Crisis Response Updates

This designated Crisis Response page is where we gathered time-sensitive information related to the COVID-19 crisis, and other crises, that have impacted our communities since March 2020.  

The impact of these crises has not gone away and simply added to pre-existing disparities. In fact, learnings from our crisis-response grantmaking have become integral to our new grantmaking approach, which stresses social, racial, and economic justice.

As such, we’ve stopped designating grants that respond to the current crises because our overall grantmaking is focusing on the root causes of these disparities. To stay as up-to-date as possible in sharing information, please follow our other continuously updated pages on the website, such as the News and Insights page.

Crisis Response Grantmaking

At our August 2020 board meeting, we expanded our crisis response grantmaking with a new comprehensive grant initiative—crisis response emergency grants—to more fully acknowledge the extent of this year’s crises that many of our grantees are facing: COVID-19, the need for racial equity, and more.

We’ve responded with two types of grantmaking: grants to pooled funds and grants directly to nonprofits.

On this page, we’ve listed grants that either relate to the new grant initiative or were approved for crisis response in the months prior to approval of the initiative. There may be other grants that have connection to crisis as part of our general grantmaking, but for classification purposes we’re not including them here.

Grants to Pooled Funds

We’ve invested in the following pooled funds through community foundations and other funders that are well grounded in their communities and have an interest in supporting our priority communities:

Boys & Girls Clubs of America — $55,000, $100,000

COVID-19 Relief Fund for regranting to Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country, ensuring Native Clubs within our Foundation’s region can continue critical COVID-19 response work in their communities: securing nutritious food, acquiring and distributing basic supplies, and providing essential staff support for programming and resources.

Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines  —  $50,000

Disaster Recovery Fund responds to needs not being met by existing nonprofit, local, state, or federal programs. The Community Foundation’s $100,000 commitment was matched by the United Way of Central Iowa.

Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES)  —  $25,000

Latino Families Emergency Relief Fund provides immediate funding and financial relief to families and individuals in Minnesota’s Latino community affected by the COVID-19 crisis who are excluded from safety net programs, such as unemployment assistance. Funds raised will provide emergency cash support for food, household essentials, and rental assistance.

First Nations Development Institute  —  $50,000

COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund supports Native nonprofit organizations and tribal programs on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize the risk of Native communities, who’ve been impacted disproportionately.

First Peoples Fund — $25,000

Resilience Fund provides emergency relief to grassroots artists and culture bearers within First Peoples Fund’s network to cover urgent personal needs and expenses: food, housing, caretaking, and health care.

Headwaters Foundation for Justice  —  $50,000 (Communities First Fund) and $300,000 (The Transformation Fund)

Communities First Fund supports a network of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)-led grantee organizations across Minnesota as they help communities facing social, political, and economic consequences resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The Transformation Fund (Phase Two) supports frontline, BIPOC-led groups that use a community organizing approach to advance justice, collective liberation, and self-determination.

Idaho Community Foundation  —  $50,000

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho is a joint effort between three, Idaho-based organizations to provide grants to trusted organizations that support and serve low-income Idahoans, filling the gap not covered by efforts from public city, state, and federal institutions.

NDN Collective Inc. — $50,000, $100,000 (two grants)

COVID-19 Response Project distributes resources to frontline organizations, tribes, and individuals to provide gap services during the health crisis, and to artists and entrepreneurs who are suffering from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Northwest Health Foundation Fund II — $50,000

Reimagining Safety Fund is a community-led, Black-centered effort supported by public and philanthropic dollars focused on developing and advancing a new model of community safety for the Black community in Oregon and for all Oregonians.

Philanthrofund (PFund) Foundation — $50,000

COVID-19 Response Fund deploys resources to individuals and nonprofits in LGBTQIA communities most affected by the coronavirus crisis, complementing the work of public health officials and expanding local capacity to address needs created by the crisis.

Pride Foundation — $50,000

Crisis Community Care Fund supports general operations for current and previous Pride Foundation community grant, rapid response fund, or sponsorship recipients who are either providing direct services in response to the pandemic and/or are facing budget crises as a result of COVID-19 and are in need of emergency bridge funding to continue their operations.

Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation  —  $50,000

Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund (MDRF), with financial support from nearly 50 philanthropic entities, funds both short- and long-term needs for those who are vulnerable and at risk within Minnesota communities as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic (including individuals and families, nonprofits experiencing increased demand for services or struggling due to social distancing recommendations, and small businesses experiencing interrupted operations).

