Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

Announcing the Momentum Fund: Building Capacity of Nonprofits Managing COVID-19 Funds

June 01, 2020

Applications are now being accepted for the Momentum Fund, a new fund being managed by United Philanthropy Forum to support nonprofit organizations managing active COVID-19 relief and recovery funds. The Momentum Fund will be awarding grants of up to $100,000 to 501(c)(3) organizations managing COVID-19 funds that are providing grants to other 501(c)(3) organizations that are meeting the needs of communities and populations whose health and/or financial situations have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who have been historically marginalized and underserved in our country.

The Fund will award a total of $8.5 million in grants to help these organizations build their internal capacity to more effectively grow, promote, manage and sustain their funds, thanks to an investment by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grants can be used to add new staff, acquire new cutting-edge technology, or address other pressing capacity needs. A five-member advisory board has guided the design, management and operation of the Momentum Fund and will make final grant decisions. The board is comprised of representatives from the philanthropic infrastructure who advocate for some of the communities and populations being hit hardest by the pandemic. Applications for the Momentum Fund will be accepted through Thursday, June 18, 2020.

The Momentum Fund will provide grants to organizations managing funds explicitly devoted to providing COVID-19 relief to communities of color, low-income populations, and others being disproportionately impacted by the crisis. This is in recognition of the grim fact that the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19 have not been felt evenly across the country, but have instead fallen hardest on the historically marginalized and underserved communities that were struggling long before the virus hit.

Examples of the types of organization that could be potential Momentum Fund grant recipients include community foundations, women’s foundations, public foundations, United Ways, philanthropy-serving organizations and community-led nonprofit organizations that have set up a fund to regrant to other 501(c)(3) organizations. Here are a few specific examples of the types of 501(c)(3) organizations that would be potential grant recipients from the Momentum Fund: 

  • A community-based 501(c)(3) organization in a major city has created a COVID-19 fund to support nonprofits serving under-insured COVID patients in the city’s Black communities. It needs to hire a grant manager for at least 12 months at a cost of $100,000.
     
  • A community foundation and United Way have come together to establish a statewide COVID-19 fund at the community foundation that is focused on supporting human service organizations that are addressing food insecurity for youth who have been impacted by the crisis. They are seeking $50,000 for an outreach and publicity campaign to identify potential grantees across the state.
      
  • A 501(c)(3) organization in a rural county has set up a COVID-19 fund to accept gifts from foundations, corporations and individual to provide grants to local nonprofits that are meeting the needs of isolated Latinx/o/a older people who have been impacted by the pandemic. It is seeking $25,000 to improve its online application platform.

You can learn more about the fund at www.momentumfund.org.

How You Can Help

Please share information about this funding opportunity with your memberships and networks, to help us reach 501(c)(3) organizations that have set up a COVID-19 fund to specifically support nonprofits meeting the needs of communities and populations whose health and/or financial situations have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who have been historically marginalized in our country. This includes specific communities of color, women, rural communities, low-income communities, older adults, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, undocumented immigrants and their families, non-English speakers, people experiencing food insecurity, people experiencing domestic abuse, people experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness, people experiencing incarceration or detainment, people with no health care coverage, and people with compromised immune systems.

All questions about the Momentum Fund should be directed to information@momentumfund.org.

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