Austin Community Foundation and United Way for Greater Austin announced today a community-led philanthropic fund, dubbed All Together ATX, to support communities experiencing economic and health-related hardships caused by COVID-19 in the Austin metro area. The two organizations are raising and distributing funds to local organizations providing critical services, like basic needs, health services and child care.
The fund will accept donations large and small from individuals, foundations and companies. The power of this collective impact will lead to increased resources for the most affected populations in the Austin community and decreased burden for nonprofits already working at capacity.
On Friday, March 6, Mayor Steve Adler declared a local state of disaster in Austin, due to rising concerns about the transmission of COVID-19. Since then, community suppression has increased dramatically, including a “shelter-in-place” order beginning Tuesday, March 24. These important measures – intended to curb the spread of the virus – have also resulted in sweeping economic, social and health hardships for local residents.
The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting life as we know it. From school closures to layoffs, now more than ever people are in need of support. The fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Funds raised will be distributed to local organizations working with people who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak. Funds will be distributed in a phased approach, focused first on the most affected and later on long-term recovery and sustainability for the nonprofit sector.
In the first phase, grants will focus on immediate needs including food insecurity, basic needs, medical needs, employment and child care. The size of grants will range, up to $25,000. Applications are now open; the deadline to apply is 5 p.m., April 10, 2020. Grants will be distributed electronically by May 1.
“Many individuals and families in Central Texas were already struggling with economic, social and health hardships before the COVID-19 outbreak shook our community and this crisis will only further widen the opportunity gap,” Mike Nellis, CEO of Austin Community Foundation, said. “For these reasons, Austin Community Foundation and United Way for Greater Austin are working to quickly deploy philanthropic capital to nonprofit organizations working on the frontlines by supporting local workers and families most affected by this pandemic.”
“For nearly 100 years, United Way for Greater Austin has been dedicated to those in our community who are suffering and creating opportunity for all people, children, and families,” David C. Smith, CEO of United Way for Greater Austin, said. “The work we’ve been doing all along has prepared us for this moment. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. With children out of school, businesses temporarily closing, and many workers out of work, your partnership and support is needed now more than ever. As we respond to this crisis, you can provide fellow community members with critical, immediate needs like emergency assistance, health services, child care, and food.”
People can learn more and contribute at AllTogetherATX.com.