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(September 9, 2020 by WDEL Press Release) The state is establishing a $25 million fund using CARES Act money to assist the state's nonprofit organizations.
Funded with $20 million provided from the state's CARES Act allocations and $5 million from New Castle County, the support program will help prop up foundations already doing difficult work on tight budgets hit by the same pandemic-related reductions as everyone else.
"The nonprofit sector has been incredibly important at addressing the needs of ordinary Delawareans in communities across our state," said Governor John Carney Wednesday, September 9, 2020. "They've also been hard hit by the COVID-19 economic situation...We recognized pretty early on that the needs of individuals and families across our state relied on our nonprofit sector to meet those needs and the incredible work that they do."
The funds will be made available through an application process at a new website, DECaresFunds.org, which will go live on Monday, September 14, 2020. There will be FAQs and technical assistance available to help walk applicants through the process.
"Nonprofit organizations in the state had to dramatically adjust their operating models to continue to serve their clients, and in some cases, their case loads grew exponentially as a result of the pandemic and the economic crisis," said Sheila Bravo of the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement. "These changes resulted in staggering operational costs...all this while working remotely."
Groups like the Delaware Community Foundation, Philanthropy Delaware, and United Way have been working to provide struggling Delawareans with the resources they've needed to survive through the pandemic. But in order to help those people, nonprofits also had to make costly adjustment.
"There was all these nonprofits with increased demand for services and those weren't just problems for nonprofits, they were problems for our constituents--the communities we serve--and at the same time, there are all these increased costs for materials," New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer said. "You have to get sanitizers, and barriers in the office if you want people to come back, WiFi and all sorts of technological things that many nonprofits couldn't afford. And of course, at the same time, there's decreased opportunities for fundraising, less people were writing checks than before, a lot of banquets and events that would normally raise tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands were canceled."
Nonprofits aiding citizens were some of the most important programs to keep afloat during the pandemic as they were the ones helping others while struggling themselves. The support program will provide reimbursement for operational expenses directly incurred because of response to COVID-19--administered by United Way--and additional funds are available for the costs associated with increased service levels--administered by the Delaware Community Foundation.
Bank of America is a member of Philanthropy Delaware (September 8, 2020 by Bank of America Press Release) On June 2, Bank of America made a $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. Today, the company is announcing its initial progress by directing one-third, or $300 million, of its $1 billion commitment to four key areas across 91 U.S. markets and globally: $25 million in support of jobs initiatives in Black and Hispanic/Latino communities, $25 million in support of community outreach and initiatives, $50 million in direct equity investments to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and $200 million of proprietary equity investments in minority entrepreneurs, businesses and funds. The $1 billion, four-year commitment is being overseen by Anne Finucane, vice chairman of Bank of America and head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Capital Deployment and Public Policy, in coordination with several business lines and business support areas across the company.
“These initial investments will address access to jobs and support for small businesses by creating more pathways to employment in communities of color and more support for minority entrepreneurs,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.
Investment details include:
$25 million in initial grant funding in support of jobs initiatives
$25 million in initial community outreach and initiatives
$50 million allocated to direct equity investments in MDIs
Bank of America also operates a $1.6 billion Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) portfolio with 255 partner CDFIs across all 50 states, providing access to capital to thousands of individuals and small businesses who do not qualify through traditional lenders.
$200 million allocated to direct equity investments in minority entrepreneurs, businesses and funds
Bank of America plans to make direct equity investments in Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses to help supply growth capital as well as to invest substantially in programs to create future entrepreneurs.
These investments will total $200 million over the next four years.
The company expects to make further announcements related to this shortly.
“Jobs are a critical pillar to address the racial wealth gap in our country, and we’re focused on building a stronger hiring pipeline for Black and Hispanic/Latino students in local communities,” said Finucane. “This initiative leverages the firm’s resources, has dedicated teams focused on it, and expands into local networks and partnerships.”
Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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Jessica Oppenheim, Bank of America, 1.646.855.1600
(September 2, 2020 Philanthropy News Digest) With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting every aspect of the 2020 elections, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have announced commitments totaling $300 million in support of efforts to promote safe and reliable voting in November.
