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

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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. 

Support those in our community affected by the coronavirus crisis by donating to the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. Your dollars—granted to area nonprofits—go towards recovery and resiliency efforts.

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Phase 1. In 12 weeks, from March to June, the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund deployed $2,406,500 to 91 organizations to help neighbors in need—organized into nine priority populations—through weekly, rapid-relief grants on the front lines of the pandemic.

The Community Foundation administered 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.

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Phase 2. As the longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout our region, we shift focus in Phase 2 to grants intended to stabilize nonprofit organizations that are directly responding to the significant consequences of, and disparities exacerbated by, this public health crisis.

Those disparities were present long before the pandemic, and we wish to strengthen the organizations that are dedicated to lessening the burden of those inequalities.

In its second phase of funding, running July to September 2020, the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund will award grants across four categories. Mid-South nonprofits can apply for grant funding in two of those categories. Click below to learn more about Phase 2 and how nonprofits can apply. 

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If you would like to support this work, click here to donate.

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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?

The first, 12-week phase was focused on rapid-relief grants to organizations serving the individuals who were hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic. The second is intended to stabilize nonprofit organizations that are directly responding to the significant consequences of, and disparities exacerbated by, this public health crisis.

Each phase focuses funding on priority populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic:

Phase 1, which ended June 5, addressed:

  • 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.

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.

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 award grants, including to organizations that may be able to assist you, we post them here.

If you are looking for resources now, please consider calling 211.

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

Nonprofits in West Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi can apply for funding in two categories:

  • Direct Service Operational Support for grassroots organizations building infrastructure, focusing on: • Fundraising • Human resources • Risk management

  • Operating Support for nonprofits directly responding to the priority populations most impacted, focusing on nine target populations and centered on: •  Health & safety •  Jobs & education •  Other services
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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

In Phase 2, the Advisory Committee's evaluation and decision-making will be supported by the Strengthening Nonprofits Committee of the Community Foundation.

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.

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.