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Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund awards $233K in grants

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

In its fifth round of grants, the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund on May 1 awarded $233,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.

The grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are Arise Delaware, $4,300 to purchase sensory equipment to lend to families with special needs children in Kent County; Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, $30,000 to provide food to families in Wilmington; Catholic Charities Diocese of Wilmington, $12,500 to provide case management for families in need statewide; Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, $35,000 to complete construction of houses and provide mortgage relief for families in Kent County; Christina Cultural Arts Center, $15,000 to provide distance learning support for underserved families in Wilmington; Communities in Schools Delaware, $12,500 to provide technology for staff supporting underserved students statewide; Community Education Building, $5,000 to provide laundry services for low-income families in Wilmington; Delmarva Community Services, $5,700 for technology to serve residents of group homes for developmentally delayed individuals in Sussex County; Family Promise of Northern New Castle County, $25,000 for housing for homeless families; Ingleside Homes, $30,000 to pay for staff and supplies for additional cleaning and individual meal delivery to residents; Rehoboth Art League, $15,000 to help pay for staff and maintenance of facilities; Survivors of Abuse in Recovery, $3,000 for technology to support telehealth; and Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, $40,000 to complete construction of houses and provide mortgage relief for families in Sussex County.

In this fifth round, 35 applicants requested a total of $1.3 million from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which is housed at the Delaware Community Foundation.

The fund, which launched March 18, has awarded $1.5 million to 62 Delaware nonprofits so far.

Based on the nature of the applications, these grants have focused primarily on immediate community needs. Now, the grants have been broadened to address a combination of immediate needs and broader community needs, including the arts, culture, the environment, workforce development, animal welfare and others.

The fund will provide weekly grants through Memorial Day. Deadlines are at noon May 4, May 11 and May 18. The grants program will then resume two weeks later, as described here.

The fund will accept additional grant applications on June 1 and June 15. These grants will be focused on strengthening sectors largely upheld by nonprofits, including the arts, culture, environment, workforce development, animal welfare and others.

The June grants will target nonprofit organizations, both large and small, playing key roles in various sectors, throughout the state. This program is still being developed, and additional information is not yet available. Specific guidelines and applications will be announced in May on the websites and social media channels of DANA, the DCF and PD.

The council is raising money to be able to respond to community needs, said Stuart Comstock-Gay, who chairs the council.

“As the pandemic continues, the needs are growing and evolving,” said Comstock-Gay. “We are calling on the community to help local nonprofit organizations get food, shelter, medical care and other essential services directly to the people who need it most. We also must support our workforce, arts community and other sectors to restore our quality of life post-COVID-19.”

The Longwood Foundation, which previously gave $1 million to the Strategic Response Fund, recently awarded a $500,000 grant, with the stipulation that the DCF must raise a matching $500,000 from the community by May 30.

To make a gift that qualifies for the match, give at delcf.org/covid19-fund or contact Joan Hoge-North, jhoge-north@delcf.org.

The Strategic Response Fund was established March 18 to address the state’s emerging and evolving needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants from the Strategic Response Fund will initially focus on urgent needs related to COVID-19, then expand over time to more structural and long-term needs. Target applicants are nonprofit organizations with roots in the community and a strong track record of serving people who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from the crisis.

Grantees are selected through a rigorous process that involves a diverse team of more than 50 community leaders representing all three counties and a range of areas of expertise. Final decisions are made by the COVID-19 Grants Council: Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO, DCF; Sheila Bravo, president, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, ex officio; Vernita Dorsey, WSFS; There du Pont, president, Longwood Foundation; Alan Levin, SoDel Concepts; Leslie Newman, retired CEO, Children & Families First; Enid Wallace-Simms, Delmarva Power; and Amy Walls, Discover Bank.

Applications are accepted weekly on a rolling basis and grants will be awarded weekly for as long as funding is available and community needs exist related to COVID-19. Each week, applications received by noon on Monday will be reviewed, grantees will be selected Friday morning, and funds will be transferred Friday afternoon.

The application is open at delcf.org/covid-grants. The deadline for the next round of awards is noon May 4.

The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund is part of the Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, a nonprofit collaborative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The DCF, DANA, PD and United Way of Delaware are partnering to coordinate charitable resources to maximize impact statewide during this crisis.

To contribute, visit delcf.org/covid19-fund.