To that end, the couple has pledged $250 million to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) to ensure that counties have the staff, training, and equipment they need to ensure that every eligible voter can vote and every vote is counted. CTCL will regrant the funds to local jurisdictions to cover the cost of poll workers (including hazard pay and training), the purchase of personal protective equipment for poll workers, the hiring of temporary staff, polling place rent, ballot processing equipment, voter outreach, and support for drive-through voting. The organization has issued an open call to local election officials in every state offering support for the above activities and will allocate funds at the county and municipal level to support work already in progress.
Chan and Zuckerberg also committed $50 million to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), which supports the efforts of state and local election officials to ensure that their elections are secure, voters have confidence in the process, and civic engagement does not suffer. CEIR will use the funding to support the efforts of secretaries of state — in both red and blue states — to ensure that their electoral systems are secure and that voters are informed about the voter registration process, voting by mail and early voting options, poll locations and hours, and the vote-counting process.
"Voting is the ultimate way we hold our leaders accountable and make sure our country is heading in the direction we want," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "It is critical for our democracy that we all have confidence in the integrity and legitimacy of our elections, and that means having confidence that our country has the infrastructure to make sure every voter can make their voice heard."
"State election officials are facing unprecedented challenges during this election season," said CEIR executive director David Becker. "The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in election options and procedures different than voters have ever seen, while the threat of disinformation could greatly diminish voters’ confidence in [the] democratic process. This donation will greatly assist election officials as they seek to inform voters about their voting options and any changes, educate them about how they can successfully ensure their ballot is received and counted, and bolster transparency and legitimacy."
(September 1, 2020 Delaware Business Times) Smyrna – Governor John Carney submitted a formal request yesterday to President Donald Trump, asking for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of Delaware as a result of the severe weather events during the period of August 4, 2020 through August 7, 2020.
In his letter to President Trump, the Governor noted over four days that weather conditions including heavy rain, multiple tornadoes, and damaging winds caused substantial damage throughout the state. The Delaware Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated, a State of Emergency was declared, and the Delaware Emergency Operations Plan (DEOP) was enacted.
The request specifically asks the President for a Major Disaster Declaration including Public and Individual Assistance for Kent and New Castle Counties, along with Hazard Mitigation Funding to be made available to all three counties. Carney’s request letter states that total expenditures are expected to be in excess of $6.7-million.
In announcing his request of the President, Carney stated: “On the morning of August 4, 2020, Delaware was impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias, which produced rainfall rates as much as 2 to 3 inches per hour, and rain accumulations of up to 5 inches with sustained winds up to 73 miles per hour. The event produced a new record daily rainfall in Wilmington, DE. In addition, it produced three tornadoes, resulted in multiple road closures, coastal and riverine flooding, a sinkhole, and prolonged power outages.”
(September 1, 2020 by the Office of Governor Carney) Trash on our beaches and in our waterways isn’t just unsightly – it’s also potentially dangerous to marine life and in some cases harmful to water quality. The annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup offers volunteers an opportunity to help make a difference for Delaware’s shoreline and waterways while joining an international effort to clean up the world’s waters.
Join a month-long virtual coastal cleanup campaign during September 2020. Pick up trash in your neighborhoods and nearby parks, on beaches and along waterways to help Keep DE Litter Free.
Due to concerns related to COVID-19, the 33rd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup won’t be a one-day event with groups gathering to clean specific beaches and coastal areas across the state. Instead, during September, volunteers will clean up debris, like cigarette butts, food wrappers, abandoned sports equipment, tires and more, that often end up in the ocean and waterways.
They will document their findings and share photos in a new online volunteer survey.
Volunteers can recruit family from their household or friends in their pandemic pod to join in a group cleanup, but large groups are discouraged.
Throughout September, find ideas about how to get involved in the 2020 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Facebook and Twitter. Volunteers can post photos on facebook.com/DNREC for a chance to win a 2021 Delaware State Parks pass. Each photo post counts as an entry. Volunteers can post as often as they like throughout the month.
There are many ways to make a difference all year long:
(August 24, 2020 - Press Release) The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic ResponseFund at the Delaware Community Foundation Friday awarded $194,500 to 12 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.
Friday’s grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are:
The fund, which launched on March 18, has awarded $3.2 million to more than 150 Delaware nonprofits so far. Through the Community Needs Grants Program, the fund awarded weekly grants March 27-May 22, two rounds of grants in June, and is awarding monthly grants July-December.
The next application deadline is Sept. 14. For information and to apply, visit delcf.org/community-needs-grants.
