Who’s funding New York nonprofits stretched by the coronavirus? 

The Trinity Church is one organization working to help New Yorkers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Trinity Church is one organization working to help New Yorkers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rolf E. Staerk
The Trinity Church is one organization working to help New Yorkers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Who’s funding New York nonprofits stretched by the coronavirus? 

Many groups have created response funds to help New Yorkers through the coronavirus crisis.
March 19, 2020

A number of groups have since begun to create response funds targeted toward deploying money to organizations helping New Yorkers through the health crisis. Here are some of the groups doling out emergency funding for the coronavirus in New York:

National Center for Family Philanthropy and Giving Compass created an interactive map of vetted relief funds across the country, including in New York.

The Council on Foundations has compiled a list of funding opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund: A group of 18 funders – including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Robin Hood and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund – launched a $75 million fund to provide grants and interest-free loans to social services and arts and cultural organizations in New York City impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It will provide unrestricted, flexible funding, as well as support for additional needs such as technology for remote work, additional staff support and hygiene equipment. Interested organizations can apply here.

The COVID-19 Long Island Philanthropic Response Fund, a collaboration between funders such as the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, Greentree Foundation, and Long Island Community Foundation, will provide financial support to Long Island nonprofits involved in health and human services, food insecurity and arts and culture. 

The Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the JPB Foundation and other funders committed an initial $7.1 million to create a new fund to help workers and families hurt by the COVID-19 crisis. The Families and Workers Fund aims to raise $20 million to offer flexible funding to organizations helping people facing poverty and to give direct cash grants and loans to individuals.

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is committing $50 million in grants to nonprofits addressing growing health needs among New Yorkers as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Emergency grants will be distributed by invitation to community-based emergency response funds, health care providers, Catholic Charities affiliates and other organizations.

Citi and the Citi Foundation have contributed more than $65 million for coronavirus response efforts. Food Bank for New York City, Free Arts NYC, USO of Metropolitan New York and United Neighborhood Houses are among the New York-based organizations that have benefited from funding or partnerships with Citi. 

Robin Hood: The foundation will award grants, which will average $45,000, to New York City nonprofits in response to the coronavirus. The foundation will prioritize organizations helping vulnerable populations, providing or expanding emergency services as well as those facing additional expenses or gaps in funding for government contracts.

The New York Women’s Foundation is accepting applications on a rolling basis from current and former grantees in need of relief because of the COVID-19 pandemic until July 1. It will provide a six-month grant of up to $25,000 in general operating support or program-specific support if the grantee does work outside of New York City. Applicants with budgets of $2 million or less will be prioritized. 

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has committed $500,000 to the staff at acute care hospitals in Western New York. The support will focus on nurse aides, food services staff and “others who may not have access to as many financial and social supports and are playing equally critical roles in the healthcare system,” according to the foundation’s press release. The foundation has also contributed $1.2 million to caregivers, small businesses, nonprofits and early childcare providers, and $1 million to relief funds in Western New York.

MetLife Foundation: The foundation will award $1 million in grants to four New York City-based nonprofits: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation ($200,000), Children’s Health Fund ($150,000), Hot Bread Kitchen ($150,000) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation ($500,000).

Rochester Area Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Rochester: Their Community Crisis Fund will prioritize funding for human services nonprofits in the Greater Rochester area and will not require a formal application process. “We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs from the outbreak and the longer-term impacts of recovery,” reads the webpage dedicated to the fund.

Trinity Church Wall Street: The parish will be providing one-time grants of up to $25,000 for current grantees in New York City who are seeing growing need or disruptions to service as a result of COVID-19. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis through March 26. 

No Kid Hungry: Community-based organizations and school districts can submit inquiries for emergency grants to support local nutrition programs.

Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region: Their fund will provide one-time operating grants to human services organizations in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties, and possibly those in surrounding counties. Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis with the initial round of grants to be moved within the next few weeks. 

The Open Society Foundations will give more than $130 million to combat the coronavirus crisis, with $37 million to be directed specifically to New York City. The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the city’s Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will manage a $20 million grant from the foundation to create an Immigrant Emergency Relief Program, which will dole out direct, one-time payments to immigrant families – including undocumented immigrants – who can’t access federal relief. The New York City Fund for Public Schools will receive a $15 million grant and another $2 million will be directed toward helping the city’s homeless population and supporting efforts to reduce prison populations.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation: In partnership with other foundations, businesses and groups, it has been deploying emergency funding in Columbia County for nonprofits and small businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has distributed about $90,000 in grants to community-based organizations on a rolling basis. Grantees include Columbia Children’s Center ($10,000), The Mental Health Association of Columbia and Greene Counties ($10,000) and Columbia County Sanctuary Movement ($15,000). The foundation has also created a fund to give cash grants to small businesses in the region and, in northeast Dutchess County, guides grants to individuals and families disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Korean American Community Foundation: It has awarded $60,000 in grants to seven organizations in its first round of coronavirus relief funding. Recipients include Asian American Federation ($5,000), Asian Women’s Christian Association ($10,000), Korean-American Physicians Association of NY ($10,000), Korean American Civic Empowerment ($10,000), Korean Community Services ($10,000), Korean American Family Service Center ($10,000), and WomanKind ($5,000). 

