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COVID-19 Response Fund Grants

The application for this program is currently closed
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COVID-19 Response Fund Grants are available to Rhode Island nonprofit organizations at the forefront of COVID-19 response, thanks to many generous donors, and a partnership between the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island.

Grants will be awarded to:

  • Support nonprofit organizations providing direct assistance to Rhode Islanders with financial need or demonstrable hardship resulting from COVID-19.
  • Provide operating support to nonprofit organizations that are meeting community needs resulting from COVID-19, and are in financial distress.

The grants will aim to complement the work of public health officials by expanding local capacity to address the outbreak’s social, health, and economic impacts in the short and long term.

Please note: Due to the high volume of proposals to this Fund, applications are being reviewed in batches. You will receive notification once your application has been reviewed.

Grant awards will vary in size, we anticipate most will fall within the $10,000 and $75,000 range. Grant terms may be variable depending on organizational need and the scope of crisis response.

Organizations can apply any time. It is likely that organizations will only be eligible for one COVID-19 Response Fund Grant per calendar year, though that may vary as response and recovery efforts continue.

Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island have formed a joint grants review team to review initial crisis applications in real-time. The committee will convene on a weekly basis to make awards, beginning the week of March 23, 2020.

COVID-19 Response Fund Grants will be awarded to support nonprofit organizations providing direct assistance to Rhode Islanders with financial need or demonstrable hardship resulting from COVID-19 and not otherwise covered by other resources. This may include organizations that supply basic needs to Rhode Islanders, including but not limited to, food, relief from rent and other household expenses, and access to healthcare.

COVID-19 Response Fund Grants will also be awarded to provide operating support to nonprofit organizations that are meeting community needs resulting from COVID-19, and are in financial distress.

This program will not fund individuals, event sponsorships, or capital projects.

We recognize there are meaningful efforts and entities without a 501(c)(3) IRS designation whose work aligns with this program. In these cases, we will consider grant applications from groups utilizing a fiscal sponsor that does have a 501(c)(3) IRS designation.

For more information and recommended best practices regarding fiscal sponsorship relationships, you may wish to download this document.

To apply, please submit a completed application form, a copy of your organization’s current operating budget and, if this is your first time applying for Rhode Island Foundation or United Way funding, please provide a copy of your IRS Tax-Exempt Determination letter – submit all three items through our online system.

The application requires brief narrative responses to four questions:

  1. Please describe the services you provide and the community you serve, including any vulnerable populations (seniors/older adults, homeless, low income, foster youth, etc.)
  2. Briefly describe how COVID-19 has affected the community that you serve.
  3. Briefly describe how COVID-19 has affected your organization. Do you expect this to be a short or long term impact?
  4. Please describe how you will use the funds that you are requesting to meet increased community need due to the COVID-19 crisis in Rhode Island. Please include how many people or households you estimate your organization would be able to assist with this funding, including estimates of vulnerable populations.

To complete an application that is already in progress, and to submit, please click here.

If you receive a grant from this program, given the nature of this program, simple reporting requirements with a flexible deadline will be described in your award letter. When the time comes, you will log back in to your account to submit a grant report.