Community Response and Resilience Fund

Preparing for COVID-19

In March 2020, Hamilton County public health officials identified a positive case of novel coronavirus. Local officials are warning that additional positive cases are expected. Our community is acting swiftly to respond to the outbreak and educate residents on how best to stay safe.

We have heard from many of our community members, asking how they might be able to help the response effort to COVID-19, the coronavirus, particularly as school and work closures are likely to cause additional strain on many of our non-profit partner organizations.

The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is assembling a cross-sector coalition of partners to launch the Community Response and Resilience Fund. This Fund will support communities that are disproportionately and negatively affected by the health, economic, and social impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations serving communities who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the economic conditions of this outbreak. Grants will fund organizations that have deep roots in community and strong experience working with our community’s most vulnerable residents. The Community Response and Resilience Fund is designed to complement and support public, private, and other nonprofit efforts to respond to this situation.

Funding Priorities

Through the initial response phase of the Community Response and Resilience Fund, we will provide grants that leverage relationships with trusted providers with deep roots in the community and strong experience working with our most vulnerable residents as well as emerging efforts and responses to the outbreak, both working to address:

  • The economic impact of reduced and lost work due to the broader coronavirus outbreak
  • Immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19-related closures

Given the dynamic nature of this situation, the Fund intends to provide grants on a rolling basis to ensure dollars are deployed in the community quickly and responsively. Active fundraising is underway, which will engage multiple rounds of support as the community needs and challenges evolve, and as we gain greater clarity about the course of this crisis. In the near-term, grants will support impacted and/or historically marginalized communities in our region doing work with priority populations, such as:

  • Our elderly neighbors
  • Youth and children
  • Residents with limited English language proficiency
  • And communities of color, among others

Fund partners recognize the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are likely to overwhelmingly affect communities already facing economic disparities, which will perpetuate the inequities that persist in our community. The first phase of rapid-response grants will be one-time, general operating investments, focused on increasing resiliency in disproportionately affected communities.

Grantmaking Process & Details

In consultation with the Fund’s grant-making committee and lead partners, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga will administer the grants. In line with Fund priorities, partners will inform grant-making criteria and amplify what they are hearing from community partners impacted by COVID-19. The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga will work in close collaboration with public officials, philanthropic partners, the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, social services agencies, non-profit organizations, and community members to ensure that both the scope of the Fund and the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities.

The review of potential grant investments will ensure that resources reach communities already facing persistent economic disparities. COVID-19 is exacerbating those inequities, which are likely to grow as the crisis unfolds. To address this challenge, the Fund will target the urgent health and economic needs of disproportionately impacted communities and individuals by leveraging existing relationships with trusted providers with deep roots in the community and strong experience working with our most vulnerable residents as well as emerging efforts and responses to the outbreak.

A grant-making process and selection criteria are under development and will be influenced by fund size and number of contributors. During this initial emergency response phase, early identification of potential grant recipients will allow dollars to be released through multiple phases as money is raised. This will allow us to continue fundraising throughout the near-term and recovery phases, to move dollars quickly rather than wait to complete fundraising efforts, and to adapt to emerging evolving needs.

Join Us

We are hopeful that other foundations, businesses, and individuals will join this united effort and welcome you to join us. In times of crisis, coordination is vital and valued in getting critical resources to communities most impacted. We are grateful to the philanthropic leadership of our community working quickly and collectively to support those most impacted during these uncertain times.

To make a gift, use the button below to donate or login into your DonorCentral account and click on “Recommend a Grant” and select the “Community Response and Resilience Fund” as the recipient.

If you have questions and would like to get involved or make a contribution in another way, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to our Donor Services team at [email protected] or by calling our Vice-President of Donor Services Marisa Ogles at 423.265.0586 ext. 22.