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$233,000 in Grants Awarded from the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund

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Matches needed for $500,000 challenge grant from Longwood Foundation

In its fifth round of grants, the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund today awarded $233,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.

The grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are:

  • Arise Delaware – $4,300 to purchase sensory equipment to lend to families with special needs children in Kent County.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware – $30,000 to provide food to families in Wilmington.
  • Catholic Charities – Diocese of Wilmington – $12,500 to provide case management for families in need statewide.
  • Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity – $35,000 to complete construction of houses and provide mortgage relief for families in Kent County.
  • Christina Cultural Arts Center – $15,000 to provide distance learning support for underserved families in Wilmington.
  • Communities in Schools Delaware –$12,500 to provide technology for staff supporting underserved students statewide.
  • Community Education Building –$5,000 to provide laundry services for low-income families in Wilmington.
  • Delmarva Community Services – $5,700 for technology to serve residents of group homes for developmentally delayed individuals in Sussex County.
  • Family Promise of Northern New Castle County –$25,000 for housing for homeless families.
  • Ingleside Homes – $30,000 to pay for staff and supplies for additional cleaning and individual meal delivery to residents.
  • Rehoboth Art League – $15,000 to help pay for staff and maintenance of facilities.
  • Survivors of Abuse in Recovery (SOAR) – $3,000 for technology to support telehealth.
  • Sussex County Habitat for Humanity – $40,000 to complete construction of houses and provide mortgage relief for families in Sussex County.

Weekly Grants to Continue through Memorial Day

In this fifth round, 35 applicants requested a total of $1.3 million from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which is housed at the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF).

The fund, which launched on March 18, has awarded $1.5 million to 62 Delaware nonprofits so far.

Based on the nature of the applications, these grants have focused primarily on immediate community needs.

Now, the grants have been broadened to address a combination of immediate needs and broader community needs, including the arts, culture, the environment, workforce development, animal welfare and others.

The fund will provide weekly grants through Memorial Day. Deadlines are at noon on May 4, May 11 and May 18. The grants program will then resume two weeks later, as described here.

The fund will accept additional grant applications on June 1 and June 15. These grants will be focused on strengthening sectors largely upheld by nonprofits, including the arts, culture, environment, workforce development, animal welfare and others.

The June grants will target nonprofit organizations – both large and small – playing key roles in various sectors, throughout the state. This program is still being developed, and additional information is not yet available. Specific guidelines and applications will be announced in May on the websites and social media channels of DANA, the DCF and PD.

Double the Impact of Your Gift

The council is actively raising money to be able to respond to community needs, said Stuart Comstock-Gay, who chairs the council.

“As the pandemic continues, the needs are growing and evolving,” Comstock-Gay said. “We are calling on the community to help local nonprofit organizations get food, shelter, medical care and other essential services directly to the people who need it most. We also must support our workforce, arts community and other sectors to restore our quality of life post-COVID-19.”

The Longwood Foundation, which previously gave $1 million to the Strategic Response Fund, recently awarded a $500,000 grant, with the stipulation that the DCF must raise a matching $500,000 from the community by May 30.

To make a gift that qualifies for the match, give at or contact Joan Hoge-North, [email protected].

About the Fund

The Strategic Response Fund was established on March 18 to address the state’s emerging and evolving needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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. Final decisions are made by the COVID-19 Grants Council:

Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO, DCF
Sheila Bravo, president, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), ex officio
Vernita Dorsey, WSFS
There du Pont, president, Longwood Foundation
Alan Levin, SoDel Concepts
Leslie Newman, retired CEO, Children & Families First
Enid Wallace-Simms, Delmarva Power
Amy Walls, Discover Bank

The fund will continue to award grants for as long as funding is available and community needs exist related to COVID-19. Through Memorial Day, applications are being processed weekly. Applications received by noon on Monday are reviewed, grantees are selected Friday morning, and funds are transferred Friday afternoon.

The application is open at The deadline for the next round of awards is Monday, May 4, at noon.

The fund, which is being directed by Philanthropy Delaware President Cynthia Pritchard, already includes generous gifts from the Longwood Foundation ($1.5 million), Welfare Foundation ($200,000), Fund for Women ($200,000), Highmark ($100,000), Laffey-McHugh ($100,000), Discover ($75,000), DCF ($75,000), WSFS Bank ($25,000) and others. The DCF also has waived all administrative fees for this fund, so that 100 percent of the funds are going to organizations helping people in need. 

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, DANA, PD and United Way of Delaware are partnering to coordinate charitable resources to maximize impact statewide during this crisis.

To contribute, visit