Working with partners across the state, the Vermont Community Foundation’s VT COVID-19 Response Fund makes grants to nonprofits and community-based organizations working on both immediate response to and long-term recovery from the effects of the pandemic in Vermont. We are also working with a cross-sector Advisory Committee —including state, federal, and local partners—as we look ahead to creating community resilience through this crisis. This fund is designed to complement the work of our government partners, both in responding to urgent community need, and in planning for the future.
To provide critical services and flexible support as quickly as possible, we are not accepting formal applications at this time. Grants are made on a rolling basis. As fundraising continues through the response and recovery phases of the crisis, the Fund will adapt to emerging and urgent needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know many Vermonters have been affected by both the virus, and the impacts of mandatory social distancing including Governor Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. The Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals; however, we will be funding community-based organizations that provide people and families with services and support.
If you are looking for resources for individuals now, please consider Vermont 211 and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s COVID-19 Resource Center.
We know that the pandemic is impacting Vermont’s nonprofits in many ways—from increased demand for services, to loss of revenue from closures and cancellations, to loss of fee-for-service programs.
To move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the VT COVID-19 Response Fund at this time. Please visit our Available Grants page on our main website to review our existing open grant rounds. Many of these programs are being re-purposed for COVID-19 related needs. You may reach out to us directly through that page.
We are also encouraging all nonprofits to take advantage of the Small Business Administration’s Emergency Injury Disaster Loans, and if applicable, other programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program.
We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the pandemic. 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.
During this time, 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 the VT COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Committee, as well as our grantmaking partners, to assess and evolve our funding strategies.
Based upon the charitable structure of the VT 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.
The Fund’s priorities will evolve as Vermont progresses, and we recognize that economic and social strategies in collaboration with government and philanthropic partners will play a critical role in rebuilding our communities’ health and vitality. We also know that those communities that already wrestled with deeper impacts from the Opportunity Gap will be adversely affected as we go forward, and inequities are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. We will be working with partners and the Advisory Committee to enable us to work towards a better Vermont for all.