About the COVID-19 Community Response Fund

United Way of Roanoke Valley’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund is an essential and forward looking approach to supporting the stability of our region’s families, both during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund supports the work of area nonprofit partners providing direct services to families in areas including access to food and supplies, healthcare, childcare, housing, utilities, employment and transportation.

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund is designed to complement the work of public health and government efforts, by expanding local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently, and effectively as possible. We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute, immediate needs as well as the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery.

We will provide support for partners working with the immediate and emerging unmet needs of families as fundraising results allow.

Geographic Scope: Cities of Roanoke and Salem, Counties of Craig, Botetourt, Franklin, Roanoke, and Salem, and the Town of Vinton

Partner Eligibility For Relief Funds

  • Organizations in the United Way of Roanoke Valley coverage area that fall under these categories:
    • 501c3 nonprofit organizations
    • Groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization
    • Other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution; such as schools, faith-based organizations and other public entities
  • Unable to Receive Funding:
    • Individuals
    • Businesses
    • Labor Unions
    • 501c4, 501c5 or 501c6 organizations
  • Existing financial relationships with United Way of Roanoke Valley either by receiving direct funding, donor designations, or other partnership. Additional information may be requested from agencies if basic administrative information is not currently in the United Way database;

  • Established programs serving eligible clients/families impacted by COVID19;

  • Due to the urgent nature of these needs, operations in place with the ability to use expend/distribute funds to immediately respond to the individuals and families in need;

  • Ability to document and agree to report on how funds are used to meet the identified need within 30-45 days of receiving funds

Phases and Needs Addressed

Based on current available information, COVID-19 Community Response Funds will be directed as follows. Distribution plan may be adjusted based on emerging needs and in response to changing situations.

Phase 1: Immediate

The first phase of rapid-response grants will prioritize community-based organizations which are serving individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. The main goal in phase one is to help meet basic needs and help increase resiliency in affected communities.

Benchmark: First $100,000 OR, 4-6 weeks after launch

Funds distributed to programs providing:

    • Food, meals and other distribution programs
    • Healthcare access, prescriptions, and medical supplies
    • Hygiene supplies

Phase 2: Intermediate

The second phase of response grants will prioritize community-based organizations supporting individuals that have unmet needs not covered by the release of public funding. Phase 2 is focused on helping individuals begin rebuilding lives.

Benchmark: Next $150,000 OR, 8-10 weeks after launch

Funds distributed for programs providing:

    • Housing, rent/mortgage, and utility assistance (once moratorium on evictions and cut-offs have passed)
    • Employment and employment supports (to complement unemployment benefits and other supports that allow individuals to secure jobs including childcare, transportation, etc.)
    • Additional funds as available for Phase 1 needs
    • Other emerging needs identified in the community at that time

Additional Phases

Additional phases for fund release will be added in 4 week increments to address any ongoing unmet needs in the community.

Benchmark: Next $150,000+ OR, 12+ weeks after launch

Funds distributed for programs providing:

    • Additional funds as available for Phase 1 and 2 recipients
    • Other emerging needs identified in the community at that time

Partner Application Process

Requests for Applications (RFAs) will be posted on the UWRV website, Nonprofit Resource Center, and shared with agencies and leaders participating in weekly COVID-19 Community Coordination online meetings. Organizations eligible for funding must submit applications through United Way’s e-cImpact grants management system. Online applications will be available to partners by Monday, March 30.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed based on the benchmarks identified for each phase.

  • Phase 1: To be considered for funding in this phase, applications must be submitted no later than midnight, April 10
  • Phase 2: To be considered for funding in this phase, applications must be submitted no later than midnight, May 20
  • Dates will be added for succeeding phases as funds are available.

Fund Management:

  • 100% of donations will go towards supporting funded programs/agencies. Donors will have the option to cover the cost of transaction fees associated with their selected method of payment to allow United Way to direct all financial support to agencies helping with COVID-19.

  • United Way will be tracking amount of funds raised internally on a daily basis, and updating the online tracker posted on the website every 2 days.

  • Prioritization of needs and distribution of funds will be informed by 211 calls, information gathered through the shared nonprofit GoogleDoc informing community response, utility provider information, and the other relevant decision-making points shared by state and local entities pointing to where needs are the greatest for the Roanoke Valley.

  • Community Response Funds are separate from any funding United Way awards to partners through its annual investment process, or what agencies receive through donor designations from the annual campaign.

  • Requests in each phase will be reviewed and approved via in-person/online meeting by the “COVID-19 Community Response Fund team” comprised of the following:
    • (1 per locality) Local government and/or emergency management representatives from each locality
    • (At least 1) Business and Corporate Sponsors
    • (1) Council of Community Services/ 2-1-1 representative
    • (At least 1) Faith community
    • (1) United Way of Roanoke Valley

United Way will be providing staff support to facilitate team. Quorum for meeting is 50% of members. Funding decisions require two-thirds of members, proxy votes will be allowed.

  • Organizations that are awarded response funds will be informed by email. Funds will be released within 5 business days of receiving signed acceptance letter and, if applicable, updated counterterrorism form from the agency. The latter is a requirement for any organization receiving United Way funds. Funding will primarily be disbursed by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) using existing bank accounts with the agency, and labeled COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Agencies that don’t have EFT arrangements with UWRV will receive funds by check with a similar notation.

  • Fund recipients by phase will be posted online within 5 days of award. Reports on how funds are being used by recipients will be posted online within 60 days of award; and shared with donors who give to the fund.

  • Click here to view a sample Partnership Agreement.

To Apply for Funds

Organizations must provide the following information and submitted through an online application available on UWRV’s eCImpact grants management system or by clicking here.

Contact raquel@uwrv.org or becky@uwrv.org with your agency name, primary contact, and email address if you have problems accessing the site.

To access a template of the application to use while filling out the application on eCImpact, click here.

Agency Reporting on Awarded Funds

As part of donor accountability, organizations receiving RV COVID-19 Community Response Funds should be prepared to share the following information reporting on their use of funds. Agency reports are due to United Way within 45 days of receipt of funding. Please submit information on United Way’s grants management system, eCImpact.

Contact raquel@uwrv.org or becky@uwrv.org with your agency name, primary contact, and email address if you have problems accessing the site.

To access a template of the application to use while filling out the application on eCImpact, click here.

Community Response Fund Home

Additional Community Resources