Seattle Foundation  —  $50,000

COVID-19 Response Fund is a broad coalition of 40+ partners from philanthropy, business, and government that have come together with emergency assistance, such as financial support, health care, and child care to support Seattle-area workers and families in the region’s most vulnerable communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples Inc.  —  $50,000

Flicker Fund provides direct grant support to stressed indigenous communities on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, where some are already facing issues of hunger, lack of access to water, and inability to secure basic hygiene and material supplies needed for everyday life.

Social Justice Fund NW  —  $50,000

COVID-19 Crisis Fund supports Social Justice Fund grantees working to respond to the crisis. Initial grants are $3,000 and can fund a variety of strategies to meet community needs and support mutual aid.

South Dakota Community Foundation — $15,000

Emergency Relief Fund for Immigrants delivers relief to South Dakota immigrant and refugee communities critically impacted by COVID-19 by providing accelerated assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, and basic needs.

Whatcom Community Foundation  —  $25,000

Resilience Fund helps ensure that people—especially those experiencing racism, homelessness, financial distress, isolation, mental health challenges, and other barriers to health and wellness—can get nutritious food, child care, mental health support, safe housing, and many other essentials. An early grant from the fund was to the Lhaq’temish Foundation (the community foundation of the Lummi people) so that they have funding to respond to tribal needs as they emerge.

Willamette Valley Law Project — $15,000

Farmworker Emergency Fund provides assistance to Oregon’s former and current undocumented farmworkers and essential workers (child care, food service and accommodation, cleaning and maintenance, retail, trade, etc.) affected by COVID-19, many of whom have limited or no access to emergency support.

Direct Grants to Nonprofits

We’re affirming and deepening our commitment to grantees, both those that already have grants from us and new grantees we’re supporting related to our crises response. We’re making longer-term grants and also providing maximum flexibility for nonprofits with current grants by:

  • Postponing or waiving grant reporting requirements
  • Amending grant agreements to remove budget restrictions or converting grants to general operating support, where applicable
  • Making the grant renewal application process easier and quicker
  • Awarding small grants to address immediate needs


Here are the grants we’ve made so far, designated for response to this year’s crises, including COVID-19 and other recent crises (such as the need for racial equity):

African Economic Development Solutions — $15,000

Amalgamated Charitable Foundation as fiscal sponsor for Return to the Heart Foundation — $100,000

American Indian College Fund — $100,000

American Indian Community Housing Organization — $25,000

Appetite for Change — $25,000

Build Wealth MN Inc. — $25,000

Byrd Barr Place — $25,000, $125,000

The Center Pole — $20,000

Centro Latino of Iowa — $85,000

Cheyenne River Youth Project — $15,000, $25,000 (two grants)

Community LendingWorks — $50,000

Des Moines Area Community College Foundation — $150,000

Dream of Wild Health — $25,000

Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC) — $30,000, $60,000 (two grants)

Global to Local Health Initiative — $50,000

Hmong American Farmers Association — $30,000

Hopa Mountain Inc. — $50,000

Immigrant Development Center — $15,000, $20,000, $20,000 (three grants)

Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul — $20,000

Iowa CareGivers — $30,000

The Lakota Fund Inc. (fiscal sponsor for South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition) — $50,000

Lakota Youth Development — $25,000

Lummi Community Development Financial Institution — $25,000

McKenzie River Gathering (MRG) Foundation — $100,000

Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) — $150,000

Native American Community Development Institute — $50,000

Native American Development Center — $40,000 (amended from original grant amount)

Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) — $25,000

Native CDFI Network Inc. — $25,000

Navigate — $10,000

NDN Fund — $200,000

Neighborhood Development Center Inc. — $25,000

Network for Better Futures (Better Futures Minnesota) — $25,000, $200,000 (two grants)

New Avenues for Youth Inc. — $25,000

Nimiipuu Community Development Fund — $15,000

Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) — $25,000

Northwest Native Development Fund — $25,000

Opportunity Link — $25,000

Potlatch Fund (COVID-19 Relief for Native Communities) — $50,000, $25,000

Rural Community Development Resources — $25,000

Rural Organizing Project — $100,000

Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples Inc. (Flicker Fund) — $50,000

Social Justice Fund NW — $250,000

Standing Rock Community Development Corporation — $125,000 (amended from original grant amount)

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation — $25,000, $25,000 (two grants)

Ujamaa Place — $25,000

Ventures — $25,000

Warm Springs Community Action Team — $25,000

Working Partnerships Inc. — $150,000

COVID-19 General Informational and Funding Resources

This section provides informational resources that might assist you in finding COVID-19 news, a few potential funding opportunities, and COVID-19-related topics. This is NOT an exhaustive list of resources.

