In uncertain times one thing remains constant — we are facing this COVID-19 challenge together. We will do what we can to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable among us, during this healthcare and economic crisis.
In this spirit of togetherness, we are excited to report that local organizational funders are working together to plan collectively and respond to priority needs and issues in DeKalb County. These funders have partnered to create the DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund (DCCRF) advisory committee. Funders in this committee include the DeKalb County Community Foundation, Kishwaukee United Way, Douglas C. & Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation, DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board, IDEAL Foundation, Horizons Unlimited Foundation, and the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership (DCNP).
“This is an all hands-on deck moment and an unprecedented opportunity for many of DeKalb County’s organizational funders to commit to pooling their resources, prioritize funding to impacted nonprofits, and to work together to address immediate needs throughout DeKalb County,” said Community Foundation Executive Director Dan Templin. “For a number of weeks, these funders have been monitoring the evolving seriousness and eventual shelter-in-place efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ in Illinois and DeKalb County. With the input of public health officials and other key consultants in organizations that serve the county, we continue to learn from grantee partners about priority needs and are working to address the situation as best as we can.”
The DCCRF advisory committee is interested in understanding needs, priorities, and funding gaps in the areas of: emergency food and basic supplies, interim housing and shelter, primary health care services, utility and financial assistance, support for children and other vulnerable populations, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance. To aid in their response to these areas of need, a new Fund was created. The DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund exists to expedite charitable resources to nonprofit and community organizations responding to COVID-19 related needs throughout DeKalb County. Resources are granted where they are needed most, with an initial focus on the basic needs of those most significantly impacted by this crisis.
“The value of funders working together is to make it more efficient for our nonprofit partners to share their needs with one entity instead of several,” according to DCCRF advisory committee member Tom Matya, Vice-President of Development for the Douglas C. & Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation. “This will allow funds to be quickly distributed.”
While donors are encouraged to continue their regular support of area nonprofits, especially through the upcoming local event, Give DeKalb County on May 7, the DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund is another option for donors to contribute additional dollars to be used by the DCCRF in the weeks and months ahead. The Fund is administered through the DeKalb County Community Foundation, who the organizational funders endorse as the appropriate partner to collect, manage, and distribute charitable dollars for this purpose. 100% of the money raised through this Fund will pass directly to local community organizations.
The DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund will make grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as public entities. Nonprofit and community organizations serving DeKalb County can access the Foundation’s online grant application starting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 6. For questions related to the new Fund or advisory committee, please contact Dan Templin, email@example.com or 815-748-5383. For questions related to grantmaking, please contact Community Foundation Grants Director Tiffany McQueen Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the lasting impact of COVID-19 on our communities is unknown, the vital role of the nonprofit sector is more important than ever. Nonprofits, our beloved healthcare heroes, and first responders continue to provide quality services to our most vulnerable neighbors with dignity and kindness.
We may be physically separated, but we can, and we must, support one another.
Pictured above: A collaboration consisting of the Kishwaukee United Way; local community, family, and corporate foundations; the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership, as well as the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board; are working together to encourage and direct philanthropic resources where they are needed most in DeKalb County.