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

Eligibility

Funding Opportunities

In its first phase, 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. In its second phase of funding, running July to September, we will award grants to stabilize nonprofit organizations that are directly responding to the significant consequences of, and disparities exacerbated by, this public health crisis.

Phase 2 funding will be allocated across four categories. Mid-South nonprofits can apply for grant funding in two categories: Direct Service Operational Support and Operating Support. Where eligible, nonprofits may apply for more than one opportunity. 

DIRECT SERVICE OPERATIONAL SUPPORT

Nonprofits seeking to strengthen or rebuild their infrastructure, with a focus on grassroots organizations, can apply for sponsored participation in three programs. These programs are direct service support for fundraising, human resources, and risk management, each identified as an area of critical need amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. See Direct Service Support tab for more details on the application process. 

OPERATING SUPPORT

Nonprofits who are directly responding to the target populations most impacted by the consequences of this outbreak may apply for operating support grants up to $50,000. See Operating Support tab for more details on the application process. 

Basic Eligibility

For consideration for both Direct Service Support and Operating Support, eligible organizations must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency operating in West Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and/or eastern Arkansas who are permitted by the Tennessee Secretary of State to solicit funds. This information must be published on the organization’s LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org profile no later than September 30, 2020, in order to receive funds.

Applicants must have a LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org organizational profile in progress at the time of application submission and must have a published or updated LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org profile no later than September 30, 2020. For questions about building a profile, click here or contact LIVEGIVEmidsouth Profile Coach Aerial Ozuzu via email or at (901) 722-0020.

Click here to watch an Information Session recording on Phase 2 Funding Opportunities. 

For any questions or support navigating the application process, email Director of Grants & Initiatives Elizabeth Warren or call her at (901) 722-0022. Note: Community Foundation staff is working remotely, so if contacting by phone, please leave a voicemail and Elizabeth will return your call as soon as possible. 

Direct Service Support

In Phase 2, we are sponsoring participation for nonprofits in three programs in the areas of fundraising, human resources, and risk management - areas of nonprofit operations identified as critical amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. These opportunities are for Mid-South nonprofits seeking to strengthen or rebuild their infrastructure, with a focus on grassroots organizations. Interested organizations must apply for each program, and selected nonprofits will participate free of charge. Read more about each program below, and scroll to the bottom for details on how to apply. 

  • FUNDRAISING: Network for Good’s Jumpstart program
    To increase up to 15 organizations’ fundraising outcomes by complementing dynamic donor management software with personal coaching and professional services through an immersive, yearlong learning cohort. The program will provide extra capacity to address fundraising challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. As a first step in emphasizing the historical funding bias against organizations led by people of color, this opportunity is available exclusively to organizations led by an executive director/CEO of color
    Learn more about the Jumpstart program here

  • HUMAN RESOURCES: HRO NOW Essentials program
    For one year of unlimited on-demand human resources support with an HR generalist for up to 15 organizations. The program will provide expertise to address deficiencies in HR policies and procedures that have been uncovered or emphasized during the COVID-19 outbreak. This opportunity is available to organizations that currently have, or anticipate having, 10-20 employees within the next twelve months
    Learn more about the HRO NOW Essentials program here

  • RISK MANAGEMENT: Risk Alternatives program
    To facilitate three learning cohorts of up to 10 organizations each that will assess each organization’s risk management practices and then guide the development of a continuity plan for each organization. The three cohorts will be as follows:
            - Community development corporations (presented in cooperation with BLDG Memphis and Community LIFT)
            - Social justice organizations
            - Youth development organizations
    These three focus areas were identified as important catalysts to address longstanding inequities in the Mid-South that have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak. Investing in risk management practices will help ensure organizations in these focus areas can sustain their important work. Priority will be given to organizations that have executive directors/CEOs who have been in place for two or less years. 
    Learn more about the Risk Alternatives program here. 

    Register to attend one or more free virtual trainings in a series of four, offered in partnership with Momentum Nonprofit Partners, that will provide risk management insights relevant to our current environment and introduce Risk Alternatives. 
    Throughout July: Riskapalooza series, presented by Risk Alternatives (REGISTER)

How to Apply

Organizations may apply to participate in each of the three programs detailed above. In order to apply, organizations are REQUIRED to complete a brief application and attend a session specific to each program as detailed below. Selected participants will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with each program about expectations for an organization's participation over the year. See Eligibility tab for details on basic eligibility. 

All applicants will be notified by the end of August whether or not their organization has been selected as a cohort participant in any of the three programs. 

Network for Good’s Jumpstart
Note: This opportunity is available exclusively to organizations led by a executive director/CEO of Color.

  • July 23, 11 am-12 pm: Required information session for applicants (Recording available here) 
  • July 24 - August 6: Apply to be a cohort participant. (APPLY)

HRO NOW Essentials
Note: This opportunity is available to organizations that currently have, or anticipate having, 10-20 employees within the next twelve months. 

  • July 14 - July 31 (EXTENDED!): Apply to be a cohort participant. (APPLY)
  • Upon submitting an application, organizations will be prompted to schedule a required, one-on-one information session. 

