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Database of Washington COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Funds

Monday May 4, 2020 | Donate, Featured, Paying Bills

We are pleased to launch the first version of our funds database:

Washington State Database of Private COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Funds

These are funds are making direct financial distributions to other entities such as government agencies, nonprofits, local tribes, small business, individuals, and to other funds. We want your feedback to make this useful to you!

All data is from the public websites of the funds and is fully downloadable as a .csv file for analysis and re-use.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Who is this database for?

The database can serve individuals and organizations to access funds for support for COVID19 relief and recovery.  For donors interested in specific philanthropic areas or geographic parts of the state, the database can identify opportunities for donation, collaboration, and partnership. For all those great individuals and organizations working so hard to raise money and help those in need, we hope we’ll support your efforts!

What areas of need does this cover?

We’ve tried to include any fund that labels itself in some way as “COVID-19 Response.”  The Search field on the database will search all the information if you enter keywords of your interests.  Our categorization of funds is still in progress.  We’ve labelled the funds with 1-3 of these terms, using language from the fund’s website.  In alphabetic order, those categories are:

  • Arts and Culture; Basic Needs; Community Help; Education; Farmers; Financial Relief; Food;
  • Healthcare; Homelessness; Hospitality; Housing; Immigrants; LBGTQPlus; Nonprofits;
  • People of Color; Rent Relief; Research; Seniors; Small Business; Social Services; and
  • Vulnerable People; Workers Relief; Youth.
What do you mean by "private funds"?

We mean non-governmental financing mechanisms. But we are flexible if a municipality or the state is operating a financial pool much as would a private foundation.  We also mean funds that are distributing cash.  We are sorry to exclude the thousands of nonprofits across Washington who are raising funds to support their programs and services.  We distinguish funds of these different types:

  • Foundation: Funds created by or hosted at foundations, community foundations, family foundation, independent foundation, and operating foundations, These may include community-organized efforts or partnerships with nonprofits.
  • Corporate:  Corporate philanthropic efforts and corporate foundations.
  • Community Fund:  Funds created by community organizations such as nonprofits or partnerships of different sectors.
  • Crowdfunding:  Funds raised through crowdsourcing such as GoFundMe.  Many of these are created and managed by individuals and may also be associated with nonprofits, multi-sector partnerships, and sponsoring organizations.
  • Program Fund:  These funds will generally not be featured in the database. These are funds created by a nonprofit or an agency to fund their own programs and services. Such funds will generally be featured only if they have an application process and are involved in direct cash transfers such as paying for rent, healthcare, and basic needs.

 

Where else can I find lists of funding sources?

There are excellent resources for funding in Washington State and finding national funds that include Washington State.  Please let us know of others! We recommend:

  • Philanthropy Northwest:  Philanthropy Northwest is a network of philanthropists of all types working in five NW states and Alaska. Their goal goal is to support everyone throughout the Northwest working in philanthropy to strengthen and create more equitable communities. They have an outstanding COVID-19 Resource Hub that includes Funder Resources, Nonprofit Support and a comprehensive, region-wide Funds Tracker of COVID-19 Response Funds.
  • Giving Compass: Giving Compass is a philanthropy knowledge hub helping communities to learn, connect, and take action. Giving Compass and National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) are working together to publish the most comprehensive, nation-wide list of vetted response and relief funds. See their searchable database and map of vetted Coronavirus and COVID-19 Response and Relief Funds.
  • Candid: Candid is the merger of Foundation Center and GuideStar with a mission to get you the information you need to do good.  Candid is compiling a list of funds specifically established in the wake of coronavirus. Their list focuses on funds hosted at US-based foundations that serve nonprofits, see their searchable database of Funds for Coronavirus Relief.
  • Grantspace by Candid: Grantspace has a list of funds supporting nonprofits, individuals, artists, small business, and international aid as well as links to regional and topical grantmaker organizations.  See their list at Where can I find emergency financial resources to help with COVID-19 hardships?
  • PowerOf: PowerOf connects people who want to make a difference with organizations addressing the impacts of COVID-19. PowerOf is a project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Candid, DonorsChoose, GivingTuesday, Microsoft Tech for Social Impact, and VolunteerMatch. Visit them for opportunities to Volunteer, Give, Support Schools, and Support Healthcare.

