank you for your continuing essential support. 
 
Yours in community,
Jeff Hirota, CEO