Akron Community Foundation established the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits in March 2020 to address emergency needs that arise in Summit and Medina counties. These community needs began in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak and have since expanded to encompass the crisis of systemic racism.
We believe we are uniquely situated to direct changes that encourage greater community inclusion and equity for all who live, work and play in our region. Just like COVID-19 is categorized as a global pandemic, we feel racism is also a pandemic that needs our attention and resources to invoke necessary change.
To date, the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits has reached $623,000 in assets and has distributed $453,298 in grants to local nonprofits.
About the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits
Akron Community Foundation's Community Response Fund for Nonprofits rapidly provides flexible resources to area nonprofit organizations working on the front lines of educating, engaging and supporting individuals impacted by COVID-19, as well as those working to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within our community.
While the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits is not able to award grants directly to individuals, it is funding community-based organizations that have the experience and history of providing vital services and support to local residents.
Community Response Fund Grants
The fund supports area nonprofit organizations meeting the needs of individuals directly impacted by our current health and inequity crises.
Given the dynamic nature of these issues, the fund intends to provide grants on a rolling basis to ensure dollars are deployed in the community quickly and responsively. Active fundraising is underway to enable multiple rounds of support as community needs and challenges evolve, and as we gain greater clarity about these crises. Applicants who have been awarded a COVID-19-related Community Response Fund for Nonprofits grant will be eligible to apply for additional funding under the expanded diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.
Examples of potential diversity, equity and inclusion grants include but are not limited to:
- Storytelling initiatives to increase understanding of marginalized experiences
- Systems change approaches to address racial inequities
- Racial healing activities
- Practical solutions to race-related challenges
Examples of potential COVID-19-related grants include but are not limited to:
- Critical operational support to nonprofits providing services to those impacted by COVID-19
- Immediate basic needs of vulnerable citizens, including food delivery for seniors and additional services for economically insecure populations
- Emergency shelter for domestic violence victims impacted by COVID-19
- Supplies for health clinics or community-based organizations
- Mental health services
- Rent and utility assistance for those who cannot afford their monthly payment because of lost work
Grantmaking Process & Distribution
Akron Community Foundation provides grants of up to $5,000 to the most impacted organizations. It is our intention to ensure that both the scope of the fund and the grants awarded are meeting the greatest needs faced by our community. At this time, we are not able to prioritize organizations that have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by an increased demand for services.
The review of potential grant investments will ensure resources reach organizations already facing persistent health and economic disparities.
Nonprofits that meet the criteria can: