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Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund awards $275K in new grants

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

In its sixth round of grants, the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund announced on May 8 it awarded $275,600 to 18 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.

The grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are Central Baptist Community Development Corporation, $9,000, to deliver fresh produce to vulnerable families in New Castle County; Delaware Contemporary, $10,000 to support virtual programming for at-risk children in New Castle County; Delaware Theatre Co., $10,000 to support staff working remotely with clients and educational programming participants; Down Syndrome Association of Delaware, $3,700 to fund virtual programming statewide; Elizabeth W. Murphey School, $15,600 to support pandemic-related precautions in housing foster children in Kent County; Faithful Friends Animal Society, $28,000 to fund Community Pet Food Banks in partnership with Delaware Humane Association and Delaware SPCA for families in need statewide; Harrington Senior Center, $4,800 for a commercial refrigerator and freezer to facilitate meal delivery to homebound seniors; Harry K Foundation. $15,000 to provide take-away meals for families at sites in Kent and Sussex County; Home of the Brave Foundation, $10,000 to provide housing for veterans in Milford; La Red Health Center, $42,000 to provide prenatal care for women in Sussex County; Latin American Community Center, $25,000 to provide families in New Castle County with emergency assistance; Mary Campbell Center, $10,000 for personal protective equipment for staff at the Wilmington home for adults with disabilities; Milford Housing Development Corp., $10,500 for technology and supplies needed for staff to serve clients remotely in Greater Milford; NCALL, $29,000 for technology and training to enable staff to serve clients remotely in Kent County; Neighborhood House, $16,000 for case management, food and other direct support for families in Wilmington; Square One Delaware, $17,000 to provide housing for individuals recovering from addiction in Seaford; and Wilmington Senior Center, $10,000 to deliver food to seniors in Wilmington.

In this round, 58 applicants requested a total of $1.7 million from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which is housed at the Delaware Community Foundation.

The fund, which launched March 18, has awarded more than $1.75 million to 80 Delaware nonprofits so far. Based on the nature of the applications, these grants have focused largely 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 noon May 11 and May 18. The grants program will then resume two weeks later, accepting additional grant applications June 1 and 15. These grants will be focused on strengthening sectors largely upheld by nonprofits.

The June grants will target nonprofit organizations, both large and small, playing key roles in various sectors throughout the state. The 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 the DCF, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement and PD.

The council is actively 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,” Comstock-Gay said. “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: 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 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 11.

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.