A coalition of philanthropic and chamber organizations brought together by the St. Louis Community Foundation have created the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, foundation officials announced today. The fund will be used to direct resources to regional nonprofits that are working with local communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout.
"We are working diligently with our partners to address the wide-ranging dislocation COVID-19 has brought to our country and likely to our community," said Amelia Bond, president and CEO of the St. Louis Community Foundation. "Modeled after a similar effort undertaken by the Seattle Community Foundation, this initiative is the fastest, most efficient way to get funds to the local nonprofits serving people most affected."
An advisory committee, which will be composed of public health and community officials and is in the process of being put together, will guide the grant-making process. The St. Louis Community Foundation has committed $100,000 from its emergency relief and endowed community funds, and continues to solicit contributions from private foundations, corporate partners, and individual donors.
"We intend for this effort to serve as a framework for us and our partners when a natural disaster – or other event creating regional distress – requires a comprehensive regional response from philanthropy, business, and other interested stakeholders," Bond added.
To date, coalition members working with St. Louis Community Foundation on the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund include: the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Boniface Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Clark-Fox Foundation, the Incarnate Word Foundation, Gateway Center for Giving, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, the Marillac Mission Fund, the Missouri Foundation For Health, the Regional Business Council and its affiliate Social Venture Partners, the St. Louis City Seniors Fund, the St. Louis Mental Health Board, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the Trio Foundation, the City of St. Louis, and St. Louis County.
The situation is fluid and the prioritization of needs will change. However, some potential needs already identified for the most vulnerable include:
- Essential medicines and food: Ensure that essential medications and food are delivered to those who are quarantined and/or isolated;
- Technology:Providing technology to seniors so they can communicate while isolated; to children in order participate in online classrooms; and to families so they can stay connected;
- Rent/Mortgages/Utilities: To assist those who are quarantined and to those who do not have the option to work from home.
The St. Louis Community Foundation and the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund Advisory Council will work strategically with local nonprofit organizations to provide grants to agencies to meet both immediate and long-term needs related to the impact of the virus in the St. Louis metropolitan and surrounding areas.
How to Contribute to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund
In addition to continuing its outreach to corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations, the Community Foundation is also encouraging its donors and the general public to make contributions to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. They may by visiting https://stlgives.org/give-today/ and using a credit card, or by contacting the St. Louis Community Foundation at 314.588.8200.
About the St. Louis Community Foundation
A nonprofit foundation, founded in 1915, the St. Louis Community Foundation granted $101.3 million to nearly 3,000 nonprofits in St. Louis and around the world in 2019. The foundation also received more than $78 million in charitable gifts from its donors during the same period.
The foundation is composed of more than 750 charitable funds with total assets in excess of $500 million. Each fund represents a unique charitable giving partnership between an individual, family, or business and designated nonprofit recipients.
Over the last 10 years, the St. Louis Community Foundation and its donors made nearly $500 million in grants to charitable organizations, with approximately 85 percent of those dollars remaining in the St. Louis region to support local nonprofits.
For more information about the St. Louis Community Foundation and its initiatives, please visit stlgives.org.
Margaret Welch, at 314-703-1215