Arkansas Community Foundation announces additional $1.94 million in COVID-19 relief grants

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,088 views 

Little Rock-based nonprofit Arkansas Community Foundation (ACF) has awarded the second phase of funding from its COVID-19 Relief Fund to help Arkansas organizations adapt to new and increased demands of the pandemic.

The grants of up to $25,000 totaled $1.94 million made to Arkansas nonprofits. When added to the $678,000 in the first phase of grantmaking to organizations in 67 counties in April and May, grants totaling more than $2.6 million have been made from the foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund since the fund was created 11 weeks ago.

“These Phase 2 Adaptation Grants help organizations who are adapting their operations to meet the ongoing needs of Arkansans affected by the pandemic and shore up critical systems like healthcare, education and food distribution,” Heather Larkin, president and CEO of the Arkansas Community Foundation, said in a statement.

Grant recipients for Phase 2 were selected by a committee of reviewers based on criteria designed to determine the best use of COVID-19 Relief Fund assets. A list of the organizations that received grants is available at this link.

More than $3.4 million has been donated to the COVID-19 Relief Fund from the Community Foundation, other Arkansas foundations, businesses and individuals. A list of donors to the fund is available at this link.

ACF is determining the criteria for additional rounds of grants to be awarded later in the year.

“It was astounding to see the depth and breadth of need for operational change caused by COVID-19 described in these grant proposals,” Larkin said. “For example, one grant will allow a city to purchase supplies and provide training for local businesses to help them re-open in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. Another will help a nonprofit healthcare clinic modify its patient intake areas to allow for better social distancing.”

Priority for the Phase 2 Adaptation Grants was given to organizations addressing the following services:

  • Adapt their operations to meet new needs in the community that have arisen from the pandemic or
  • Deliver services in new ways to accommodate social distancing and other health and safety guidelines or
  • Serve an expanded client base, i.e. reaching individuals who are experiencing new economic hardships due to the pandemic.

Uses of this funding also include:

  • Modifying or upgrading technology systems to serve clients remotely.
  • Modifying facilities to enable greater social distancing among essential personnel and clients.
  • Implementing changes to operating procedures necessitated by COVID-19.
  • Scaling up service delivery to support increased demand.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund was created March 18, 2020. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the Community Foundation’s fund as a way for Arkansans to best help those in need during the pandemic. In addition, the Arkansas Republican and Democratic Parties jointly requested donations to the fund.

Larkin was a recent guest on Talk Business & Politics with Roby Brock. To watch that interview, click here.

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