HADDONFIELD >> The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) announced March 24 the launch of a South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund. Consistent with CFSJ’s purpose to inspire generosity, manage and deploy charitable assets and exercise collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region, this new fund allows individuals and organizations to pool resources in order to address both short-term and long-term effects of COVID-19 in local towns and counties throughout South Jersey.
The Fund has been established by a coalition of business and philanthropic partners to rapidly deploy flexible resources to 501(c)3 non-profits in eight counties – Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem. It is a response to anticipated economic insecurity associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
The SJ COVID-19 Response Fund launched with a $25,000 gift from the Holman/Beideman Fund at CFSJ, $25,000 from Atlantic City Electric, an Exelon Company, and contributions from members of the Foundation’s Community Leadership and Engagement Committee and Board of Directors. Andy Fraizer, Executive Director said, “I am grateful for donations from our founding supporters, and on behalf of those in need, I ask private foundations, corporations, individuals and philanthropists of any ability, to join us as we collaborate to mitigate hardships.”
Mindy Holman, CEO of Holman Enterprises and CFSJ founding fund holder, said “Our family business is lucky to be headquartered in South Jersey. When neighbors are in need, we are motivated to respond in concert with others. The Community Foundation, with its close connections and regional reach, is a trusted partner to our family.”
“We are pleased to provide support for our customers in many different ways during this difficult time,” said Mellanie Lassiter, Senior Manager of Corporate Relations for Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “Partnering with the Community Foundation of South Jersey helps ensure we can get needed support into the hands of the communities that we serve.”
Wanda Hardy, Chairperson of the Foundation’s Community Leadership and Engagement Committee said, “We invite residents, businesses, and institutions — our neighbors — to join us in this effort to ensure that those impacted by the outbreak in South Jersey receive the immediate financial support they need to recover from this public health and economic crisis.”
“The health and economic hardships created by this pandemic are substantial and not yet fully quantifiable. Needs will quickly change as the pandemic worsens, and CFSJ is prepared to respond with our trusted partners and work in partnership with other funders to ensure the Fund has maximum reach and effectiveness” said Joe Tredinnick, Board Chair of the CFSJ.
CFSJ envisions three funding phases from the South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund with prioritization of funds based on the evolution of response needs and the success of fundraising efforts.
Phase 1 Triage - Immediate response to community-based non-profits that have increased demand for services from South Jersey residents due to COVID-19.
Phase 2 Treatment – Grants for human service nonprofits that are modifying their delivery modes due to COVID-19 and need assistance to do so.
Phase 3 Recovery – These grants will fund non-profits facing extreme difficulty because of lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other business model challenges resulting from the pandemic and its aftermath.
The Community Foundation expects to have multiple waves of funding over the next several months to meet the evolving needs of our region and will adjust funding priorities accordingly as those needs move from Triage to Treatment and Recovery.
In order to move resources quickly and not further burden organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic, there is no formal application process at this time, but communication and engagement from non-profit partners is expected. Organizations that meet one of the criteria listed above should prepare a one-page document outlining their mission and impact associated with the requisite phase: Triage, Treatment, or Recovery.