Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative 

A Nonprofit Collaborative Response to the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

The Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative is a nonprofit collaborative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), Delaware Community Foundation (DCF), Philanthropy Delaware (PD) and United Way of Delaware (UWDE) are partnering to coordinate charitable resources to maximize impact statewide during this crisis.

As part of the Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund is a partnership of the Delaware Community Foundation and Philanthropy Delaware, was established to address the emerging and evolving needs of the community, during the crisis. Between March 27 and May 22, the fund awarded weekly grants totally more than $2.3 million to more than 90 nonprofits.  



The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented challenge. In Delaware, every sector of society is doing its part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the illness known as COVID-19. These necessary actions are driving massive changes in daily life, which are especially hard on children in low-income households, the working poor and seniors, most of whom lack essential resources, on a good day.

At the same time, as Delaware nonprofits race to address the immediate local consequences of the pandemic, they are tapping funds earmarked for other needs, compromising the network’s capacity to address the long-term consequences of the pandemic.

The goal of this partnership is to align Delaware’s nonprofit community in a coordinated effort to alleviate the impact of the crisis in Delaware. We seek to do this by supplementing and supporting efforts of government, school systems and social service agencies, by generating funds and other supports, and by recruiting volunteers to address both the immediate and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Click here for Press Release (March 18, 2020)


A group of Delaware’s philanthropic and nonprofit leaders have launched a coordinated response, comprising four elements...

Delaware Does More: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund United Way of Delaware (UWDE) has launched the Delaware Does More: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, an initiative to raise and manage funds that will address immediate needs resulting from the crisis. The fund will focus on alleviating the near-term impact of COVID-19 by working to supplement and support efforts related to children in low-income households, the working poor and seniors. UWDE will work with Philanthropy Delaware (PD) and will house and manage this fund.

Volunteer Coordination: Through the Delaware Does More: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, UWDE will coordinate COVID-19-related volunteer activities throughout the state, using its 211 platform.

Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund: The COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund will target emerging and evolving needs of the state’s most-impacted communities, for the longer term needs of our community. The Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) will house and manage this fund. The DCF and PD will work with philanthropists to assemble funds for a collective response. This response will be coordinated with the activities of Delaware Does More.

Assessing & Strengthening Nonprofits to Respond: The Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA) is assessing what nonprofit organizations require to be able to respond successfully to community needs as the long-term impact of the pandemic evolves. Armed with the information from DANA’s assessment, the DCF, PD and UWDE will work together to allocate the charitable dollars to have the greatest impact throughout the state.

Throughout this difficult time, United Way of Delaware, the Delaware Community Foundation, Philanthropy Delaware and the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement will coordinate with each other, and with other nonprofits, businesses, government agencies and individuals to ensure a comprehensive response throughout the state.

For information about or to contribute to either or both funds, visit or For nonprofits wishing to share information for the DANA survey, visit

Emergency Response Initiative Frequently Asked Questions 


Strategic Response Fund 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. Final decisions are made by the COVID-19 Grants Council (updated on May 15, 2020) :

  • Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO, DCF
  • April Birmingham, M&T Bank
  • Sheila Bravo, president, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), ex officio
  • Vernita Dorsey, WSFS
  • Alan Levin, SoDel Concepts
  • Leslie Newman, retired CEO, Children & Families First
  • Todd Veale, executive director, Laffey-McHugh Foundation
  • Enid Wallace-Simms, Delmarva Power
  • Amy Walls, Discover Bank

Applicants must not contact Council members or reviewers about their applications unless directly asked for additional information. This is critical because of the large quantity of applications expected and the focus required to make decisions quickly. Please direct questions to Allison Taylor Levine, 302-504-5226, the Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Delaware Community Foundation. 

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Philanthropy Delaware's Operational Status

Philanthropy Delaware's leadership has been carefully monitoring the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak on the east coast. As an organization committed to supporting vibrant and equitable communities, we feel it is important to be aligned with the practices recommended by our local public health departments. Taking preventative measures now helps protect the health of our partners and community members, our staff and their families, and high-risk populations. Following recommendations from Delaware State Department of Public Health, we are asking our staff to stay informed, practice personal hygiene like handwashing and follow the directives of public health officials and medical providers. We are also asking our staff to work remotely for the next two weeks and move meetings with external partners to virtual. Our scheduled in-person events will be adjusted to virtual gatherings through the end of March.

We will continuously review the situation and update internal guidelines at the end of March incorporating any new guidance from federal and local public health authorities. We also understand that many non-profit organizations and the communities they serve don’t have the ability to work from home and we recognize the hardship this situation may cause.

Contact Us:
Office: (302) 588-1342

100 W. 10th Street, Suite 500
Wilmington, DE 19801

Copyright Philanthropy Delaware, Inc. 2017
Philanthropy Delaware, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

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