RCF COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative

By Brady Groves

March 30, 2020

“We’re built for this,” was my response to a reporter who asked how the Richland County Foundation was going to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Richland County.

The RCF board has responded with a COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative. They have committed $530,000 from the RCF Community Fund for general operating support to nonprofits. Grants initially will focus on the area of health and human services.

We discontinued the five remaining grant cycles for this year in favor of a more responsive procedure that will simplify the online grant application process, allow grants to be submitted at any time and make quicker funding decisions.

https://app.smarterselect.com/programs/65619-Richland-County-Foundation

To further assist nonprofits with operational support, we will relaunch the RichlandGives platform for the nonprofits that participated in last year’s giving event. The Community Foundation will cover the four percent platform fee normally charged for a donation, leaving only the credit card transaction fee. We will provide an advertising campaign to communicate how people can give a gift to their favorite nonprofits through RichlandGives.

Community Foundations are uniquely qualified to respond to the needs of a community. Strong relationships have allowed us to talk with senior executives in the health and human services sector to better understand the local impact and how we can support not only emergent needs but also new opportunities that will emerge on the other side of the pandemic.

Providing financial support through unrestricted and donor-advised fund grants is our first response. Equally important is our leadership role. Community foundations are led by diverse boards that provide a broad range of skills and unique perspectives of the area they serve. As such, community foundations are a trusted community convener in establishing important collaborations.

We’re not sure what’s ahead, but we will continue to provide leadership and make grants to improve the quality of life for the residents of Richland County.

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