April-June 2020

When the COVID-19 crisis hit Alabama in March of this year, the Community Foundation moved into action.  We collected over 250 survey responses from partners about the impact of the growing crisis on organizations and the communities they serve.  Informed by this survey and a scan of best practices nationally, the Foundation pivoted to a COVID Phase 1 response plan.  Starting in late March, the Foundation:

– Activated our Emergency Response Fund to meet critical crisis needs through our nonprofit partners
-Shifted our regular grant cycle to a rapid emergency response grants process
-Partnered with City of Birmingham to launch the Birmingham Strong Fund for small businesses
-Launched weekly community calls on COVID response and related issues
-Began sending weekly video and e-mail updates to community partners
-Began participating in and co-leading weekly funder calls to align COVID response

COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants

From April through early June, the Community Foundation made weekly grants to address the COVID-19 crisis.  This included 59 Rapid Response grants to meet critical needs related to COVID-19, including food, rent, utilities, medical care, mental health, education and more.  It also included 32 Nonprofit Adaptation grants to help organizations adapt (technology, facilities, operations) and continue providing services during the crisis.  The Foundation and forward-thinking donors also made special proactive grants to address community-wide needs around equitable access to COVID testing, child care needs for essential workers, COVID vaccine research, and CARES Act funding support.  All told, the Foundation  made 98 grants totaling $1,493,500 in Phase I to nonprofits meeting critical community needs.

25 grants for basic needs (mix of needs – food, mortgage/rent, utilities, etc.): $456,000
12 grants for nutrition/feeding: $176,000
6 grants for medical care: $175,000
3 grants for child care: $160,000
32 grants for org adaptation: $155,000
8 grants for education: $136,500
5 grants for small business/workforce support: $118,000
4 grants for mental health: $ 52,000
2 grants for housing needs: $ 50,000
1 grant for investigative journalism: $10,000

TOTAL: $1,493,500

A full listing of these grants with descriptions can be found here.