In its first round of grants, the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund on April 3 awarded $350,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.

The grants will address a range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are Modern Maturity, $50,000 to deliver additional meals to seniors at their homes; Brandywine Counseling, $25,000 to meet increased demand for recovery services; Family Counseling of St. Paul, $22,000 to meet increased demand for family counseling services; Westside Family Healthcare; $50,000 for telehealth equipment to provide care for prenatal and chronically ill patients; YMCA, $50,000 for childcare for essential workers statewide; Easterseals of Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore, $29,000 for telehealth equipment to provide child intervention services; CHILD Inc., $36,000 to provide housing for battered women and their children, meeting increased demand because of social distancing requirements; CHEER, $38,000 delivering additional meals to seniors at their homes; Housing vouchers for the homeless, $50,000; Friendship House for New Castle County, $30,000; Community Resource Center for Sussex County, $10,000; and Catholic Charities for Kent County, $10,000.

In this first round, 95 applicants requested a total of $3.9 million. The initial awards represent 23% of the total $1.5 million raised to date for the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which is housed at the Delaware Community Foundation.

The fund will award an additional $350,000 in grants the following week.

The goal is for the fund, which launched March 18, to provide grants for several months, said DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay, who chairs the fund’s decision-making council, but additional funding is needed.

“In the coming weeks, the needs of the community are going to evolve and grow,” said Comstock-Gay. “We are doing deep work to make sure these dollars go to the organizations who have boots on the ground, providing food, shelter, medical attention, childcare and other essential services to the people who need help most.”

Grants from the Strategic Response Fund will initially focus on urgent needs related to COVID-19, then expand over time to more structural and long-term needs. Target applicants are nonprofit organizations with deep roots in the community and a strong track record of serving people who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from the crisis.

Grantees are selected through a rigorous process that involves a diverse team of more than 50 community leaders representing all three counties and a range of areas of expertise.

Applications are being accepted weekly on a rolling basis and grants will be awarded weekly for as long as funding is available and community needs exist related to COVID-19. Each week, applications received by noon Mondays will be reviewed, grantees will be selected Friday mornings, and funds will be transferred Friday afternoons.

The application is open at delcf.org/covid-grants. The deadline for the next round of awards is noon April 13.

The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund is part of the Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, a nonprofit collaborative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The DCF, the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, Philanthropy Delaware and United Way of Delaware are partnering to coordinate charitable resources to maximize impact statewide during this crisis.

To contribute, visit delcf.org/covid19-fund.