Helping the helpers during COVID-19 crisis

Community First Foundation seeds fund with $1 million

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/21/20

From food banks to providers of services for seniors, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen non-profits all over Jefferson County step up to fill community needs created by the diseases spread. Yet just …

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Helping the helpers during COVID-19 crisis

Community First Foundation seeds fund with $1 million

Posted

From food banks to providers of services for seniors, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen non-profits all over Jefferson County step up to fill community needs created by the diseases spread. Yet just when many non-profit services are most needed, the COVID-19 pandemic is also creating new and unprecedented challenges for those same non-profits.

In response to that crisis, Jeffco’s Community First Foundation has launched a new fund aimed at strengthening and stabilizing non-profits throughout the country as they continue to struggle with the financial challenges posed by COVID-19. The foundation also seeded the fund, which is called the Jeffco Hope Fund, with $1 million and is now taking contributions from the community.

“As a community foundation, we are here to support our local community,” said Kelly Dunkin, Community First Foundation’s CEO and President. “We recognize the challenges COVID-19 is putting on the community and we hope this fund can help nonprofits continue to serve our neighbors through the recovery efforts.

Grant opportunities will open soon with two rounds of priorities. The first round of applications opened March 26 with grant award decisions to be made the week of April 17.

This round provides support for organizations providing direct services to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 (examples include but are not limited to health care and mental health providers, senior service providers, food banks, housing service providers, workforce development centers) and those who are leading a coordinated community response to the impacts of COVID-19.

“I think in the first round we are looking at either organizations that are themselves directly responding to COVID-19 so that could be a food bank that’s seen a huge demand in need for food or it could be an entity that’s organized a response by many food banks or other organizations,” Dunkin said.

A second round of grant opportunities opens April 15. This second round provides support for nonprofits that may not be providing direct services related to COVID-19 but have been negatively impacted due to suspended programming, canceled fundraising events and/or shrinking or lack of resources to continue their work during this period of social isolation. Future rounds of funding are likely as the fund grows from community donations.

Donations can be made at https://www.coloradogives.org/JeffcoHope. As of April 8, the fund had received about $30,000 in donations from the community.

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