Risk Alternatives
Note: This opportunity is available for community development corporations, social justice organizations, and youth development organizations, with priority given to executive directors/CEOs who have been in place for two or less years.

  • July 15, July 22, July 29, August 5 - Attendance is required at a minimum of one of the four trainings in the Riskapalooza series, in order for an organization to be considered for cohort participation. (REGISTER) 
  • July 16 - August 13 (EXTENDED!)Apply to be a cohort participant. (APPLY) 

Operating Support

In Phase 2, we are offering Operating Support to stabilize nonprofits who are directly responding to the target populations most impacted by the consequences of this outbreak. Total funding available is $1,000,000. See Eligibility tab for details on basic eligibility.

Grants are general operating dollars up to $50,000 for nonprofits providing immediate services to the following priority populations:

  • The elderly, youth, LGBTQ+, other high-risk populations;
  • Low-income families;
  • 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 face extraordinary childcare challenges as a result of school or daycare closures;
  • Immigrants and refugees; and
  • Communities of Color.

Grants are intended to support these nonprofits with:

  • Continuity of operations due to increased expenses or decreased revenue; and/or
  • New*, increased, or changed support to priority populations.

(*NOTE: While we recognize that new needs have arisen and organizations have been called upon to adapt and innovate programming, we also acknowledge that hundreds of nonprofit programs already exist in our region that effectively serve a wide range of needs, service areas, and target populations. Therefore, we recommend considering collaboration with other nonprofit partners before creating new programming, especially programming outside of your mission statement. For a list of potential partners to complement your organization’s mission and the needs of your clients, please visit LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org.)

Grant Application Evaluation

Because needs are great, applying organizations will be prioritized in three categories, as detailed below. For funding consideration, an organization must demonstrate that its mission and programming address the vast consequences of, and disparities exacerbated by, the COVID-19 public health crisis according to one of the following priorities:

  1. Health & Safety: Nonprofit organizations that have consistently served the priority populations listed above AND that are addressing needs related to health (food, medical services, mental health) and/or safety (housing, child welfare, elderly care, legal aid); or
  2. Jobs & Education: Nonprofit organizations that have consistently served the priority populations listed above AND that are addressing needs related to creating and connecting people to jobs and/or educational and childcare strategies for addressing learning loss, comprehension, and social development; or
  3. Other Services to Priority Populations: Organizations providing any other services to the priority populations listed above.

Evaluation criteria that the grant committee will consider include:

  • Priority: Where an organization ranks in the first, second, or third priorities listed above;
  • Reach: Whether an organization provides services to a large population OR provides intensive or specialized services to a smaller population;
  • Representation: Organizations led by person(s) of color AND organizations with a board and staff that appropriately reflects and involves the population(s) it serves
  • Need: How grant funds will fill a gap not able to be filled by other resources.

Note: Grants are for operating support, so only one application per organization will be considered.

Grant Application Process & Timeline

The Community Foundation’s Strengthening Nonprofits committee will evaluate applications and administer grants in partnership with an advisory committee that includes representatives from the City of Memphis, Shelby County Government, United Way of the Mid-South, and Momentum Nonprofit Partners/Mid-South Philanthropy Network.

A short, pre-recorded information session is posted under Resources below for viewing by applicants. For any further questions about the application process, please contact Director of Grants & Initiatives Elizabeth Warren via email or at (901) 722-0022. Note: Community Foundation staff is working remotely, so if contacting by phone, please leave a voicemail and Elizabeth will return your call as soon as possible. 

July 8: Application opens online in GranteeView, the Community Foundation's Grants portal. 

July 22: Deadline to submit application online via GranteeView. For an application to be considered, a LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org profile for the applying organization must be in progress by this date. For questions about building a profile, click here or contact LIVEGIVEmidsouth Profile Coach Aerial Ozuzu via email or at (901) 722-0020. 

August 7: Applicants will be notified via e-mail whether they are invited to continue in the process by participating in a 30-minute virtual interview with grant committee members. Questions will be provided in advance.

August 17: Virtual interviews with applicant organizations begin. The applicant’s Executive Director and one board member are asked to participate.

September 30: Applicants must have a published or updated LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org profile by this date in order to receive funds. For questions about a profile, click here or contact LIVEGIVEmidsouth Profile Coach Aerial Ozuzu via email or at (901) 722-0020. 

Mid-to-late September: Interview applicants will be notified of final funding decisions via e-mail.

Application Resources

For any questions or support navigating the application process, email Director of Grants & Initiatives Elizabeth Warren or call her at (901) 722-0022. Note: Community Foundation staff is working remotely, so if contacting by phone, please leave a voicemail and Elizabeth will return your call as soon as possible. 

Community Investment Principles

This grant process incorporates and upholds the Community Foundation’s Values for Investing, detailed here. These values guide our grantmaking as we strive to carry out our vision for the Mid-South to create a just and equitable region. 

For any questions or support navigating the application process, email Director of Grants & Initiatives Elizabeth Warren or call her at (901) 722-0022. Note: Community Foundation staff is working remotely, so if contacting by phone, please leave a voicemail and Elizabeth will return your call as soon as possible.