COVID-19 Response Funds

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 Response Funds


What is the purpose of these Funds?

The Response Funds are designed to deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak in their respective counties. The Funds will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by the outbreak. Grants will support immediate basic needs, health, and economic needs related to the health and economic impacts of this pandemic.

 Community Foundation and our partners will be working closely with local governments,public health and emergency management officials, and community leaders to be nimble in our response and to be able to quickly adapt to evolving needs throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of this crisis.


How will the Funds be used?

The COVID-19 Response Funds will focus on supporting local nonprofit organizations working in areas identified as having high numbers of affected individuals and those who are working with the most vulnerable populations in these areas. The Funds will help these crucial nonprofits to respond to this crisis.


How will the Funds be distributed?

In order to move resources quickly without further burdening organizations providing critical services and support, we are not hosting a formal application process at this time. Grants from the Funds are made in partnership with the United Ways in each county.

Given the dynamic nature of this moment, we intend to make grants on a rolling basis to ensure dollars are deployed in the community quickly and responsively. We will work with local community leaders to assess the greatest need and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases.


What are the funding priorities of the Funds?

The COVID-19 Response Funds will focus on supporting local nonprofit organizations working in areas identified as having high numbers of affected individuals and those who are working with the most vulnerable populations in these areas. The Funds will help these crucial nonprofits to respond to this crisis. Without additional funds, these frontline nonprofits could be unable to respond to the increasing need. This comes at a time when many nonprofits have been forced to postpone/cancel their fundraising events, so their financial reserves are lower.


Who is eligible for funding?

Nonprofit organizations that are assisting the most disproportionately impacted individuals and families by providing resources such as, but not limited to: food, medicine, rental assistance, and health care. Nonprofits must be located in or primarily serve residents in Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties.


My organization is interested in resources from one of the Funds. Can we be considered?

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. We are working closely with local United Ways and other community partners to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund at this time.

You may help make sure we are aware of your organization’s work supporting economically vulnerable residents and families by emailing Melissa Rosscup at


Is there a geographic area of focus for theses Funds?

Each fund will prioritize community-based organizations in our three-county region: Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties. Donations to the Fund will go towards supporting health and economic impacts of this pandemic in the corresponding county.


Can individuals apply for support from the FundS?

We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. On behalf of the Fund’s partners, the Community Foundation is not providing direct funding to individuals or families. Instead, we are working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts. 

As of March 20, 2020, the Thurston County COVID-19 Response Fund is accepting requests from Thurston County residents who are being severely affected by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

 The Fund is available to provide assistance with rent, utilities, childcare, and other basic needs. Our partner, the Community Action Council (CAC) of Lewis,Mason, and Thurston Counties, is accepting phone calls and coordinating resources for people who need this emergency assistance. If you are a resident of Thurston County and need help, please call the CAC Monday – Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at (360)-438-1100 or 1-(800)-878-5235.

 For additional emergency resources in Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties, please call 2-1-1.


Can business owners request assistance?

The COVID-19 Response Funds are currently prioritizing getting resources to individuals and families receive the assistance they need to meet their basic needs during this difficult time – this includes employees of local business who are experiencing lost or reduced wages. The committee is working quickly to identify local community-based organizations that can provide direct assistance to these individuals and families. The Fund will allocate assistance to those organizations as quickly as possible.

We recognize that the closures and reductions are significantly impacting local businesses as well. While the Response Funds are unable to assist at this time, business owners can contact the Small Business Administration or Thurston EDC Center of Business and Innovation to learn more about their disaster relief options.


I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The COVID-19 Response Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible.


We have created a fund for each county because much of the response is organized at the county level, or even more local. We also recognize that some donors want their donations to stay as local as possible.

Should I give to one of these Funds instead of making other donations?

It is important to remember that while the Response Funds are of high importance for our region, this should NOT be the only response to COVID-19 and people should continue to generously support nonprofits in our community—including those providing basic needs and those impacted by the closures and social distancing policies. We know there will be other responses needed, such as the longer-term sustainability for nonprofits impacted by both the additional need and the social distancing closures. Not to mention the severe impacts on local businesses. Now, more than ever, we must all work together to continue through these challenging times.