COVID-19 News & Resources

SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund

In partnership with local funders, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, has established the SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund. This Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations that are working with communities at the intersection of being most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and most impacted by inequity.

Initial Focus:

In the near-term, the fund will make one-time operating grants to support frontline organizations with deep roots within priority populations. These populations include:

  • Vulnerable seniors and youth
  • People without stable housing
  • Families and individuals who are food insecure
  • Residents who have limited English proficiency
  • Individuals with health vulnerabilities, including those with compromised immune systems, mental health disorders and/or who are struggling with addiction.

The first phase of these rapid-response grants will provide flexible support to organizations:

  • Support the ability for organizations to provide support remotely
  • Responding to increased demand for basic needs and health support
  • Providing outreach to vulnerable populations
  • Addressing fear and confusion about the outbreak among the region’s most vulnerable residents
  • Addressing immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by closures and cancellations related to COVID-19

In order to move resources quickly and not further burden organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic, we are not hosting a formal application process, at this time. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases. The Fund expects to make an initial round of grants by April 3rd.

To learn more, please check out the FAQ below, which answers many common questions we are hearing from the community.

FAQ

1. I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me? We are proud to be partnering with the United Way of Greater New Bedford who is able to directly support individuals and their families adversely affected by COVID-19. For more information please contact United Way New Bedford https://unitedwayofgnb.org/ or United Way Fall River https://uwgfr.org/For a list of resources, please connect online to Mass-211 or dial 2-1-1 on any phone.

2. My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered? We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. We are working closely with our partners to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and most impacted by inequity. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund at this time. You may email us at emergencyfund@cfsema.org to make sure we are aware of your organization’s work supporting vulnerable residents and families.

3. I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee? To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are only able to consider restricted gifts of $10,000 or more at this time. To discuss those details please contact Tricia Grime at pgrime@cfsema.org or 508-996-8253 x216.

4. Should I give to this Fund instead of making gifts to other organizations? Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community as we gain greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak.

This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it’s needed most. If the SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a gift. However, this is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations who’ve benefited from your giving in the past, as well as those who’ve had to cancel their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings.

5. What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding? We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address the both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. During this phase, we are not yet able to prioritize organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services.

We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will assess and evolve our funding strategies.

Based upon the charitable structure of the SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund, our grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501c4, 501c5, and 501c6 organizations.

6. Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund? The SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund will prioritize community-based organizations located in and serving Southeastern Massachusetts with a particular focus on the cities of New Bedford, Fall River and Brockton.

7. When will you share who you fund? We anticipate making a first round of investments in the coming weeks and will publish the list of selected grantees on the Community Foundation website after every round of awards.

8. Is there a fee to contribute? With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of gifts will go to community groups and leaders on the ground. The Community Foundation is covering the cost of leading this effort.

9. How will the Fund shift gears if needed? Acknowledging that this is a very dynamic pandemic, the Fund’s priorities will likely evolve. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in a time of crisis. We recognize the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of keeping an eye to the long-term when we will undoubtedly see impacts on our community. We are learning as we go and deeply appreciate the community’s confidence in the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.

 

Contact Us

 

  • General questions and inquiries about the Fund can be directed to emergencyfund@cfsema.org.
  • For interested partners or to make a donation, please contact the Community Foundation’s Development Manager, Tricia at pgrime@cfsema.org.
  • For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Jasmyn Baird at jbaird@cfsema.org.

 


COVID19 News & Resources

We understand there's a lot of anxiety right now concerning our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As your Community Foundation, and in partnership with other funders in our region, we want to be helpful to you as you are at the frontline of this pandemic and our job is to support you.

  • We are inviting our regional nonprofit leaders to a Meet Me for Coffee virtual meeting this Friday, March 20, 2020 at 9AM and we will meet every Friday following during this time. No agenda, just dial in, and let’s all catch up. We will check in to see how we are all doing, to share ideas and encouragement, and remind ourselves that even remotely, we are all in this together.  For details about the call please email our Office Administrator, Kim Heard kheard@cfsema.org 
  • We put a list of resources together for our community regarding local, state and national news. We will keep updating this as new resources become available:

Updated as of April 1st, 2020