Side by side Connecticut Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Waterbury have joined together to create a COVID-19 Response Fund. We are working with the support of generous seed funding from a cross-section of individuals, private foundations, corporations and others to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.
The new fund is designed to be flexible and nimble in action to support trusted, frontline community organizations that meet the basic needs of local residents in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills. The fund’s purpose is to complement the work of local officials and expand capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible through the nonprofit sector. We believe nonprofit agencies will face financial disruption, putting pressure on operating budgets, and compromising their ability to serve vulnerable populations.
As coronavirus reverberates across hospitals, offices, schools, and homes, we are reminded of our most basic shared value. We know that all of us depend on each other for a healthy community. The same priority guides our concern for those most economically vulnerable in a pandemic. This includes the families of hospitality, retail and other hourly workers, those experiencing homelessness, and children relying on school for one or more meals each day, among others.
United Way of Greater Waterbury and Connecticut Community Foundation will jointly administer requests for funding. Given the dynamic nature of this moment, requests for funding will be considered and released on a rolling basis. The Fund will begin distributing grants as soon as possible.
Consideration for support is limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations serving community needs, and other public entities based in or primarily serving the Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hill communities and residents.
Individuals and organizations can donate and find additional information about the COVID-19 Response Fund below.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m an individual or a member of a family who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?
While the Fund is not able to provide grants directly to individuals or families, we will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. The fund’s resources will be directed to organizations serving high need, vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals and residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days; immigrants; persons with disabilities; and communities of color, among others.
As we begin to award grants, we will post them on this page. We also plan to post other resources for those in need, so check back to this page.
We encourage all residents to closely monitor updates and review valuable health and safety resources from the State of Connecticut and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as their local health departments. The State of Connecticut has partnered with United Way of Connecticut to launch an information hotline for questions from the public regarding issues related to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). People who have questions can call 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211.
My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?
We understand the COVID-19 crisis is impacting local nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for services, lost revenue due to closures and program and event cancellations, as well as other challenges.
To seek support from the Response Fund please APPLY HERE and complete a brief application outlining your need and population served. Given the dynamic nature of this moment, grant funding will be considered and released on a rolling basis. You can Download the COVID-19 Response Application and read it prior to applying.
Consideration for grants from the Response Fund is limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations serving community needs, and other public entities based in or primarily serving Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills.
I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?
To ensure we move critical resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of nonprofit organizations serving the most impacted and vulnerable communities and residents, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. Information on how to make donations can be provided in the DONATE section of this page.
Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?
This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. If this Fund’s priorities align with your interests, we hope you will consider making a donation. 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 annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings or fees from programs.
In addition to making a gift to this Fund, we encourage you to support local nonprofit organizations that work with the people and families who are most vulnerable in our community. Community health centers, homeless shelters, early childhood and afterschool programs, food pantries and others, which are already dealing with reductions in state and federal funding, will be further stressed. In times like this, philanthropy can shine.
What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?
The fund’s resources will initially be directed to 501c3 organizations serving high need, vulnerable populations in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills, including low-income individuals and residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days; immigrants; persons with disabilities; and communities of color, among others.
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 the first phase, we are prioritizing the deployment of resources to trusted, frontline community organizations to help them continue to meet the basic needs of local residents. The Fund’s primary purpose is to minimize the social and economic consequences of this global pandemic and to prevent the widening of inequities and opportunity gaps in education, employment, housing, and health.
In the initial phase of funding, we are not able to prioritize organizations outside the scope of the Fund’s primary purpose 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 unfold, we will continue to assess and evolve our funding strategies.
Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?
The Fund will prioritize community-based organizations serving residents of Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills, which includes the following towns: Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Cheshire, Goshen, Litchfield, Middlebury, Morris, Naugatuck, New Milford, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Roxbury, Southbury, Thomaston, Warren, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury .
Consideration for grants from the Response Fund is limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations serving community needs, and other public entities based in or primarily serving communities and residents in the towns listed above.
When will you share who you fund?
Given the dynamic nature of this moment, grant funding will be considered and released on a rolling basis. The Fund will begin distributing grants as soon as possible. As we begin to award grants, we will post them on the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants Awarded page .
Is there a fee to contribute?
Donors contributing online will be given the option of adding 3% per transaction to cover credit card processing fees charged to the Fund by our payment processor. Connecticut Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Waterbury will not charge an administrative fee on funds raised.
How will the Fund shift gears if needed?
The near-term goal of the Fund is to provide a rapid response that delivers financial resources to address immediate needs. Fundraising and the distribution of resources will continue through the outbreak and into the recovery phase, which has an unknown timeline. As we are dealing with unprecedented and unpredictable short- and long-term implications of COVID-19 on our communities and neighbors, we will frequently review the Fund’s criteria for grantmaking to ensure we are responsive to the changing needs of our communities based on the dynamic nature of this crisis.