COVID-19 Recovery

Kent County COVID-19 Recovery Fund

During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, Grand Rapids Community Foundation is committed to maintaining our near 100-year legacy of responding to the community’s most pressing needs. Our primary focus is to address the deep and historic racial, social and economic inequities that exist in our community and are intensified in times of crisis.

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Long-term Impact

Our entire community is facing severe challenges in light of COVID-19. We know the impact will be long-term, especially for those who were already navigating racial, social and economic inequities prior to the crisis. This moment calls for us to be ever vigilant to ensure the extended response and recovery reach everyone in our community. 

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  • Equity Focus

    We will prioritize recovery efforts that are led by or reach communities of color, organizations with limited access to financial support through traditional philanthropy or loan opportunities, and those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Nonprofit Financial Stability

    We will prioritize recovery efforts that are defined by and co-created with those disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We seek to partner with organizations with leadership and networks that inspire, grow and connect recovery efforts at advancing equity.

  • Small Business Support

    As we work to better understand the long-term impact of this crisis on our local economy, we will prioritize access to capital and opportunities for entrepreneurs of color and small business owners who are historically under-resourced.

Community crisis responses need to lead with equity

opinion article - bridge michigan

The impact of COVID-19 is harrowing. As the pandemic spreads through Michigan, it has highlighted existing disparities, making them glaringly obvious and impossible to ignore. Many sectors have a role to play in building an equitable recovery for our communities. The time is now to come together to combat inequities and ensure the best outcomes. 

click here to read the whole article

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions from Donor Partners

  • We understand you are likely receiving many requests for support.  What differentiates our Fund from other efforts is that we will focus on supporting the near and long-term recovery of nonprofits and small businesses that will be disproportionately affected by this crisis.

  • This fund is just one option for directing resources into the community. This is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations who’ve benefited from your giving in the past, as well as those who’ve had to cancel their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community. 

  • The passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020 provides three strong incentives which may be beneficial for charitable giving.  It is designed to help taxpayers, businesses and nonprofits facing economic hardship in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn. These incentives are not available for gifts to Donor Advised Funds or supporting organizations.  

     Here is a brief summary of how the incentives may impact your giving:  

    • Creation of a universal charitable deduction for non-itemizers may allow a charitable deduction up to $300 in 2020 (cash gifts only) 
    • An increase on the cap for annual giving for itemizers from 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI) to 100% of AGI (cash gifts only) 
    • For corporations, the limitation on deductions for cash contributions increases from 10% to 25% of taxable income   

    A more in-depth analysis is available on our blog, click here to read it

    If you have questions about how to direct your giving in light of these incentives, please email Shaun Shira, major and planned gifts director.  At the Community Foundation we are grateful to partner with incredible professional advisors, to find a list of local advisors who might be available to help you with legal or financial advice, head to grfoundation.org/advisors.  

  • There are a variety of ways to support our community’s recovery. The Community Foundation is able to accept gifts made online, by mail, through a fund you advise or through gifts of other assets. Contact our team if you would like to make a gift and have questions about accepted gift types.

  • The Community Foundation has awarded grants supporting organizations who serve those who were already navigating racial, social and economic inequities prior to the crisis. See recent grant partnerships on our Grants Awarded page.

  • In addition to grant partnerships, the Community Foundation has worked with our partners to provide flexibility on existing grants, to support donor advisors with their philanthropy and to share staff expertise with community organizations. The Community Foundation also acts as fiduciary and provides administrative support for La Lucha Fund.

Have Questions? We're here to help.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions from Nonprofit Partners

  • Throughout the crisis and its aftermath, Grand Rapids Community Foundation will target our resources to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will evolve the structure of the fund to respond to what we are hearing and learning directly from community, especially those most impacted. There is not an open application process for the Kent County COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

    If your organization is working on recovery efforts that align with the following priorities, you may email us your information at covid19@grfoundation.org. Please note, this is not a grant application.  

    • Opportunities that are led by or primarily reach those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic 
    • Leaders and networks that inspire, grow and connect recovery efforts aimed at advancing equity   
    • Efforts that have limited access to traditional philanthropic sources of financial support 
    • Recovery strategies that are defined and co-created by those disproportionately effected 
    • Anchor institutions led by those most impacted by inequitable access to information, services, and outcomes 
    • Access to capital and opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are historically under-resourced 
  • If your organization is helping to meet immediate needs in our community (food, shelter, etc.) please visit the Heart of West Michigan United Way’s Coronavirus Response Fund webpage for information about their grant process. The Kent County COVID-19 Recovery Fund was established by Grand Rapids Community Foundation to respond to the near and long-term impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our community, not immediate needs.  

  • Rest assured that the Community Foundation is eager to be as flexible as possible during these uncertain times. Please contact your Program Officer to explore opportunities to delay reporting requirements, remove funding restrictions and receive payments early. 

Have Questions? We're here to help.

covid-19 media from the community foundation

Perspectives in Philanthropy

  • Click here to hear President Diana Sieger discusses a look back at the year of pandemic and how the philanthropic sector responded. (WGVU, March 2021)  

Nonprofit leaders cautiously optimistic about 2021, some organizations face tough challenges

  • Click here to read comments from President Diana Sieger local foundations pursuing racial justice in philanthropy. Her thoughts add to the commentary from Juan Olivarez, Ph.D., distinguished scholar in residence for diversity, equity and inclusion at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, as he describes the local landscape. (MiBiz, December 2020)  

Community Crisis Responses Need to Lead with Equity

A Special Giving Tuesday – Mobilizing West Michigan Through Philanthropy

  • Click here to read the blog post. #GivingTuesdayNow was a global day of giving and unity that took place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. 

CARES Act Benefits for Donor Partners

  • Click here to read the blog post by Shaun Shira, major and planned gifts director

Grand Rapids Community Foundation Partners with Hispanic Center of Western Michigan During COVID-19 Crisis to Ensure all People Receive Information and Resources 

  • Click here to read the release in English
  • Click here to read the release in Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Nepali, Swahili or Kinyarwanda.