Over $500,000 has been granted to local charities through the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area (CFKA) since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March, with more funds becoming available this fall, according a release from the CFKA, dated Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.
“Knowing that the uncertainties faced by charities were huge, and that funding needs would be incredibly high, we were motivated to be very strategic about the allocation of our available funds this year to support the community’s response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 crisis,” says their Executive Director, Tina Bailey.
CFKA would normally fund dozens of projects in May, but this year they were only able to fund three projects that, by their nature, remained relevant and would help respond to increased needs caused by the pandemic, the release said. The three projects addressed issues of food security, seniors’ isolation, and the transition of services to remote delivery.
According to the release, a concerted effort was made by CFKA to reach out to other funders and stakeholders to share information and coordinate granting where possible to ensure that emerging needs were being addressed with the available dollars in our community. This information was used to help advise donors who called the Foundation for advice and how to direct their donations for maximum impact.
In late April, the federal government announced a $350 million Community Emergency Response Fund (ECSF) to support charities adapting and expanding their frontline services to support vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. CFKA was allocated $413,720 of funding to help fill gaps and address long term and emerging needs in our community.
According to the release, the Foundation worked quickly to launch a call for proposals and received 68 grant applications with funding requests totalling $1.6 million. The applications were reviewed by CFKA’s volunteer grants review team on an ongoing basis through June and July. CFKA says all available funding was granted in eight weeks.
Combined with over $817,000 in ESCF funding granted by the United Way of KFL&A, over 1.2 Million in federal dollars was granted to Kingston and area.
Despite these relief dollars, there was still a shortfall between available funds and the number of strong projects recommended for funding, so the Community Foundation reached out to some of its donors and fund holders who generously agreed to help bridge some of the gap, the release read. Through their generosity, three additional projects were funded totalling over $25,000.
“These last six months have shown us that CFKA, along with its many donors and fundholders can rise to the challenges our community is facing,” said Community Grants Chair, Julie Burch. “It’s inspiring to work in partnership with so many local funders and charities, to respond as needs arise, and pool our expertise to meet those needs to protect our most vulnerable populations in the Kingston area.”
For a full listing of COVID-related projects funded by the Community Foundation to date, visit www.cfka.org/covidgrants
Two notable grants include $25,000 to the Boys & Girls Club to support the safe operation of their summer day camps, and a grant of $5,000 to Resolve Counselling Services to develop materials and provide services to member agencies of the KFL&A Children and Youth Service Providers Committee to support their staff as their teams transitioned backed to work.
Of the grant to Resolve, Bailey comments “We are very proud of this very strategic grant as our relatively small investment of $5,000 will have a big impact on an entire sector. This project was co-developed to quickly respond to a common emerging need identified by leaders of these organizations and will benefit staff and managers in over 30 agencies.”
According to the release, more funding is expected. The Community Foundation has launched its Fall 2020 Community Grants Competition. This year they have streamlined their application process, and successful applicants will have their funding one month earlier (November 2020). For this granting round only, there is an opportunity for charities to apply for emergency operational support for program delivery during COVID-19. Applications are due by 4:30 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.
For details on all the Foundation’s granting in response to the pandemic and their current grants application process, visit www.cfka.org.