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Donations to fund are still needed to respond to community needs, said DCF President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay.
“As the pandemic continues, the needs are growing and evolving,” Comstock-Gay said. “We are calling on the community to help local nonprofit organizations get food, shelter, medical care and other essential services directly to the people who need it most. We also must support our workforce, arts community and other sectors to restore our quality of life post-COVID-19.”
The Longwood Foundation, which previously gave $1.5 million to the Strategic Response Fund, recently awarded a $500,000 grant, with the stipulation that the DCF must raise a matching $500,000 from the community by Aug. 31.
To make a gift that qualifies for the match, give at delcf.org/covid19-fund or contact Joan Hoge-North, email@example.com.
About the Fund
The Strategic Response Fund was established to address the state’s emerging and evolving needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grantees are selected through a rigorous process that involves a diverse team of more than 50 community leaders representing all three counties and a range of areas of expertise.
The fund, a partnership of the DCF and Philanthropy Delaware (PD), already includes generous gifts from the Longwood Foundation ($1.5 million), Barclays ($700,000), New Castle County ($500,000), Welfare Foundation ($300,000), CSC ($100,000), Crestlea Foundation ($100,000), Fund for Women ($100,000), Highmark ($100,000), Laffey-McHugh ($100,000), Discover ($75,000), DCF ($75,000), DuPont ($75,000), M&T ($50,000), WSFS Bank ($50,000), JP Morgan Chase ($30,000), Bank of America ($25,000), Capital One ($25,000), TD Bank ($25,000) and others.
Nearly 300 individual donors have donated $135,000. The DCF also has waived all administrative fees for this fund, so that 100 percent of the funds are going to organizations helping people in need.
The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund is part of the Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, a nonprofit collaborative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The DCF, DANA, PD and United Way of Delaware are partnering to coordinate charitable resources to maximize impact statewide during this crisis.
To contribute, visit delcf.org/covid19-fund.
About the Delaware Community Foundation
The mission of the Delaware Community Foundation is to improve the lives of the people of Delaware by empowering and growing philanthropy through knowledge and relationships, now and in the future. As a facilitator, information resource and manager of charitable funds, the DCF helps communities and philanthropists focus charitable resources for the greatest community benefit statewide. For more information, visit delcf.org or call 302.571.8004.
(August 24, 2020 by Jacob Owens, Delaware Business Times) New Castle County launched a new $5 million grant program backed by federal funds Monday to support solutions to problems spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The grant program was developed by New Castle County’s CARES Act: Support Small Business Committee, an ad hoc work group of business owners and public officials who spent July researching ideas to problem solve and support business recovery. The funding comes from the county’s $322 million federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocation.
Grant recipients must be based in New Castle County, and funding will be disbursed to the highest scoring proposals for the implementation of their idea. Innovators interested in this funding opportunity should visit caresact.nccde.org for more information.
Examples of competitive proposals include unique ideas to contract trace positive cases, commercial cleaning technology and solving problems stemming from the coronavirus. Groups encouraged to apply include small businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and health and science organizations.
“This horrific disruption to our community, to our health and safety and to our economy also creates opportunities to innovate, to redefine our community,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in a statement announcing the program. “This grant is a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs, scientists and social entrepreneurs to create an exciting new future for Delawareans.”
Denita L. Henderson, associate state director of the Small Business Development Center, which is aiding applicants in the process, said in a statement that she was excited to see the program progress and “witness the positive impact it will have on the innovation community and local economy.”
“Programs like this underscore the importance of our shared goal of advancing entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the county, the state, and the Delaware Valley region,” she said.
By Jacob Owens
(August 21, 2020 by Press Release) New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced a $10 million competitive grant program funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act today. These funds will be available to organizations who provide resources or services to the public to decrease healthcare inequities caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Our communities of color have been underserved for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated healthcare challenges across our county,” New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer said. “These funds will be used to address immediate and urgent needs forced by the pandemic. I wish to thank the committee for their hard work and expertise in tackling this issue as well as their continued engagement in allocating grants.”
