United Way of Western Connecticut has announced that it will be releasing a new round of funding in greater Danbury, the city of Stamford, and greater New Milford. Grants will be awarded to help nonprofits cope with the deluge of needs caused the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also helping them plan to survive and thrive as we enter a post-pandemic world.
A Request For Proposal (RFP) is being issued on March 1, 2020. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have been dealing with an increase in demand for the services they provide, with critical services such as housing supports, food, child care, and physical and mental health services receiving priority. Agencies that are struggling to maintain operations, or that need to reorganize in the wake of the pandemic, may also apply for grants to help them weather the crisis and continue to provide vital services. Those grants would provide funding for increased staff, technology, improved service delivery, or strategic planning.
“It has been a hard year for us all, but it has been an exceptionally difficult year for the nonprofit community,” said Isabel Almeida, President of United Way of Western Connecticut. “Not only are our community agencies dealing with a steep increase in demand for their services, they have often needed to totally change the way they deliver services—all while having to cancel fundraisers and cope without volunteers they depend on.”
Ms. Almeida said that United Way of Western Connecticut is looking ahead to the months to come. Nonprofits will need help getting back on their feet after a tumultuous series of months that blindsided them. Many vital community agencies that people depend on may need to adjust the way they do work permanently and find ways to come back from the crisis so that they can continue to provide the vital services that keep communities strong.
Nonprofits can apply for a maximum grant of $20,000. They must be providing services in at least one of the 15 towns that United Way of Western Connecticut covers (Bethel, Brookfield, Bridgewater, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman, Stamford, Warren, and Washington). Applications are due by March 31, 2021. All applications will be reviewed by United Way’s Community Councils and staff, with final funding decisions being announced on June 1, 2021.
Agencies of all sizes may apply for these funds, and agencies that have not received United Way funding in the past are also eligible.
The RFP can be found at https://www.uwwesternct.org/covid-19-resiliency-funding