Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund

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To support those in our community affected by the coronavirus public health crisis, donate to the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. Your dollars—granted to area nonprofits—go towards immediate relief, recovery, and resiliency efforts.

Hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis Foundation, the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund provides flexible funding to organizations serving people impacted by novel coronavirus and the economic consequences of the pandemic in West Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi. 

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In order to move resources quickly and not further burden organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic, we are not hosting a formal application process at this time. 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. We allocate 60% of available funds to immediate needs and save 40% for recovery and resilience funding in the future.

To date, the Fund has deployed $821,000 to 39 organizations help our neighbors in need.

Grants include:

April 3, 2020 - $406,000 in grants to:

March 27, 2020 - $265,000 in grants to:

March 20, 2020 - $150,000 in unrestricted operating grants to:

The Community Foundation administers grants in partnership with the City of Memphis, Shelby County Government, United Way of the Mid-South, and Momentum Nonprofit Partners/Mid-South Philanthropy Network. An Advisory Committee proactively identifies potential grant recipients, solicits guidance on potential recipients from community advisors, and recommends final awards. 

Supporting partners include the Nike Foundation. Community partners include Jewish Community Partners and the Women's Foundation for Greater Memphis.

NOTE: There is a $50 minimum donation for this fund if giving online. To give smaller amounts, you may donate by check, or we encourage you to directly donate to community nonprofits of your choice. See below for details and answers to frequently asked questions.

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What kind of relief are you funding?

In the near-term, operating grants will fund organizations that have deep roots within priority populations, such as:

  • The elderly and other high-risk populations who are experiencing a COVID-19 impact, whether they are living at home or in group settings;
  • Low-income families experiencing short term financial crises related to COVID-19;
  • Residents who are food insecure;
  • Residents who are housing insecure;
  • Residents who have no medical insurance or who are underinsured;
  • Residents who will experience a loss in household income due to interruptions in work and lack access to sick days;
  • Residents who are quarantined, either voluntarily or by the directive of a medical professional or the Shelby County Health Department, and who may not have sufficient support from their families and friends;
  • Residents who face extraordinary childcare challenges as a result of school or daycare closures; and
  • Immigrants and communities of color.

The first phase of these rapid-response grants will address:

  • The economic impact of reduced and lost work due to the novel coronavirus outbreak;
  • Immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by closures and cancellations related to COVID-19;
  • Increased demand for medical information and support; and
  • Fear and confusion about the outbreak among the region’s most vulnerable residents.

I’m an individual who has 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. On behalf of the Fund’s partners, the Community Foundation is 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, we will be 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 on this page. Please check back for a list of the organizations that may be able to assist you. If you are looking for resources now, please consider calling 211.

My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?

In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund at this time. If you are a 501(c)(3), please fill out this survey to give us an understanding of what you are seeing in the community.

Who is on the Advisory Committee?

The Advisory Committee comprises representatives from the partner agencies:

 Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

  • Robert Fockler – President
  • Sutton Mora Hayes – Executive Vice President & COO

 City of Memphis

  • Ken Moody – Special Assistant to the Mayor for Community Affairs

 Shelby County Government

  • Dorcas Griffin – Director, Division of Community Services

United Way of the Mid-South

  • Angelia Allen – Vice President, Strategic Development
  • Diana Bedwell – Director, Community Impact

Momentum Nonprofit Partners/Mid-South Philanthropy Network

  • Kevin Dean – Chief Executive Officer
  • Dorian Spears – Chief Partnerships Officer

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 needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible.

Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?

NO. This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it’s needed most. If the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a donation. Also, 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 as we have greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak. As other complementary funds and efforts develop, we will be sure to keep partners informed.

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and 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 the Advisory Group to assess and evolve our funding strategies.

Based upon the charitable structure of the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, our grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) 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 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund will prioritize community-based organizations serving West Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi. We are doing this with a recognition that many Shelby County nonprofits serve workers and residents in our neighboring counties.

Why is there a $50 minimum on credit card donations?

Our resources for processing smaller donations are limited, so we require a $50 minimum on credit card donations. To give smaller amounts, you may donate by check (sent with "COVID-19 FUND" in the memo line to the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, 1900 Union Avenue, Memphis TN 38104) or we encourage you to directly donate to community nonprofits of your choice.

Is there a fee to contribute?

With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground, except for a credit card fee charged by the processor for online donations, which is $0.20 per transaction plus 1.5% of the transaction amount.

How will the Fund shift gears if needed?

The Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience. The Fund's Advisory Committee allocates 60% of available funds to immediate needs and saves 40% for recovery and resilience funding in the future.