Center for Disaster Philanthropy: Its response fund is dedicated to nonprofits in regions with a large number of people affected by COVID-19 who work with vulnerable populations, such as seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants, and hourly workers. The organization also plans on working with non-governmental organizations to support health care workers, quarantined and vulnerable people as well as promoting best hygiene practices. 

The Central New York Community Foundation, the United Way of Central New York, the Allyn Family Foundation and local government partners created a COVID-19 community support fund to help nonprofits supporting communities most economically impacted by the health crisis.

Westchester Community Foundation created a Westchester COVID-19 Response Fund to financially support nonprofits helping vulnerable people. An anonymous donor has committed to matching all donations up to $1 million and RXR Realty has contributed $1 million to the foundation.

Brooklyn Community Foundation has a Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund, which will issue grants to organizations that help provide meal delivery and other services for homebound neighbors and support for low-wage workers.

UJA-Federation of New York has committed more than $23 million in grants and loans to its partner organizations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It gave $1.7 million in grants to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, established a $20 million loan fund for partner organizations at the Hebrew Free Loan Society, set aside $250,000 for Passover meals to-go, and invested in a $75 million philanthropic fund for New York City nonprofits. 

The Schenectady Foundation has reactivated a fund set aside for disaster victims, putting in an initial $100,000 grant. The Rebuilding Families Fund will help nonprofits and local individuals affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the foundation will match all donations up to $25,000.

United Way of New York City has officially launched its COVID-19 Community Fund to support more than 600 partner organizations throughout the five boroughs. It has operated similar funds in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Sandy.

The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which is being spearheaded by the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and 17 other local foundations, has raised more than $4 million

The United Way of Northern New York will provide nonprofits in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties with resources such as toilet paper, baby diapers, rubber gloves and cleaning supplies.

The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties and the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area have awarded more than $150,000 to nonprofits through its Mohawk Valley COVID-19 Response Fund. The first round of grants went to organizations such as the Mohawk Valley Health System, Rome Memorial Hospital, Little Falls Hospital, Catholic Charities Oneida/Madison County and Johnson Park Center. The fund has raised more than $420,000 in total so far.

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation started a new $5 million relief effort to support artists and art institutions during the coronavirus pandemic. The first round of funding includes $500,000 to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and $500,000 to the Artist Relief Fund, an initiative that will offer direct grants to artists. The remaining $250,000 will go toward small New York City-based arts organizations, including Artists Space, Creative Time, The Drawing Center, The Laundromat Project, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, and Socrates Sculpture Park.

Redlich Horwitz Foundation: It will offer $40,000 in grants to governmental and private institutions serving youth in foster care in certain parts of New York state. The funding will be used to support organizations purchasing technological resources to help keep youth, their families of origin and foster families connected during physical distancing. The foundation will fulfill requests on a first-come, first-served basis and review them within three to five business days. 

Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley: Alongside the Dutchess County government and the Dyson Foundation, it is awarding $50,000 in a first round of grants for organizations helping residents through the COVID-19 pandemic. Recipients include Center of Compassion Food Pantry, Changepoint Church, Dutchess Community Action Partnership, Dutchess Outreach and Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

North Star Fund awarded more than $1.7 million in grants to nonprofits during the week of March 23, the largest and fastest grantmaking effort in its history. The foundation gave $900,000 in emergency grants to existing grantees without requesting an application from them, automatically renewed $785,000 in grants and awarded $72,500 in gifts to 28 pending applicants. Grantees include Audre Lorde Project, Families for Freedom, Picture the Homeless, Freedom Food Alliance and VOCAL-NY.

The Bronx Community Relief Effort has been launched by a group of elected officials, nonprofits, small businesses, and other Bronxites to raise $10 million for various initiatives in the region. Among those initiatives: distributing $1 million in grants, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 each, to nonprofits with the help of the Hostos Center for Bronx Nonprofits. Other organizations such as Here to Here, Bronx Defenders and Nos Quedamos have partnered to address issues including food access and housing insecurity.

New York State Health Foundation: It has committed $2 million to COVID-19 relief funds and organizations responding to the health crisis. The foundation is also working with current grantees to adjust their project requirements amid the crisis. Recipients of the foundation’s recent targeted grants include Community Service Society, NYC Veterans Alliance, Community Food Advocates, and New York Immigration Coalition.  

The Commonwealth Fund is giving emergency grants to community-based organizations in New York City helping vulnerable residents. The first round of grants went to: AIRnyc, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Citymeals on Wheels and God’s Love We Deliver.

The Novartis US Foundation is accepting applications from charitable nonprofits in need of COVID-19 relief funding, with priority given to applicants from New York and several other states. Eligible programs must strengthen health care infrastructure, establish platforms for COVID-19 data collection, boost telehealth or support new community health programs related to the coronavirus.

Is your organization taking action to make sure local organizations are keeping afloat amid the coronavirus outbreak? Let us know at editor@nynmedia.com

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
20200527