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Community Foundation Pledges Financial Aid, Leadership During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, with help from local donors and fundholders, and in partnership with Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, has made an initial pledge of $470 thousand dollars in support of emergency needs in Northwest Connecticut. The Community Foundation has established the Northwest Corner Gives: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. Donations may be made to the Fund on the Community Foundation’s website: www.northwestcf.org

According to the Community Foundation’s President Guy Rovezzi, the Foundation Board is taking unprecedented action by streamlining grant awards to get help fast to those who need it most.

“Grants will be made to deserving nonprofits in all sectors of our community life,” said Guy Rovezzi.

“Local nonprofits are the backbone of our community wellbeing, and it’s incumbent on those who have resources to step forward and protect these institutions that make our region so special.”

The Community Foundation hopes that with broad-based community support the amount available to grant to those most affected will double.

As part of a comprehensive response to the effects of COVID-19 on the Northwest Corner of Connecticut, the Northwest Corner Gives: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund will help strengthen the safety nets in local communities by awarding initial Rapid Response grants to nonprofits that provide basic needs.

In the coming weeks, the Fund will begin providing more broad support for nonprofits throughout Northwest Connecticut.

“Across the Northwest Corner, nonprofits are navigating the financial and logistical realities of social distancing—technological needs related to working remotely, and bringing events and programming online, coupled with a lack of access to traditional sources of revenue, such as ticket sales, program fees, and social fundraisers.

“If there is ever a time to call on community and connection, it is now,” said Julia Scharnberg, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation Grants and Program Director.

“We asked our nonprofits what they need right now – as an organization and on behalf of those they serve, and their responses have helped us shape our grant-making to respond to this crisis. It is really inspiring to see our residents and communities reaching out to each other to make sure everyone is cared for.”

Rapid Response Grants
Rapid Response grants from the Fund are currently available on a rolling basis to organizations based in the *Northwest Corner of Connecticut  that are assisting residents with basic needs, such as rent, food, infant supplies (diapers and formula) utilities (heat, gas) medication, and child care.

Priority will be given to essential personnel and vulnerable populations.

Broad Support, Education for Northwest Corner Nonprofits
In the coming weeks, the Fund will enable support to a wider range of nonprofits in Northwest Connecticut, including those nonprofits in the areas of arts and culture, civic and education, the environment, and animal care and rescue.

In addition to financial support the Community Foundation has partnered with nonprofit consulting firm Danosky and Associates to bring local nonprofits a series of webinars and zoom meetings on Powering Through COVID-19. The series focuses on topics that are designed specifically to help smaller nonprofits not only survive but emerge stronger.

“Due to the circumstances of COVID-19, nonprofits are being stretched and challenged in ways they have never encountered,” said Sharon Danosky, principal of Danosky and Associates.

The Northwest Corner Gives: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund was made possible in part by the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation Draper Foundation Fund, Marion Wm. & Alice Edwards Fund, and the Nolin Selby Fund.

*Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Canaan (Falls Village), Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington, and Winsted.

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