COVID-19 has changed many aspects of daily life. For local nonprofits, they have stayed focused on their missions and adapted to a different reality while trying to manage losses of income or increased demand for their services.
In response to the global pandemic and its effects on local nonprofits in Winona, the Winona Community Foundation Board of Directors voted to suspend the normal community grant program and focus the grant priorities for cycle 2 on operational needs of local non-profits; specifically, the losses of income or increases in demand for services due to COVID-19 since March 15.
“The Board felt that focusing on the very unique stresses of the COVID pandemic on our local non-profits was the right direction for this round of funding,” shares Kathy Peterson, current board member of the Winona Community Foundation.
Eleven applications were received by the August 1 deadline requesting just over $95,000 and the Foundation awarded all available funds, $49,812 in total, to eight organizations.
- Elder Network received $5,000 for loss of revenues as a result suspending services for their who are in the high-risk category for COVID. Elder Network provides an array of services for low-income aging individuals who now have additional stressors due to COVID-19.
- Family and Children’s Center received $10,000 for revenue loss as a result of suspending their day-treatment program for youth ages 3 to 17. It is the only day-treatment program for this age group offered in Winona. This grant will help assure it is brought as part of the re-opening.
- Grace Place received $5,000 to support revenue losses due to their temporary store closure and to help meet the demand for their Gifts of Grace program which provides household essentials, diapers, toiletries, and other items for low-income families in Winona.
- Hope Harbor received $5,000 for revenue losses from cancelled fundraising events which supports their residential programs for teenage girls working toward re-establishing relationships with their families and communities.
- Winona Symphony Orchestra received $3,000 to replace, in part, a grant they lost when another entity suspended its grant program. This funding will enable the Symphony to keep musicians employed and to deliver its annual Children’s concert virtually to area schoolchildren and beyond.
- Project FINE received $9,512 to support the increased need for their Advocacy and Informational Referral Services because of COVID-19 implications while offsetting the loss of revenues from reduced demand of other fee-for-service programs. This program connects refugees and immigrants with accurate and trustworthy information about community resources for housing, education, food and employment.
- The Winona Family YMCA received $5,000 for added expenses related to opening their building to serve as a temporary day center during shelter-in-place orders as well as providing operational relief from loss of revenue due to suspending its programs.
- Bridges Health program (part of Winona State University) received $7,300 to meet an increased demand for services, while simultaneously needing to adjust its delivery model to a virtual setting in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bridges Health provides mental health support, assistance with complex health and social needs, among other support to low-income individuals and families.
The Winona Community Foundation community grant program is made possible through contributions, endowed funds, and fees for managing charitable funds. To learn more about how you can give to the Winona Community Foundation or establish your own charitable fund, contact Nancy Brown, president/CEO, at 507.454.6511.
What’s Next for 2021 for the Community Grant Program
The Board of Directors voted to suspend the normal community grant program and change the grant priorities for cycle 2 to focus on operational needs of local non-profits; specifically, the losses of income or increases in demand for services due to COVID-19 since March 15. Our community grants for nonprofits are broad and inclusive to meet the current community needs in the Winona area. The grants committee and Board of Directors will evaluate the needs of the non-profit community to determine the best priorities for 2021 Community Grant program. More information will be available after November.