Today Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter held a press conference that announced a $10 million Oakland Together Community Response & Recovery Fund “specifically designed” to help the county’s nonprofits during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re keenly aware of the impact of this virus, not only on our residents and individuals and businesses but also [on] our nonprofit community, which has been so hard-hit by this virus. I see this every day. I talk to leaders of our nonprofit community all the time and they have a particular struggle,” Coulter said. “They continue to provide the human services to vulnerable populations throughout our county and they do it with unique challenges. Their fundraising has dried up. Many of them had major annual events and fundraising events that weren’t able to happen this year. And yet, they have been resilient and somehow [are] keeping their operations going.”
He said that it was a combination of resourcefulness, love and “sheer will and passion for what they do” that has kept nonprofits all across the County up and running.
“Today, I want to give them more than just love and passion back. Oakland County wants to make sure that our nonprofits have the resources that they need to continue to do the incredible work that they have been demonstrating since March,” Coulter said.
Watch the full press conference here:
Coulter said that the money for this relief fund comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
“The fund will make grants from up to $50,000 and up to $500,000 available to non-profits that provide vital services such as food, shelter, health care and financial assistance to Oakland County residents,” said a press release. “It will be administered by United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Grant applications are accepted today until June 16 at unitedwaysem.org/OaklandTogether.”
There are three funding tiers:
- Operational Grants up to $50,000 for direct COVID-19 related expenses and to maintain existing operations during the pandemic.
- Enhanced Operating Grants up to $100,000 for COVID-19 related expenses, those to comply with health orders and new protocols and seek funds to maintain and expand operations to meet growing demand.
- Community Service Grants up to $500,000 to provide service to vulnerable populations and to combat secondary effects of the pandemic. The organization must have an annual operating budget of at least $5 million, reach clients throughout Oakland County, provide services to an expanded population and can demonstrate the ability to deploy the larger amount of funds requested within the spending period.
Funding priorities include:
- Organizations on the frontlines of emergency assistance during the pandemic.
- Organizations that address critical needs or serve a vulnerable population.
- Organizations providing economic support to individuals or families suffering from employment or business interruptions due to coronavirus-related business closures.
- Direct assistance may include utilities, prescriptions, rent, virtual learning, understanding public health orders and safety protocols, financial counseling.
- Organizations that have a long-standing track record in the community.
- Organizations that have not received federal, state, county, foundation or philanthropic support sufficient to continue providing service in the community. There should be no duplicative funding for the same services provided.
A live seminar will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. on June 12 to answer questions about the program. You can access the seminar at unitedwaysem.org/OaklandTogether. Questions also may be submitted to: OaklandCOVIDFund@UnitedWaySEM.org.