Non-profit groups, organizations and small businesses addressing health equity issues in New Castle County can complete a grant application and submit a proposal to receive funding to continue or expand their efforts to address health disparities in vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The funds will be available through a competitive grant process starting on Monday, August 24, 2020. Organizations interested in applying should visit https://www.nccde.org/2036/CARES-Act or can simplify to read caresact.nccde.org
This grant program is part of a direct response to the work of New Castle County’s CARES Act Task Force’s Promote Health Equity Committee, which launched on June 18, 2020. New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Vanessa S. Phillips and community member Alicia Clark co-chaired the committee, which consisted of the following 17 members from across the county: Jordan M. Hines, Julissa Coriano, Sandra Smithers, Marc Clymer, Reverend Shanika Perry, Jacqueline Ortiz, Gwen Angalet, Delsy Morales, Dr. Robert Hall, LaCades Todd, Dr. Cydney Teal, Dr. Eunice B. Gwanmesia, Taylor Burge, Dr. Rose Kakoza, Mbwidiffu Dibal, and Dr. Shauna McIntosh.
The committee was formed in response to the compelling concerns raised by committee member Jordan M. Hines who wrote an opinion piece on May 1, 2020 calling for the State government to establish a new task force to address public health disparities in Black and Latino communities. County Executive Matt Meyer read the article and immediately called Mr. Hines to discuss how the County could help.
"In May 2020, I drafted an op-ed which was a call for action for our elected officials to create a Covid-19 task force that focuses on racial and ethnic disparities. I was so grateful that County Executive Matthew Meyer answered my call to create the Covid-19 taskforce,” committee member Jordan Hines said. “While serving on the health equity committee, I witnessed County Executive Meyer’s willingness to participate in our meetings, review data, and research, and listen to other members’ suggestions on ways to address racial and ethnic disparities. His leadership, in addition to the CARES Act funding for community organizations, will help us address the ongoing inequalities this pandemic has exacerbated."
Community-based organizations, non-profits, houses of worship, or other organizations dedicated to underserved populations of New Castle County are encouraged to apply for funding or reimbursements. Funding must be directly tied to COVID-19 related expenses. After organizations apply, they will be scored by the Promote Health Equity Committee and notified of their grant amount.
"COVID-19 has pulled back the curtain on the inequity in our health care system and shed light on a deep-rooted problem that, if unaddressed, will continue to affect all of us as we fight this pandemic,” County Councilman Dave Carter. “These funds will build the partnerships needed to help address the immediate COVID-19 problem affecting vulnerable communities, while establishing the necessary groundwork for long-term improvements in health care for everyone."
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(August 17, 2020 by the Office of Governor John Carney) Governor John Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney joined American icon Dolly Parton to announce the statewide expansion of her namesake Imagination Library book gifting program and to encourage parents of young children across Delaware to participate.
Children whose parents enroll them with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through Delaware libraries receive one new book in the mail each month from birth until the child’s fifth birthday at no cost to the family.
Information and registration are available online through the Delaware Division of Libraries.
Watch the announcement video on YouTube or Facebook.
(August 19, 2020 by Betsy Price, Town Square Delaware Original Post) The state of Delaware and New Castle County have launched a new program that will offer $100 million in relief grants to small businesses and nonprofits across the state who have been affected by COVID-19.
The DE Relief Grants program will be funded by some of the state’s and county’s share of money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Carney and the Delaware Division of Small Business director Damian DeStefano were expected to talk about that during Gov. John Carney’s weekly press conference about COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon.
The program is expected to reach more than 3,000 small businesses and nonprofit organizations with grants ranging from $30,000 to $100,000, a press release from Carney said.
The Division of Small Business will be taking applications in early September at delbiz.com/relief. Funding rounds will follow in October and November.
The grants can be used for:
The size of the relief grant will be based up the business or nonprofit’s 2019 revenue:
“Multiple programs are necessary to address the challenges Delaware’s small businesses face,” DeStefano said in the press release. “We believe this assistance, coupled with other efforts, including the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP) and the COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards, help make the difference for some of our small businesses.”
“DE Relief Grants are a welcome commitment by the state to help support our small business community and the valuable jobs they offer to so many Delawareans,” said Carrie Leishman, President & CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association. “The effects of the pandemic have and continue to hit the food services industry particularly hard. While no single effort is a panacea, this program will certainly help restaurants as they work to stabilize revenues while protecting the health and safety of customers and employees.”
The Division of Small Business’ team of Regional Business Managers is available to help companies prepare their applications. Small businesses can connect with the manager for their part of the state at delbiz.com/contact. For more information on DE Relief Grants, go to delbiz.com/relief.
This is a developing story. Check back for more.
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