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Final Grants Awarded from COVID-19 Strategic Fund, Marking Succesful Coordinated Philanthropic Response by Delawareans

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Delaware’s two-year, $5.3 million coordinated philanthropic response to the COVID-19 pandemic culminated this week with grants to key hospital systems throughout the state. 

Bayhealth in Kent County, ChristianaCare in New Castle County and Beebe Healthcare in eastern Sussex County have each received $60,000, and the TidalHealth Nanticoke in western Sussex County received $35,390.60 from the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund to address community healthcare needs related to the evolving pandemic.  

The awards mark the final grants from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which was launched in March 2020 as a partnership of the Delaware Community Foundation and Philanthropy Delaware.  

Since inception, the fund has awarded a total of $5,333,615.60 donated by more than 400 Delaware foundations, corporations, businesses and individuals, to help nonprofits throughout the state effectively address the community’s needs.  

In the early phases of the pandemic, the Strategic Response Fund made weekly grants to address urgent needs, including emergency food, housing, medical care and other services. As the community’s needs changed, the fund began awarding broader grants to help nonprofits pay for technology for virtual programming and services, build outdoor facilities, increase support to those isolated by the pandemic and more.  

Over the past two years, the fund has awarded 294 grants to more than 200 nonprofit organizations and engaged more than 40 volunteers in determining how to distribute the money. Hundreds of thousands of Delawareans have been touched by these grants in one way or another, said DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. 

“If you or a loved one received services or enjoyed a virtual program from a library, senior center, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, the Brandywine Zoo, the Biggs Museum, the Freeman Stage or any other Delaware nonprofit organization, you may have benefited from one of these grants,” Comstock-Gay said. “Delawareans stepped up, donated millions of dollars and gave generously of their time and expertise to help their neighbors in this crisis. This has been a case study in what it means to be a community.” 

The Strategic Response Fund was established as part of a coordinated philanthropic response in partnership with United Way of Delaware and the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA). The combined expertise of the DCF, Philanthropy Delaware, United Way and DANA magnified the impact of the charitable dollars available, Philanthropy Delaware President and CEO Tynetta Brown said. 

“These partners understand both the community’s needs as well as what it takes for our nonprofit organizations to meet those needs,” Brown said. “That made it possible for us to home in on the most effective ways to help the most Delawareans. I have never been prouder of our community.”  

A full list of grantees and reports on earlier phases of the grantmaking programs are available at The DCF and Philanthropy Delaware are preparing a final, comprehensive report that will provide the public with a detailed breakdown of all grants awarded, including distribution across geographic areas and categories of need.   We are grateful to the major donors to the Strategic Response Fund, including Longwood Foundation ($2 million), Barclays ($700,000), New Castle County ($500,000), Welfare Foundation ($300,000), CSC ($100,000), Crestlea Foundation ($100,000), Fund for Women ($100,000), Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware ($100,000), Jesse Ball Du Pont Fund ($100,000), Laffey-McHugh ($100,000), Discover ($100,000), DCF ($75,000), DuPont ($75,000), Gates Foundation ($65,000), Jeff and Rhonda Banning Foundation ($50,000), Comenity Bank ($75,000), M&T ($50,000), Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell ($50,000), Fulton Bank ($35,000), JP Morgan Chase ($30,000), Bank of America ($25,000), Capital One ($25,000), TD Bank ($25,000) and WSFS Bank ($25,000).