The COVID-19 Response Fund for the St. Croix Valley is launching a second wave of grantmaking on August 19. The fund will grant an additional $600,000 (approximate) to nonprofits focused on housing, utilities, and transportation and serving Chisago and Washington counties (Minnesota) and Burnett, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties (Wisconsin).

The Response Fund was established on March 20, 2020 as a partnership between United Way St. Croix Valley, United Way Washington County-East and the St. Croix Valley Foundation (SCVF). From late-March to early-May, the fund distributed $525,000 to 98 nonprofit organizations responding to basic needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Following the fund’s quick response to the region’s most immediate needs, the partners paused grantmaking and reached out to regional leaders to gather input on the longer-term impacts of the pandemic and recovery.

The Response Fund partners recognize that the hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be challenging for thousands throughout our service area. The partners aim to alleviate some of those challenges with grants focused on housing (rent/mortgage assistance and shelter), utilities, and transportation (automotive repairs and gas cards). Valley nonprofits are working hard to creatively respond to the needs in our communities; therefore, grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund will be flexible to encourage continued innovation in filling critical gaps to ensure people are getting the services they need.

THE GRANTMAKING PROCESS

Eligible organizations should submit an online application form at https://www.scvfoundation.org/covid-19; applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 18. Grants from the Response Fund will be recommended by an advisory committee appointed by the SCVF, UWSCV and UWWCE. These appointees could include staff, board members, affiliated community foundation board members and/or other community partners of the SCVF, UWSCV and UWWCE. Notifications will be sent in early October.

The COVID-19 Response Fund will make grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools and other public entities. This Response Fund is not currently able to fund businesses, or nonprofits with 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) status.

The COVID-19 Response Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals. For information about community resources for individuals and families impacted by COVID-19, contact the United Way at 211.

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE

Donors have many options for contributing:

• Checks can be sent to SCVF, 516 2nd St Ste 214, Hudson, WI 54016 (payable to SCVF/COVID-19).

• SCVF donor advised fund holders can recommend a grant to The St. Croix Valley Foundation with "COVID-19 Response Fund" as the grant purpose.

• SCVF can also accept appreciated stock and other assets. Call SCVF for assistance with those donations.

The SCVF has ten affiliated community foundations (Amery, Chisago Lakes, Hudson, Lower St. Croix Valley, New Richmond, Northwest Alliance, Prescott, River Falls, Somerset and Stillwater) throughout the six-county region. If a donor chooses to designate a gift to one of those areas, SCVF will ensure that dollars are granted to support that community.

In a consolidated effort to help those most affected by COVID-19, the SCVF is waiving all administrative fees for the Response Fund. This means (with the exception of fees charged by banks/credit card companies) that 100% of a donor’s gift will be used to help those most affected by COVID-19 in the St. Croix Valley.

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