COVID-19 Response – Message from Executive Director, Lisa Cofer
At the United Way of Bristol, we continue to work with our community partners and agencies to develop shared solutions to help our community during these challenging and uncertain times.
We continue to stay in touch with our agency partners to let them know that we will be with them through this and to keep our finger on the pulse of the greatest needs of their clients and staff. We also continue to work closely with our agencies that are on the front-lines helping to identify the needs and issues that are emerging in this rapidly changing environment. We are assessing how we might today, and in the weeks to come, support our community and those that need us the most. As decisions are made and plans are put into place, we will share this information on our website and social media.
In times like these, our citizens look out for each other. Please take care of yourself and while you are doing that, please take a moment and call and check on your elderly neighbor. Reach out via phone/text/FaceTime to a friend that lives alone or email someone else that may be isolated. Everyone matters so let’s make sure everyone knows that we care.
You can donate online by using the form below, or you can mail a check to:
United Way of Bristol TN/VA
P.O. Box 696, Bristol, TN 37621
COVID-19 Relief Fund
ABOUT THE COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND
The United Way of Bristol COVID-19 Response Fund has been established to provide flexible resources to 501c3 organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. One-time operating grants will help fund front line human services organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with vulnerable communities.
Grant allocations will be determined by the amount of funds donated. All donations will stay local. 100% of the donations to the United Way of Bristol COVID-19 Response Fund will be distributed to community agencies. There will be no administrative fees attached to this fund.
The first phase of rapid-response grants will increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities by addressing the immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19 related closures (access to food, shelter, clothing, childcare, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and etc.), the increased demand for medical information and support, and fear and confusion about the outbreak among our most vulnerable residents.
We will proactively identify potential grant recipients, solicit guidance on potential recipients from community advisors, and recommend final awards. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases.
I’M AN INDIVIDUAL WHO’S BEEN AFFECTED BY COVID-19. CAN THIS FUND HELP ME?
We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. We are working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts.
While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, it is funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. As we begin to award grants, we will post them here. If you are looking for resources now, please call 211.
MY ORGANIZATION IS INTERESTED IN APPLYING FOR GRANT RESOURCES FROM THIS FUND. CAN WE BE CONSIDERED?
We understand the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancelations, as well as other challenges. We are working to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund. You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure we are aware of your needs and can keep them in mind as the granting process progresses and needs become more clear.
I WANT TO DONATE. CAN I RESTRICT MY FUNDING TO A PRIORITIZED GRANTEE?
To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to the needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The COVID-19 Response Fund was created to provide a coordinated response to our region’s immediate needs.
SHOULD I GIVE TO THIS FUND INSTEAD OF MAKING OTHER DONATIONS?
This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle for getting needed resources into the community, but to help focus a regional response. This is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations that have benefited from your giving in the past, as well as those organizations that 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.
WHAT WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE FIRST PHASE OF FUNDING?
We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs from the outbreak and the longer-term impacts of recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. In this first round, we are not able to prioritize organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services. We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work with our partners to assess and evolve our funding strategies.
Based upon the charitable structure of the COVID-19 Response Fund, our grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501c4, 501c5, and 501c6 organizations.
IS THERE A GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF FOCUS FOR THE FUND?
The COVID-19 Response Fund will prioritize community-based organizations serving Bristol TN/VA. We are doing this to allow donors to know that their help is staying local.
WHEN WILL YOU SHARE WHO YOU FUND?
The first round of investments will be determined by the donations received in the coming weeks and we will publish the list of selected grantees, along with short descriptions of the services and support they are providing. We hope that this will help the community navigate available resources.