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Nearly 200 nonprofits awarded COVID relief funds by Dane County, Madison Community Foundation

Nearly 200 nonprofits awarded COVID relief funds by Dane County, Madison Community Foundation

Vera Court Youth Program 021621 17-02172021131325 (copy) (copy)

Jorah Gandjui, Muhammad Jammeh, Aliou Diakite and Wilson Foueppeat huddle around laptops for virtual learning during a youth program at Vera Court Neighborhood Center on Feb. 16, 2021. The neighborhood center was among the 183 COVID relief grant recipients announced Tuesday by Dane County and the Madison Community Foundation.

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COVID relief grants were awarded to 183 Dane County nonprofit organizations on Tuesday. 

The Madison Community Foundation, in partnership with Dane County, awarded nearly $5 million to nonprofits to help offset the losses and increased expenses the organizations faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients were given grants ranging from $2,500 to $50,000. 

“Many Dane County nonprofits were part of the frontline response to the pandemic and served our community in unprecedented ways,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi in a statement. “We are excited to get this funding out the door and into our community. These grants will help local nonprofits recover from the impacts of the pandemic and reinvest in their work. Congratulations to the recipients, and many thanks to Madison Community Foundation.”

Access Community Health Centers, 100 Black Men of Madison, Bayview Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Vera Court Neighborhood Center, Centro Hispano of Dane County, GSAFE, NAMI Dane County and Special Olympics Wisconsin were among the 183 recipients. An allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act provided the county with funding for the grants.

Madison Community Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization in Madison that has been vital to helping nonprofits, businesses and organizations develop the resources they need to do community work. 

According to MCF, two-thirds of the nonprofits who applied for the grants saw their budgets shrink in 2020 and many were forced to furlough staff. Approximately half of the organizations ended 2020 with financial deficits and nearly a third of them did not receive federal assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. 

“We saw such a range of organizations apply for grants through this program,” Tom Linfield, vice president of community impact at MCF, said in a news release. “From providing support to children and youth to working in the arts, offering health and human services or fulfilling basic needs, providing sports and recreation to protecting the environment, these organizations are working to provide opportunities and support for the people of Dane County.”

Costs incurred in dealing with the pandemic, technology for virtual programming, home office costs, furloughed staff, deficits, and emergency loans were all criteria looked at to determine who would receive a grant. Organizations that had not received federal funding were ushered to the front of the line. 

“Many nonprofits were ineligible to receive Paycheck Protection Program resources because they did not have relationships with financial institutions,” said Bob Sorge, president and CEO of Madison Community Foundation, in a statement. “By prioritizing those organizations with the American Rescue Plan resources, we were able to bridge an important gap and support a wide range of programs and nonprofits.”

According to Becky Fiegel, communications Director at MCF, most of the organizations that applied for funding got some grant money in return.

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