UPDATE: With the generosity of donors, media and the community, in only one week since it was established the community has committed more than $1 million to The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. The purpose of the new fund is to support local nonprofits and help alleviate the social and economic consequences of this global pandemic and to prevent the widening of disparities in education, employment, housing, and health.

During that same time, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has already received funding requests from the nonprofit community in excess of $1.4 million ... and expect that the requests and need will continue to grow. Their first emergency grant funding is being distributed this week.

Any new gifts up to $10,000 to the Resiliency Fund will be matched, dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000, by an anonymous FCCF donor-advised fundholder.

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To help vulnerable neighbors, a COVID-19 Resiliency Fund created by a local charity has collected more than $500,000. The fund has been established by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation with the support of seed funding from a cross-section of individuals, private foundations, corporations and other concerned entities. More than $500,000 has already been pledged by these founding fund partners who have each contributed at least $25,000 at launch.

The new fund is now accepting donations from the public. Donations of any amount may be made at FCCFoundation.org/COVID19ResiliencyFund.

“In response to this unprecedented time in our lives, we have launched The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund with the intent of quickly raising contributions from the entire Fairfield County community to support our most vulnerable residents,” said Juanita James, president and CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “Our deepest gratitude goes to our founding Resiliency Fund Partners who immediately answered our requests to initiate the Fund. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is fortunate to be part of a caring, generous, and resilient community and we are confident with your help we can meet this goal.”

James added, “In addition to urging you to support The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund, we encourage you to continue to support local nonprofit organizations that work with the people and families who are most vulnerable in our community. Community health centers, homeless shelters, preschool and after-school programs, food pantries and others, which are already dealing with reductions in state and federal funding, will be further stressed. In times like this, philanthropy can shine.”

The new fund will rapidly deploy resources to trusted, frontline community organizations that meet the basic needs of local residents in Fairfield County, a press release said. The fund’s purpose is to help alleviate the social and economic consequences of this global pandemic and to prevent the widening of disparities in education, employment, housing, and health. The fund’s resources will be directed to organizations serving high need, vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals and residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days; immigrants; persons with disabilities; and communities of color, among others.

The Founding Fund Partners include, to date: Anne S. Leonhardt Fund, Anonymous Fundholders, Buckeye Fund, Dan Levinson, Don Kendall, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Board of Directors, Herbert and Nell Singer Foundation, and Social Venture Partners Connecticut.

In addition, an anonymous donor has offered to contribute an additional $100,000 challenge grant, which will be activated upon the fund raising $100,000 in gifts from other contributors.

The Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund is designed to be flexible in its focus, nimble in its action, and to complement other resources and responses at the national, state and local levels.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation will administer responsive grants from the fund through its Community Impact Team, which will identify potential grant recipients and accept open inquiries for funding. Given the dynamic nature of this moment, grant funding will be considered and released on a rolling basis. The Community Foundation will begin distributing grants as soon as possible.

Consideration for grants is limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations serving community needs, and other public entities based in or primarily serving Fairfield County communities and residents. Consideration will also be given to 501c4 social welfare organizations.

Individuals and organizations can donate and find additional information at FCCFoundation.org/COVID19ResiliencyFund. To inquire about grant opportunities, contact your program officer or send inquiries to COVID19@FCCFoundation.org.