FORT COLLINS — The Northern Colorado COVID-19 Response Fund, a partnership between the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and United Way of Larimer County, has distributed final grants from the fund totaling $271,000, bringing the grand total for the fund since its inception to $l,272,997.
The latest round of grants went to 13 organizations that responded to requests for proposals. Recipient nonprofits are active across Larimer County, and every grant distributed went to a nonprofit seeking funding for critical needs that emerged as a direct response to COVID-19.
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Grants were reviewed by a committee of volunteers from Estes Park, Loveland and Fort Collins, as well as staff members from the United Way and the Community Foundation.
“As a member of the grant committee, I was amazed at the incredible number of nonprofit organizations in Larimer County that came together to creatively meet the immediate needs of our neighbors during this pandemic,” said Cecil Gutierrez, a former Loveland mayor who sits on the foundation’s board of trustees. “I am so proud to live in a community with so many fabulous people dedicated to helping others. Simply awesome.”
The committee also vetted the requests to ensure vulnerable populations were not only receiving services, but that these service providers also were using their expertise and leadership to effectively respond to new challenges. The committee strongly considered grant requests that demonstrated passionate, creative leadership, and detailed how receiving these funds would allow them to provide service to more people than otherwise would be possible. It most often awarded grants that made an immediate difference in the community, especially supporting those people faced with food insecurity, childcare needs, housing, or other disruptions caused by the pandemic.
“This partnership and process demonstrates the ability of this community to quickly unite and activate and respond to immediate crises as well as long-term recovery needs,” said Deirdre Sullivan, who became president/CEO of United Way of Larimer County in August. “Having previously been an agency recipient of these COVID-19 Fund dollars supporting rent assistance and technology access for some of the most significantly impacted residents of our community, I have seen firsthand the direct impact of the funds and the coordinated distribution effort.”
The COVID-19 Response Fund primarily focused on funding basic human service needs in the earlier rounds, and was expanded to technology, training, or technical assistance in the later rounds.
In all, 125 applications for funding were received totaling $1.9 million.