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, in March 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 accepting proposals to the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.  This fund was active from March 10 - June 16, 2020.  At that point we transitioned to the Community Recovery Fund, click here to learn more about this Fund. 

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 03/17/2021

What is the period of time that the funds will be available and what time period with the grants cover? Grants funds were be available immediately. They  covered 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 put a priority on flexible spending. The grant agreements have basic stipulations on spending guidelines.

This Fund was 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 made funding decisions? UWWC assembled a committee that UWWC staff will presented funding recommendations to for input and affirmation.  This committee was 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 were grant award decisions for individual agencies be made? Grant applications were be considered on a first-come first-served basis. In recognition of the rapidly-evolving nature of this crisis, grant award decisions were made weekly until all funds were spent down.

Were funds available only to human service nonprofits? No. Community collaboratives/groups using a fiscal agent were invited to apply. 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 did UWWC make funds available? Once signed terms of grant were returned to UWWC (we use Adobe Sign to expedite this process), we processed ACH payment in 1-2 business days.  

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

How did UWWC maintain transparency in its fundraising and distribution of funds? In activating this Fund, UWWC took 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 did you disburse funds? Because the Fund’s purpose is to address immediate needs, we invested all allocable dollars between April 2020- June 2020.  

Was 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 reduced or temporarily halted service provision as a result of COVID-19.  The Relief Fund was 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.