The third round of CNRF grants brings the statewide total to more than $47 million!
As winter deepens and the sun rises a little later and sets a little earlier each day, Alaskans settle in to wait out the dark. We know the light will come again. At the end of a singularly strange, dark year, that knowledge is more important than ever. In the winter, we make our own light by stepping up to help our neighbors and spreading hope for a brighter future. At ACF, we believe in the power of philanthropy to help create that future.
This week, ACF and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) announced the third and final round of Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund (CNRF) grantees. In this grant cycle, ninety-five organizations across Alaska were awarded $11.5 million for use in navigating the effects of COVID-19. The funds are from Alaska’s share of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This final round brings the CNRF award total to over $47 million, distributed in 275 grants over the course of five months. In every round, grantees assessed the needs of their communities and devised careful, creative strategies to address them using their grant money.
“It is an honor to support the nonprofit sector and the important missions they serve, and to ensure they have the resources to provide food assistance, mental healthcare opportunities, economic recovery relief, and other means to strengthen our communities during these challenging times,” says Nina Kemppel, CEO of The Alaska Community Foundation.
The CNRF grants were established to provide economic relief to Alaskan nonprofits and other community-serving organizations, and to enable them to continue providing critical services to their communities and benefiting the lives of all Alaskans who have been impacted by COVID-19. The first round of grants, which closed July 29, distributed $17.6 million to eighty-nine organizations statewide. The second, which closed August 26, distributed $10.7 million to eighty-three more, and in September an additional healthcare-specific round granted $9.7 million to twelve nonprofit hospitals and clinics. The final round closed October 14 and brought the total to over $47 million.
“One of the most pressing issues we’ve seen is the isolation and disconnect brought on by COVID-19,” says Melissa Deisen of second round grantee AWARE (Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies), Inc. “With the relief assistance from The Alaska Community Foundation, AWARE has been able to provide increased options for safe shelter and permanent housing in the community. This has been integral to our ability to perform our mission and deliver our vision that allows our participants to be a part of a safe, equitable, and inclusive community that’s built on safer, healthier relationships.”
“This will help our organization adapt to the painful disruption COVID-19 is causing in Alaska,” adds Elizabeth Kane, President of third round grantee the Adult Learning Center. “The grant allows us to continue our efforts to support Alaskans who rely on us for job qualification and other critical services that help those we work with support themselves and their families. It also helps us expand that support to Alaskans living in rural areas.”
The grantees worked diligently during the grantmaking process to ensure their eligibility for funding, and ACF worked in partnership with DHSS to assist them in any way possible.
“The Department of Health and Social Services has been pleased to work with The Alaska Community Foundation to distribute CARES Act funds for Alaska’s nonprofits,” says DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum. “Distribution of funds has been statewide and covered nonprofits who support efforts to protect the homeless, serve the needs of families, feed the hungry, mitigate the spread of COVID, and provide for many other basic needs of Alaskans. Thank you to ACF for their partnership and dedication to distributing these funds.”
Since its launch in July, the Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund has evolved along with the needs of Alaskans, providing economic aid in answer to the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the funds have all now been distributed, nonprofits and healthcare organizations statewide continue to work tirelessly for the benefit of all Alaskans in these trying times. Together, we will brighten the dark days.