Angie Berzonski, our Associate Director, manages grantmaking programs for CFA. Over the past month, that’s involved a lot of work focused around helping nonprofits make it through the effects of the pandemic and also helping them address urgent community needs. However, this does not mean CFA will not be doing regular grantmaking as well. Here, she addresses some of the recent questions she’s fielded from nonprofits in Cambria, Bedford, Somerset, and Indiana counties.
Q: What will happen with Spring grants?
A: In mid-March, we let our Spring 2020 grant applicants know that we were pushing back our review process by at least four weeks in order to quickly address the new, emergency needs that were impacting our community. We are now happy to report that the Spring grants have been reviewed and are in the final phase of decision making. Some of the funds that we typically use toward Spring grant applications were transferred to our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, so Spring distributions may be a little less this year compared to previous years. But we expect those grant awards to be announced by early May.
Q: How could this situation affect grantmaking from CFA’s Early Childhood Education and Community Initiatives funds?
A: Although delayed, we will still be offering a grantmaking cycle for both of these important CFA initiatives. In determining these application timeframes, we are taking into consideration the Governor’s orders on what businesses are allowed to be open. When the timeframes are finalized, they will be announced on our social media pages as well as at cfallegehenies.org/grants. Right now, we are hopeful that the Community Initiatives Fund will be able to accept applications during the month of May and that the Early Childhood Education Fund will accept applications later in the fall. But, again, stay tuned for a final determination.
Q: What can nonprofits who are affected by the pandemic and lockdown do to seek help?
A: Please see cfalleghenies.org/covid-19 for a wealth of information about the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund that we set up to help address this issue. We also have resources for nonprofits, information on how to apply, and an ongoing list of the grants we are now making on a regular basis to local nonprofits who are addressing the community’s changing needs.
Q: It looks like nonprofits similar to my organization have received grants through this emergency fund. Should I apply?
A: These are difficult times, across the board, and we sympathize with everyone who is working to keep their organization afloat under these tremendous and unprecedented hardships. We understand that all nonprofits in our region are dealing with effects from the coronavirus in one way or another. Because grantmaking from our emergency relief fund is limited, at this time our advisory committee has prioritized applications from organizations that are providing life-sustaining and basic human needs and/or applications from organizations that, due to the pandemic, have sustained unexpected and specific expenses for equipment/supplies that are necessary to serve their clients. You can reach out to me (email@example.com) with questions, or go ahead and make your request by emailing me with the subject line “Emergency Funding Request.” The email should include a description of need (if possible, include how much income you have lost this month compared to the same time period last year), the amount requested, and a specific breakdown of how the funding will be used. This situation is dynamic and, as we move forward, new priorities may arise. The COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund Committee will continue to evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis. For more details, including guidance for nonprofits who may have received funding through our Fall 2019 grants, please visit cfalleghenies.org/covid-19. We know this is an uncertain time. We want you to know that we are here to help you in any way we can and we appreciate what you do.