 

How can I get a fund listed?

Please send us your information to list a new fund or to complete the listing you see in the data table. You can email us or send us the information via our Connect Page.  We recommend using the Google Form for Fund Information.  The form has a small number of required fields, indicates what information will remain private, and has space for questions and additional information. 

Please note that our scope is funds that provide financial payments of direct payments (cash, gifts grants) or indirect payments such paying for rent, healthcare, or bills on behalf of individuals or organizations.  We cannot list the very many wonderful nonprofits across Washington raising money for their own program activity.  The line between a Financial Fund and a Program Fund is not always clear, so please write to us with questions.

Have you validated all of these funds?

No.  However, almost all of the funds are hosted by established nonprofits and foundations and by well-recognized community organizations. Many of the funds have professional donors, corporate partners, and contributing foundations that confirm the fund’s identity and purpose.  The least oversight occurs with crowdfunding efforts such as those on GoFundMe. Most of the GoFundMe efforts also include partnerships with established nonprofits or are the public fundraising platform of nonprofit partners.  We encourage anyone considering a donation to research the fund on sites such as such as Charity Navigator or GuideStar..

What do you mean by "Process Clarity" of Low, Medium, or High?

We have made a general assessment of how clear an application and grantmaking process is presented on the public website.  A clearly documented process helps funds to get appropriate applications, helps applicants know whether they qualify and what to expect, and helps donors understand the use of funds.  When funds publish lists of grant awardees, it also helps those in need identify the community organizations that may help them in this difficult time. Funds that distributed money to individuals do not generally disclose the recipients to respect personal privacy.

We look for these elements of Process Clarity.  A fund with 1-2 is labelled Low, with 3-4 is Medium, and 5-6 is High. Some funds have additional features of transparency. Some funds that supportlocal nonprofits and existing grantees are using consultative processes rather than application processes.

  • Process dates are public such as deadlines, notification dates, and funding rounds.
  • Decision-makers are named or participating institutions are named.
  • Total funds, funds awarded, grant size, or grant list are disclosed or will be.
  • Current funds raised are disclosed.
  • Explicit funding criteria are provided for applicants.
  • Applications are online or downloadable.

Please let us know if we have incorrectly labelled your fund by sending links to the above information. Thank you!

 

What are the plans for this database?

If the database proves valuable, we will migrate from the table to a more fully featured web app and include additional information.  Information needs in Washington have evolved very quickly since we began this site in the information vacuum of the early pandemic. We hope that the pandemic will end soon, that this site will be archived, and that the database transferred to a long-term local or national institution that supports philanthropy.

How can I apply for funding for me or my organization?

Funding is always challenging – even in the best of times.  We can see that many funds have applications far in excess of their resources.  We advise you to filter the database in different ways to find funds with missions that overlap your needs. If you are seeking personal funds for you and your family, your assistance may most likely come through State and Federal agencies or the nonprofits served by these private funds. A geographic search can identify who is funding in your part of the state.  Many funds will share who they are funding on lists on the website or in periodic press releases.  Looking at grant awardees may help you identify active organizations in your county working to serve local needs.

What is the context for this database?

The simple answer is that we just want to help.  The COVID-19 Help WA website was created to share resources for coping with COVID-19 and for donors and volunteers to connect to opportunities to help.  Information needs in Washington State have changed dramatically over time as our state agencies, non-profits, and philanthropists have pivoted to meet the pandemic’s challenge. We think there is a a place for non-commercial and independent curators of information.  We share links right to the sources of information and services to get visitors off our site and to their destinations. We provide carefully researched posts on select topics where we see information gaps and innovative efforts across the state.  For example, please see our posts on Anxiety Management, Blood Donation, Utility Bills, Baby Needs, Food Relief, Pregnancy and Birth, and Legal Assistance.  We can see a tremendous interest in relief funds and basic needs on our Twitter and Facebook accounts and the Facebook Groups that we join.

The COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Funds Database endeavors to aggregate all the funds active in the state that are currently only listed in many disparate places. We hope to equally serve donors, professional philanthropists, individuals, and service organizations.  Understanding the landscape of philanthropic efforts helps our innovators, entrepreneurs, and policy makers recognize gaps, opportunities, and the potential for partnership.  Please share your ideas of how we can serve your needs or if you’d like to help!

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