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$25 million fund created to help struggling nonprofits in Delaware, New Castle County

Marina Affo
Delaware News Journal

There is help on the way for Delaware's nonprofits, which have been struggling to keep their services going during the pandemic.

Gov. John Carney and New Castle County announced the $25 million Delaware Nonprofit Support Fund.

The fund will have two parts. The first part will be for reimbursement of operational expenses, like personal protective equipment and technology bought to meet safety standards. This will be administered by United Way.

The second part will be for increased incremental costs as a result of a rise in need for the rest of 2020. This will be administered by the Delaware Community Foundation and Philanthropy Delaware.

Meals on Wheels volunteer Bob Casey, left, delivers a meal to a recipient Thursday, August 27, 2020, in Dover.

The fund comes as many nonprofits across the state struggle to keep their doors open, as need for their services has spiked. Before Wednesday's announcement, there were a number of nonprofits that had yet to receive any extra state or federal funding. 

"I'm just frustrated beyond belief," said Cathy Cessna, director of development for Ingleside Homes, a senior living center in Wilmington. The nonprofit has yet to qualify for funding through the state or county.

The seniors have been relegated to their rooms, but the home has had to buy a lot of new equipment and technology. She is hoping her organization will be able to qualify for this new funding. 

To date, they have had no COVID-19 cases among residents or staff.

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In the Zoom announcement, County Executive Matt Meyer noted that many nonprofits, both big and small, now have to buy a lot of safety equipment and design new protocols that require a lot of money. 

The county contributed $5 million to the fund. New Castle County was given $322 million from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act back in June to help with pandemic relief efforts.

The county and state have created a number of grants including a $100 million grant for small businesses and a Health Equity Grant and Food Distribution Grant.

FOOD HELP: For groups tackling food insecurity, $1.5M is now up for grabs in New Castle County

PANDEMIC RELIEF: Delaware announces $100 million grant program for businesses to cover coronavirus expenses

Nonprofits can apply for the fund starting on Monday at decaresfunds.org, which goes live that afternoon.

Contact Marina Affo at maffo@delawareonline.com. Follow her on Twitter at @marina_affo.