We at The Community Foundation have long been champions of the network of non-profit organizations that provide critical services throughout Mendocino County. As we began to develop our COVID-19 response, we understood that supporting the non-profits would be a crucial element in helping our communities to get through this crisis. We have since launched the COVID-19 Non-Profit Relief Program, which includes opportunities for organizations to connect and collaborate, as well as multiple funding tracks to help them adapt to the new normal.
We have heard from our non-profit partners that their funding streams are drying up, while the demand for their services continues. “We have had our doors closed with no income except for donations,” shared one non-profit. “Our reserve is getting seriously depleted.” The issue is widespread, and with the support of our donors, we have now launched two new grant programs with a goal of providing $500,000 in funding to support the non-profit sector this fiscal year.
In addition to our annual Community Enrichment Grant Program, we are also running the Non-Profit Relief grant program designed to assist any Mendocino County non-profit experiencing operational hardships as a result of the pandemic, as well as the COVID-19 Safety-Net grant program which is designed to help those organizations working with vulnerable populations. Safety-net organizations provide critical programs and services such as basic needs, behavioral health, and domestic violence/child abuse information and referrals, ensuring that those with the greatest need have the services necessary.
In a time where we are physically distanced, the COVID-19 Non-Profit Relief Program is also encouraging connection and collaboration among local non-profits in addition to providing the financial support to adapt. The program includes a series of Community Conversations designed to convene the non-profit sector on pandemic-related issues and to brainstorm the path forward. We are also running a virtual Executive Director Leadership Institute to support non-profit leaders in learning new leadership skills while engaging with a network of their peers.
The COVID-19 Non-Profit Relief Program has taken a holistic approach, marrying financial support with collaborative opportunities, to help our non-profit partners work through the isolation and challenges of these trying times. Our lead donors to the Non-Profit Relief Fund - including the Cleo Foundation, Meredith and Steve DeLucia, Jim and Arlene Moorehead, Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, and several anonymous donors - and the donors to our Community Endowment Fund understood the critical need for joining us in this effort. We are asking you to join them in raising the final 10% of our $500,000 goal. The generosity of our community to come together during a time of crisis has been exceptional. This crisis has no expiration date, and we know the most vulnerable in our community will need access to the services provided by our non-profit partners to see them through. Join us in making a difference by contributing today to the Non-Profit Relief Fund.