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Community Emergency Relief Fund opens new round of funding

Applications are being accepted for a second round of grants to be awarded by the Community Emergency Relief Fund for nonprofits in Southwest Colorado working to help people harmed by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of about $50,000 will be available for grants ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations offering direct services to people harmed by COVID-19 restrictions such as food-security providers, housing-security providers, youth organizations, health care and mental health providers and senior-service providers.

Grants will be disbursed across all five counties in Southwest Colorado – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan.

The application for the second round of funding is available through April 22 on the Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance website, SWCODA.org/nonprofits.

The first round of CERF granting totaled $50,500 and was disbursed earlier this month to 12 organizations across Southwest Colorado serving vulnerable populations, primarily addressing food and housing security.

The Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado secured matching donations from two local philanthropists and the Onward Foundation, bringing the total disbursement of Phase 1 emergency response funding to $101,000.

“In an effort to double the impact of these important, rapid-response dollars for organizations on the front lines, I reached out to some of our partners across the region to provide matching funds,” says Briggen Wrinkle, executive director of the Community Foundation. “I am also leveraging a match possibility for the next round of CERF funding, trying to be as creative as possible to mobilize philanthropy in response to this public health emergency.”

The Community Foundation and United Way of Southwest Colorado are coordinating efforts of CERF granting in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

CERF grants will be disbursed during all phases, from response to recovery.

The third round of CERF funding will address nonprofit stabilization and recovery. The timeline for Round 3 funding has not been set.

“We will all feel the repercussions of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis for some time, and we are cognizant of the need to include recovery dollars as part of our plan to lift nonprofits out of this dire situation,” says Lynn Urban, president and CEO, United Way of Southwest Colorado.

The Community Foundation also is compiling an index of resources to assist nonprofit organizations in maintaining and rebuilding financial stability, finding and obtaining grants and loans available to nonprofits, and understanding available options to manage human resources to best support employees through the crisis.

Visit swcommunityfoundation.org/npo-covid-resources/ to learn about more resources for nonprofits to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

As of this week, CERF had raised more than $225,000 from local businesses and individuals.

To donate to the Community Emergency Relief Fund, visit www.coloradogives.org/cerf or send a check payable to the Community Foundation with CERF in the memo line to P.O. Box 1673, Durango, CO 81302.

Donations can also be taken by texting “credit” to 40403 to pay with by cellphone.


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