The United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of Governor JB Pritzker, have established the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to raise funds from individual, corporate, and foundation donors to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This fund will swiftly deploy additional financial resources to local community foundations and nonprofits to support residents in need of emergency food and basic supplies, interim housing and shelter, primary health care services, utility assistance, direct financial assistance for household expenses, supports for children and other vulnerable populations, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance. This fund will work in tandem with other funds set up around the State ensuring that resources go where they are needed most.
Illinois is blessed with strong local nonprofit organizations and community foundations that serve our region’s most vulnerable neighbors. In this moment of unprecedented demand, it’s critical that these organizations have the resources they need to continue to operate at their highest capacity.
Your donation will support the agencies that are ensuring our neighbors can access basic needs in this time of crisis.
To learn more about funds raised to date, organizations receiving grants, and to read more about the Fund, visit In The News.
If your organization is interested in submitting an application for funding, click here.
We want to express our profound outrage and sadness at the murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis. He died because he was black. Our country’s systemic racism led to his death and that of too many others. It is heartbreaking. It is inexcusable. And it is all-too real. We mourn their loss and believe the ensuing protests across our state and our country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over the historic failure to reform police practices, the broader discriminatory criminal justice system, the disproportionate access to healthcare and safety net services, and the unequal opportunity set for far too many.
From lack of access to food and basic supplies to health care and housing, at the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF), we have seen how this systemic racism has also contributed to dramatic disparities in vulnerable communities throughout the state of Illinois. These unjust disparities have been made even more obvious by the COVID-19 crisis. Across the state, African Americans and Latinos make up 32% of Illinois’ population — yet they make up nearly half of the state’s deaths by coronavirus.
As a fund dedicated to providing basic human needs during this time of significant crisis where they’re needed most throughout the state of Illinois, we have maintained a keen focus on how systemic and endemic inequities lead to disproportionate burden. As we continue to address this challenge, we remain committed to:
In the weeks to come, the ICRF team, supported by our many partners, will look to ways we can deepen upon this commitment.
We will remain steadfast in this effort as we work toward equity at every opportunity.
Thank you to our extraordinary coalition of individuals, foundations, and corporations who have come together to support our community through the Illinois COVID-19 response fund.
View our growing list of donors on our supporters page.
Your donation will be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state of Illinois serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund will swiftly deploy additional financial resources to local community foundations and nonprofits to support residents in need of emergency food and basic supplies; interim housing and shelter; primary health care services; utility and financial assistance; supports for children and other vulnerable populations, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance. This fund will work in tandem with other funds set up around the state ensuring that resources go where they are needed most. Your contribution is a tax-exempt charitable donation to a 501(c)3 organization.
We do not have a specific goal or timeline for the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund. The ICRF was stood up as a response, not a recovery, fund and our hope is to provide as much support as possible as we swiftly deploy additional rounds of funding. The mix of grants made will take into account developing needs and underserved groups as the COVID-19 impacts evolve.
Thank you to our partners – individuals, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations -- who have come together to support our community through the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund. A full list of those donors can be found in the supporters section. We welcome any and all new donations.
No, we are grateful for any and all donations shared during this difficult time to serve families in need. There is no amount too small to help make a difference.
A list of funded nonprofit agencies can be located here.
Not directly. All funds will go to Illinois nonprofit organizations serving individuals, families and communities who will disburse services and supplies. A list of funded nonprofit agencies included in the initial round of funding is located here. Individuals and families in need of support should check back for updates on which organizations are receiving support and may be able to extend assistance.
If your organization is interested in applying, please review the eligibility requirements and complete the application here.
A list of funded nonprofit agencies can be located here for round 1 and here for round 2. We will continue to update this list as funding is provided to additional organizations. The ICRF will provide flexible resources to local community foundations and nonprofit organizations across the state to supply essential resources to the individuals and households most impacted by the pandemic. The fund is designed to be flexible so it can deploy resources to address possible additional areas of community need as they develop.
The ICRF is chaired by former US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and lead partners are The Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations and United Way of Illinois, which bring important knowledge and expertise about needs and capacity in every region of the state. The ICRF is governed by a Steering Committee of philanthropic, nonprofit and corporate leaders from around the state who will identify areas of immediate need and the level of funding for each area. As noted above, key areas for consideration are emergency food and basic supplies; interim housing and shelter; primary health care services; utility and financial assistance; supports for children and other vulnerable populations; and nonprofit safety and operations assistance.
Supporting the Steering Committee is a Grantmaking Working Group made up of diverse individuals with deep experience in the social service sector and connections to grassroots organizations throughout Illinois; this group will recommend specific grants for the Steering Committee to consider. They will draw on their expertise, networks, and knowledge of other local/regional COVID-19 response efforts to assess areas of need and potential providers. They will recommend potential grants to regional nonprofit organizations, community foundations, and United Way affiliates across Illinois that can efficiently respond to pressing needs in local communities. The Steering Committee will decide which grants to approve. Funds will be distributed across geographies in Illinois, will focus on basic needs, and will provide relief to the most vulnerable populations.
Yes, there are additional opportunities and funds that Illinois nonprofits can research and apply for funding. Click here.
No. The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund is a general fund to support those most in need across the state. Funds will be pooled and then disbursed at the ICRF Steering Committee’s guidance. If you would like to give to a specific organization, we encourage you to give directly to that organization.
Yes. Please recommend a grant through your donor advised fund sponsor to The Chicago Community Foundation, 225 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 2200, Chicago IL 60601, Designate the purpose as the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, and please also indicate who the donation is from.
Americans and residents across Illinois are engaging with digital platforms and content at record levels to stay informed. We encourage you to share our website via the social share buttons located on the website and within your own networks to help us spread the word.
The goal of Illinois Covid-19 Response Fund is to support all of Illinois, especially regions that are not supported by the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund or other relief mechanisms. However, Illinois Covid-19 Response Fund works closely with Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund and conceivably could allocate some funds in the Chicago / collar county area if the Steering Committee identifies discrete needs not otherwise being met. The majority will be spent across the state.