COVID-19 Community Relief Fund

For nearly 100 years your local United Way has been working to connect people, organizations and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone. As we all face growing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission and purpose remain the same.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Washtenaw County, United Way established the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to support local nonprofits and community groups working with populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic faced with immediate, emergent and unanticipated community needs.

We are no longer acception proposals to the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.

We have begun fundraising for a Community Recovery Fund, which will continue to support the waves of critical basic needs and will help provide financial navigation services, workforce and education supports to stabilize individuals and families. We will share more information about future grant opportunities as it is available. 

See below for information on how to stay informed on when we will begin accepting proposals to the Community Recovery Fund. We will be surveying local nonprofit needs to refine the purpose of the Community Recovery Fund during the month of May.  We anticipate that the application will be made available by the end of May 2020 in Foundant, UWWC’s grants management system.

Quick Facts About the Fund

In keeping with UWWC’s vision and mission, we prioritized organizations and groups:

  • Whose work benefits people with low incomes, communities of color, and historically and/or systematically marginalized people (Here’s why)
  • Whose primary program participants or services are offered in 48197/98 and rural Washtenaw County 

 In addition to the above, we supported organizations and groups:

  • Whose primary program participants are high-risk for contracting COVID-19 (e.g. older adults and those with chronic health conditions)
  • Who have experienced a decrease in critical volunteer capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Who have experienced an increase in staffing demands as a result of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

To Be Notified of Future Funding Opportunities

If you are not already on our contact list complete this online form in order to be notified of future UWWC grant opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Community Relief Fund

*Last updated 4.23.20

What is the period of time that the funds will be available and what time period with the grants cover? Grants funds will be available immediately. They are intended to cover costs for a period of up to six months.

What restrictions has the Fund placed on how agencies and groups can use grant funding? In recognition of the fluid nature of this crisis and the strain that puts on service agencies, we are putting a priority on flexible spending. The grant agreements will have basic stipulations on spending guidelines.

This Fund will be used to meet unmet needs, not duplicate or fund programs that other larger funding programs could cover, or needs that could be met by a federal or state program. Fund to reach organizations and groups that might not have access to resources otherwise will be prioritized.

Who will make funding decisions? UWWC is assembling a committee that UWWC staff will present funding recommendations to for input and affirmation.  This committee is comprised of UWWC’s Board Chair, Vice Chair, members of our Community Impact Committee, a member of our Finance Committee, and Washtenaw County’s Racial Equity Officer.

When will grant award decisions for individual agencies be made? Grant applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis. In recognition of the rapidly-evolving nature of this crisis, grant award decisions will be made weekly for the time being.

Are funds available only to human service nonprofits? No. Community collaboratives/groups using a fiscal agent are invited to apply. Government entities are not eligible to apply for this funding. Unfortunately, UWWC is not able to provide funding directly to individuals.  We recognize that Barrier Busters is the best resource to provide direct assistance to people who need it, and will be making an investment in them through the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.

What if my group/collaborative/organization does not have a fiscal agent? NEW | Solutions for Nonprofits is a local organization that provides fiscal agent services. Contact them for more information.

How soon will UWWC make funds available? Once signed terms of grant are returned to UWWC (we use Adobe Sign to expedite this process), we will process ACH payment in 1-2 business days.  

If my organization’s application is approved, what will be the next steps? Once approved, your identified point of contact will receive an email that will verify your application has been approved, including the award amount, and will have instructions on how to submit your organization’s W-9 and steps to finalize the grant agreement. Funds will be dispersed as one-time ACH payments within 1-2 business days after signed terms of grant are received.

How will UWWC maintain transparency in its fundraising and distribution of funds? In activating this Fund, UWWC will take the following actions to remain transparent and accountable to our community:

  • A dedicated page on our website for the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund
  • Track all donations to the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund in real time on our webpage;
  • Track all grant investments from the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund in real time on our webpage;
  • Issue detailed reports on the three-month and six-month mark;
  • Share stories of the Fund’s impact on people, organizations and our community

Over what period of time will you be disbursing funds? Because the Fund’s purpose is to address immediate needs, we will be working to invest all allocable dollars between April 2020- October 2020.  Based on fundraising efforts and community need, after six months we will check in with nonprofits and groups to see whether the Fund’s purpose and use needs to shift based on community need.

How many times can my organization/group apply to the fund?  Organizations and groups may submit up to three (3) requests to the Fund between now and September 30, 2020.  While UWWC continues to raise funds in our community for relief efforts, it is possible that available funds may be fully disbursed prior to this date.

Is the Relief Fund only for organizations that have remained opened or is there relief for those that cannot remain open and are taking a hit because of it?
We know that many nonprofits have reduced or temporarily halted service provision as a result of COVID-19.  The Relief Fund is intended to support the needs of populations most impacted by or vulnerable to COVID-19.  We presume that this support will take place through nonprofits and groups who are still operating programs and services.