​Erie Community Foundation Helping Today Cycle 2 Update​

April 14, 2020

The Erie Community Foundation’s Helping Today grants improve the quality of life for all in our region by ensuring a vital nonprofit sector.  Recently, in order to address the impact of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable, The Erie Community Foundation and our *partners launched the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund on March 20th.  Within two weeks, the Fund raised and awarded close to $700,000 to provide food to those in need, administer care of our children, serve the elderly and disabled, and stem the tide of homelessness. This was a necessary interruption to our traditional Helping Today process but ECF’s second round of Helping Today grants is still in play and will return to the traditional grant format but also remain open to COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund proposals.

Helping Today Cycle 2 will continue using the April 28th deadline already established.  Organizations may apply for either a traditional Helping Today grant or a COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund award.  NOTE:  If your organization received a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant from the initial cycle, but plan to apply for a virus-response project, please use the Helping Today application. Grant requests should generally not exceed $30,000.  Nonprofit organizations that have completed their pre-application meeting with the ECF Community Impact team may submit their proposal as originally planned and discussed.  Or, they may recraft and resubmit the proposal to reflect a COVID-19 Rapid Response grant or new initiative that has taken priority over what was previously discussed. To access either application, click here to log in to the online portal.

The mandated pre-application meeting will be temporarily waived. However, the Community Impact team is available for consultation and review for any nonprofit representative who wishes it, by phone or email, prior to the application deadline. The review, recommendation, and award process is moved up in order to appropriately respond to existing conditions.  Notification of grant awards is targeted for the second week of May. Our goal is to address priority projects first, and as always, fund as many projects as possible with the resources available. 

*Erie Insurance, Erie Women’s Fund, Greater Erie Economic Development Corporation, Hamot Health Foundation, Highmark/AHN Saint Vincent, Housing Authority of the City of Erie, National Fuel Gas, PNC Foundation, United Way of Erie County, Youth Philanthropy Program

For more information, contact: