COVID-19 Relief Fund

As concerns over COVID-19 continue to grow, so do the financial implications for businesses and employees. People are losing work as businesses close and many families who already live paycheck to paycheck are struggling to make ends meet.  United Way NSV and the Valley Assistance Network (VAN) are closely monitoring the developments happening at all levels of government in order to stay up-to-date on resources and assistance available for those who are impacted.

This page will be updated as quickly and frequently as possible. If you have additional information or a change to the current information list, please email info@unitedwaynsv.org or call our office at 540-536-1610.

COVID-19 Relief Fund

Hosted by United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley, in partnership with Valley Assistance Network, the COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.

ABOUT COVID-19 RELIEF FUND GRANTS:

As a result of the generous donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, grants will be made available to agencies in our region meeting the immediate, unmet needs of communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Grants will be dispersed to agencies within the United Way NSV catchment area of the City of Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page counties that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic and social impacts. Funds will be released on a rolling basis, as quickly as possible, as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis. All grants will be publically disclosed here on United Way NSV's website. United Way NSV will request basic reports on the use of all grant funds with a description of the assistance provided to members of the community. 100% of all funds granted are to be used to provide direct assistance to those affected.

These grants are meant to increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities by addressing the immediate, unmet needs of working families due to sudden loss of income caused by COVID-19 related closures. Immediate, unmet needs may include:

  • Food and food supplies
  • Prescription and medical supplies
  • Mortgage payments for homes or businesses/Rental assistance
  • Car repairs or payments
  • Utility payments
  • Child care
  • Other

Beginning in November 2020, we have shifted the focus from basic needs and response to long-term recovery and rebuilding. The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund continues to support critical safety net needs, while also anticipating the rebuilding of our community and the charting of a course toward a new normal, in which racial and economic disparities are addressed and in which every person has equal access to opportunities. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations meeting critical needs and contributing to rebuilding our community following the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on resilience: resilient individuals, resilient communities, and a resilient safety net.

Building resilient individuals focuses on programs and activities which build healthy interpersonal relationships, productive coping mechanisms, and peaceful conflict management so that individuals are better prepared to take advantage of life’s opportunities. Building resilient communities focuses on programs and activities which assure that community members engage strong support networks to more effectively navigate or mitigate hardship. And building a resilient safety net focuses on programs and activities which support individuals’ basic physiological and safety needs.

United Way will require documentation that clients proposed to be helped by grant funding were employed prior to March 2020 and that their current unemployment was a result of the pandemic.

Agencies receiving grants are also required to submit the following documentation: 

In order to be eligible to receive grant funds, agencies must submit the following required documentation:

  • IRS 501(c)3 Letter
  • 2018 or 2019 IRS Form 990
  • Verification of being legally incorporated and registered in Virginia

As a grantee, Non-Profits also must agree to the following:

  1. Grantee shall expend the funds exclusively to provide direct assistance to local families for immediate, unmet needs caused by the sudden loss of income due to the impacts of COVID-19. Funding cannot be used for operating costs.
  2. Grantee agrees to return any part of the grant funds not used for the stated purpose of this grant.
  3. Grantee agrees to complete a report on the use of these funds with a description of the direct assistance provided to United Way NSV by September 1, 2020. If services are still ongoing, the grantee will work with United Way NSV to determine an appropriate timeline for reporting. If services have completed and funds have not been expended the grantee agrees to return unused funds at that time.
  4. Grantee shall maintain an accurate accounting record and retain records of disbursements related to the expenditure of grant funds. This information is to be included in grant reports to United Way NSV.
  5. If the grantee is awarded funds more than once, the grantee shall complete a report for each separate amount awarded.
  6. Grantee shall notify Jennifer Hall, Director of Community Engagement, to address challenges in deploying these resources. 
  7. Grantee shall acknowledge the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley as a partner in these efforts.
  8. Should the grantee fail to adhere to the requirements above, they will not be eligible for future funding support from United Way NSV.

View Grant Investments HERE

I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?

We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley is working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts.

While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, we will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. As we begin to award grants, we will post them on this page. Please check back for a list of the organizations that may be able to assist you. If you are looking for resources now, please contact our Valley Assistance Network to learn more information or view our compiled a list of resources with information and links for programs and services that may be helpful.

