FAQs about the COVID-19 Community Fund

Grantmaking from the COVID-19 Fund has been temporarily suspended. The Foundation is continuing to consider applications for COVID-related funding through the small grant process for organizations with an operating budget of less than $2M.

I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?

We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. The Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund is working to move resources to community-based healthcare and basic human needs organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts.

While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, we will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. View the grants list here.

Who determines what organizations receive grants from the Fund?

Using a common set of questions, The Community Foundation and United Way Staff have been reaching out to nonprofits. The aim is to gather information without burdening the organizations already under stress with having to complete an application. The results of this outreach are reviewed and voted on by an ad-hoc volunteer committee made up of current and former Community Foundation and United Way board members. Members of the Committee are Khalilah L. Brown-Dean (bio), Andrew Eder (bio), Judith Meyers (bio), Flemming Norcott, Jr. (bio), Marcella Nuñez-Smith (bio), and Diane Young Turner (bio).

The Fund made an initial round of grants on April 3, 2020 to healthcare and basic human needs organizations; see the grants distributed page. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly to the areas of greatest need in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

The Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible. To give please go to www.cfgnh.org/covid19fund. To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations to the COVID-19 Community Fund at this time. However, you can make a gift to nonprofits important to you directly through their websites or year-round through www.giveGreater.org.

Also, please make your gifts online with credit cards because of the current nature of remote working. Please do not send checks as we are not able to process them until the state emergency ends.

The Community Foundation has an alternative to making a gift by transfer directly from your bank account. Email Linda Estacion, Director of Donor Services, or Liana Garcia, Director of Gift Planning, and they will be glad to provide you with these instructions. See more information on ways to give.

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. Rather, it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it is needed most. If the Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a donation.

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 their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community as we gain greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak.

Also, The Community Foundation is proceeding with The Great Give® 2020 with the revised theme, “Coming Together While We’re Apart.”

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. In this first round, we are not able to prioritize organizations 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 continue to unfold, we will continue to assess and evolve our funding strategies.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund, our grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501c4, 501c5, and 501c6 organizations.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund will prioritize community-based organizations serving the Greater New Haven region which include the following cities and towns: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Wallingford, West Haven, Woodbridge.

Please see the response activities of our partner in philanthropy, the Valley Community Foundation.

When will you share who you fund?

The first round of investments were made on April 3, 2020, two weeks after the launch of the Fund. Grants are published on our website here, along with short descriptions of the services and support they are providing. We hope that this will help the community navigate available resources.

Is there a fee to contribute?

With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground, except for a flat credit card fee of 3% for online donations per transaction.

How will the Fund shift gears if needed?

The Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience.

Who should I contact for information?

Due to the volume of inquiries we are receiving, we are encouraging people to use email to contact The Foundation. Please see below.

  • General questions & inquiries about the Fund can be directed to covid19@cfgnh.org or contactus@cfgnh.org
  • To share information about your organization’s needs, please see the United Way’s website and enter your organization’s needs.
  • For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact The Community Foundation’s Communications Department
  • To make a donation, please contact The Community Foundation's Director of Donor Services, Linda Estacion
  • To inquire about your organization fund, please contact The Community Foundation's SVP for Investments and CFO, A.F. Drew Alden or 860-227-2237