PHOTO: A volunteer at Bonney-Lake Food Bank (via Emergency Food Network)

The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund announced $200,000 in rapid response funding on Thursday, April 9, 2020 to support populations greatly impacted by COVID-19. This funding comes a week after an initial $1 million was distributed. The next round of rapid response funding will be announced next week. Further requests for funding are now being accepted.

As the public health response to COVID-19 in Pierce County escalated Friday, March 13, United Way of Pierce County and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation partnered to launch the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund, seeded with $750,000 from GTCF. GTCF committed another $1 million in matching dollars for regional funders joining in the effort.

Since the launch, 146 local and regional foundations, businesses and individuals have donated a combined $5.1 million. The purpose of the fund is to support organizations in Pierce County providing services that meet urgent health and basic human needs due to COVID-19.

Individual donors can make a difference for their communities during COVID-19 by contributing in any way they can. The aligned philanthropies encourage individual donors to give directly to the causes and organizations that matter to them.

To support rapid funding to organizations directly serving urgent needs during COVID-19, donors are encouraged to donate to PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund.


PHOTO: 2020 Census bus ad features members of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians 

Since December 2019, more than 40 organizations received funding for census outreach through GTCF, thanks to a grant from the State of Washington Office of Financial Management.  I n response to COVID-19 and the challenges it presented to outreach,  GTCF received an additional $857K from the Office of Financial Management to support rapid response census outreach efforts in Pierce, Kitsap, and Mason Counties. 

All organizations funded in the first round of 2020 Census Community Grants received additional funding. Five new coalitions and one new organization also received census outreach funding.  


On Monday, March 23, 2020 Tacoma Public Schools in partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Greentrike, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, and the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties opened three free, school-based day camps for the children of our community's healthcare workers and first responders. In Puyallup, all of the district's 22 elementary schools will provide child care in addition to free meals.

A Reliable Resource For Nonprofits Navigating The CARES ACT And Other Challenges During COVID-19

As nonprofits face unplanned challenges to their operations and drastic funding shortages due to COVID-19, the CARES Act offers possible relief. However, navigating the options and avenues for funding is not easy.

The first hurdle for many small organizations is that CARES Act loans are being administered solely through banks. Loans must be submitted through Small Business Association approved banks and lenders. Many banks are giving priority to existing relationships.

Another hurdle is that funding is on a first-come, first-served basis. If an organization isn't already connected with a bank, they may miss the window of opportunity.
Nonprofits are encouraged to reach out to their organization's financial and legal professionals for the best advice.

A reliable source for nonprofits information is this page, curated and maintained daily by The National Council on Nonprofits. They provide a webinar on the CARES Act and other advice for sustaining organizations during COVID-19.

Supporting basic needs, like food and shelter, is harder as necessary public health measures lead to business shut-downs, layoffs, reduced volunteer staff, and greater restrictions due to social distancing. Meanwhile, the need for these basic supports is rapidly increasing. Many nonprofit organizations, including arts and culture venues and youth programs, are unable to operate at all under the state's stay-at-home order.

Donors can make a positive difference at this time by giving generously to the organizations and causes that matter to them.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into effect on March 27, provides both financial relief for nonprofits and increased charitable giving incentives for individuals and corporations.

During this time when Pierce County residents are staying healthy by staying home, GTCF is using social media to keep our community connected to valuable information and resources about COVID-19. Follow along, and stay up to date by reading daily posts about service disruptions, urgent needs, and how local individuals and organizations are partnering to address them. GTCF is also continuing to spread the word about the 2020 Census and the importance of being counted.

Stay connected by following GTCF's social media feeds:

We're stronger together! Join in by using these hashtags when sharing your COVID-19 and 2020 Census related posts:

#PierceCountyConnected #StrongerTogether #WeGotThisTacoma #StayConnected #2020Census #YouCount #BeCounted

PHOTO: Madigan Foundation Board Members together at the Madigan Army Medical Center

In our latest annual book of Pierce County Partners, we share stories and insights from individuals and organizations who are making a difference in Pierce County. In their own words, they speak about the dreams and lessons that fuel their work in the community.

Rachanee Curry, President of the Madigan Foundation, grew up in a military family. She served on active duty and is a military spouse. She has observed first-hand some of the challenges that military families can face.

"Our foundation supports military families, active and retired, and the Madigan Army Medical Center through programs designed to improve and enhance the quality of care and life of patients, their families, and their healthcare providers

Upcoming Virtual Fundraisers

Upcoming In-Person Fundraisers

The following events are currently listed on the GTCF Community Calendar, but may be subject to change in alignment with efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Pierce County. Please check with the organization to verify the status of any event you are planning to attend. 

During this time, GTCF encourages donors to increase support to their causes and organizations and contribute even if planned fundraising events are cancelled. 

GTCF is donating the ticket price of any cancelled events GTCF already committed to attend and will double the donation GTCF intended to make at the event.