My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. We are working closely with United Way NSV's Fund Relief Committee to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund at this time. You may email us at jhall@unitedwaynsv.org to make sure we are aware of your organization’s work supporting economically vulnerable residents and families.

I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The COVID-19 Relief Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible.

Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?

This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it’s needed most. If the COVID-19 Relief Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a donation. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community as we gain greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak.

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address the both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. We recognize several upcoming challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work to evolve our funding strategies.

Based upon the charitable structure of the COVID-19 Relief Fund, our grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501c4, 501c5, and 501c6 organizations.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The COVID-19 Relief Fund will support community-based organizations serving Winchester City, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page Counties.

When will you share who you fund?

We anticipate making a first round of investments within the week, and will publish the list of selected grantees here on this website, along with short descriptions of the services and support they are providing. We hope that this will help the community navigate available resources.

Is there a fee to contribute?

With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground. United Way NSV is covering the cost of approximately 6 staff leading this effort.

How will the Fund shift gears if needed?

The Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience.

Beginning in November 2020, we have shifted the focus from basic needs and response to long-term recovery and rebuilding. The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund continues to support critical safety net needs, while also anticipating the rebuilding of our community and the charting of a course toward a new normal, in which racial and economic disparities are addressed and in which every person has equal access to opportunities. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations meeting critical needs and contributing to rebuilding our community following the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on resilience: resilient individuals, resilient communities, and a resilient safety net.

Building resilient individuals focuses on programs and activities which build healthy interpersonal relationships, productive coping mechanisms, and peaceful conflict management so that individuals are better prepared to take advantage of life’s opportunities. Building resilient communities focuses on programs and activities which assure that community members engage strong support networks to more effectively navigate or mitigate hardship. And building a resilient safety net focuses on programs and activities which support individuals’ basic physiological and safety needs.

Contact Us
General questions & inquiries about the Fund can be directed to info@unitedwaynsv.org
For interested community partners, please contact Jennifer Hall at jhall@unitedwaynsv.org
For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Elise Stine-Dolinar at estinedolinar@unitedwaynsv.org
To make a donation by using assets other than through text-to-give or online giving, contact Hilary Legge at hlegge@unitedwaynsv.org

Funding Criteria

Funds will not be limited to United Way NSV partner agencies. We understand the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancelations, as well as other challenges. Our goal is to make sure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

At this time we will not be funding organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services.

In order to move resources quickly and not further burden organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic, the application will be more streamlined than our standard fund distribution process. There will be a short application for agencies to complete. Applying agencies must also submit the following accountability documentation:

  • IRS 501(c)3 Letter
  • 2018 or 2019 IRS Form 990
  • Verification of being legally incorporated and registered in Virginia

If you are an agency interested in receiving resources from this fund, please contact Hilary Legge at hlegge@unitedwaynsv.org to make sure we are aware of your needs and can keep them in mind as the granting process progresses and needs become clearer.

If you are an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19, please reach out to United Way NSV’s Valley Assistance Network at van@unitedwaynsv.org or (540) 773-3178. The volunteers at VAN can help you find resources to assist you. Awarded grants will be posted on the COVID-19 Relief Fund Investment page. At that time, you can also check there for a list of organizations that may be able to provide assistance.

While the Fund will not go through the standard United Way fund distribution vetting process, United Way NSV is fully committed to protecting donor dollars and will do all that we can to be transparent in our funding decisions. To view the agencies that have been funded by the COVID-19 Relief Fund, CLICK HERE.

Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases. Due to the ever-changing nature of this crisis, agencies will be able to apply more than once. However, the re-applying agency must have completed the required grant report for their previous funding before becoming eligible to apply again.

If you live in Winchester City, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah or Page counties find out what resources are available to you and your family during these difficult times whether you work with a service provider already or not. 

See our resources.

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March 2020, is intended to help families overcome financial hardship due to the public health emergency (COVID-19). 

This program was being administered by United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and Valley Assistance Network with funding provided by Frederick County and City of Winchester Governments through the federal CARES Act. The program ended December 30th, 2020.

See the report HERE