In addition to these resources, please refer to the Grants to Pooled Funds, listed earlier on this page, for potential funding resources.

State COVID-19 Websites Within Our Region

Iowa  •  Minnesota  •  Montana
North Dakota  •  South Dakota
Washington  •  Idaho  •  Oregon

Resources for Native Communities

Center for Indian Country Development (CICD) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

An analysis of COVID-19’s impact in Indian Country—how the pandemic disproportionately exposes tribal economies and governments to economic hardship.

First Nations Development Institute

Tools and resources for Native communities, collected and reviewed by First Nations, which focus on five key areas: Understanding COVID-19, Understanding the CARES Act, Emergency Funds—What’s Available and How to Access Funds, Perspectives from Indian Country, and Keep Learning and Growing Together.

Native American Development Corporation

NADC’s CDFI Revolving Loan Fund helps Native small-business owners and entrepreneurs impacted by disaster, especially Native entrepreneurs on reservations and in urban areas underserved by traditional lenders and banks.

Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)

Community Resources During COVID-19 blog with information on community resources for indigenous families making rapid adjustments in routines and behaviors due to COVID-19.

Native Governance Center

Creating Indigenized Communications During COVID-19 is a webinar by NGC program managers to share tips for communicating thoughtfully about COVID-19 using five Indigenous values. The webinar was created in partnership with Seven Directions for Indigenous Public Health as part of the “Gathering Grounds” virtual series.

NDN Collective

COVID-19 Response Project provides rapid response funding to established, indigenous-led, community-based organizations and tribes providing essential services and relief efforts to frontline organizations, tribes, and individuals. NDN Collective’s Artist and Entrepreneur Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 to indigenous artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to help alleviate current pressures and strengthen their solvency in these uncertain times (applications are due by May 29).

General Resources

American Farmland Trust

Farmer Relief Fund directly helps America’s small- and mid-sized farmers and ranchers being impacted by market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis through cash grants of up to $1,000 each.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

COVID-19 Response Fund supports nonprofit organizations working directly to respond to the pandemic among populations whose vulnerabilities are hit hard by the pandemic: low-income households, small businesses, immigrants, refugees, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, older adults, people with disabilities, and other communities vulnerable to the physical health, mental health, and economic impacts of the pandemic.

CLASP (Policy Solutions That Work for Low-Income People)

A detailed blog and fact sheet about paid sick days and paid leave provisions in FFCRA and CARES Act.

Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES)

Coronavirus Resource Center includes COVID-19 FAQs, updates on how CLUES programs and services are affected, and a list of policy actions and community resources to keep Latino families updated with the prevention, response, and evolution of the current COVID-19 emergency.

Dakota Resources

Innovative strategies to protect South Dakota communities from the spread of coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations. Includes a Community Resource for COVID-19 guide to provide easy access to a wide range of disaster resources for South Dakota communities. A Guide for Creating Community While Social Distancing is available on Twitter.

Feeding America

Resources to help ensure that the pandemic doesn’t perpetuate inequity or deepen the burdens often borne disproportionately by communities of color and low-income people. Launched the COVID-19 Response Fund, a national food- and fund-raising effort to support people facing hunger and the food banks who help them.

Giving Compass

A comprehensive list of vetted response and relief funds related to COVID-19 (a joint effort with the National Center for Family Philanthropy). Also includes an interactive map for donating.

Hacienda Community Development Corporation

Community Resources for Oregon’s public health agencies to combat misinformation on COVID-19.

Hmong American Partnership (HAP)

COVID-19 Resource Hub focuses on providing Minnesota’s refugee and immigrant communities with resources and news relevant to them regarding COVID-19.

Independent Sector

Assistance with navigating opportunities for government stimulus and other assistance to nonprofits, including a chatbot (online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech) that can help guide you.

Minnesota Council on Foundations

Coronavirus Resources includes webinars, funding, articles, and links to other COVID-19-related resources around Minnesota.

Montana Nonprofit Association

Nonprofit Response & Resources helps nonprofits in Montana to stay informed, prepare, and communicate with staff, clients, and community with tools for funding, advocacy, communications, health and safety, etc.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Extensive directory of mutual aid pandemic disaster care, continually updated.

Philanthropy Northwest

COVID-19 Resource Hub is a centralized place to find out what’s happening in the Northwest region of the US (including within NWAF’s region: WA, OR, ID, MT) and nationally regarding the pandemic, along with a comprehensive list of funding, events, public policy/advocacy, and other resources organizations and individuals can use to address the pandemic’s impact. Updated weekly or more frequently as news breaks.

United Way

FAQs and information about what local United Ways are doing to support communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Includes links to local United Way relief funds.

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