COVID19 response

First Phase of COVID19 response program – March 17 to May 5

The Grassroots Fund’s first phase response to the impact of COVID19 on communities across the Northeast was a rapid response fund for all-volunteer efforts responding to community needs. We modified our guidelines to allow for more direct service and urgent response, reduced review time to 24-48 hours and increased our grant pool by $175,000.  In six weeks’ time, we heard from over 250 groups and were able to grant over 175 requests spread across the region. 

As institutional philanthropy and federal support are opening up (some) resources, we are now moving to our second phase of support. This means we are moving back to a review period of 4 to 6 weeks for Seed applications and putting back in place grant program guidelines and expectations based on our guiding practices. The Seed program remains available for groups responding to community needs at the intersection of environmental, social and economic impacts.

Second Phase of COVID19 response program – May 12 to August 31

Many mutual aid efforts have newly launched over the last few weeks. While groups continue to respond to urgent needs in their neighborhoods and town, it is becoming clear that this hyperlocal, resilient level of support has to be sustained for the mid- to long-term as the impacts of COVID19 are likely to continue into the foreseeable future. 

Many volunteer-driven mutual aid efforts are now working to build platforms and group infrastructure to continue the incredible work happening all around us.   

Working alongside community organizers, the Grassroots Fund is launching and preparing 2 programs this Summer to continue to support community-driven responses to COVID19 and local resilience:

  • Mutual Aid Communities of Practice: a 5-part virtual series where mutual aid organizers convene to share questions, challenges and innovations with each other. The Series covers topics like lowering barriers to participation, shifting power in decision-making, accessing resources across the community, and centering Just Transition principles as we start (re)imagining a post-COVID19 community. Community of Practice calls are limited to 30 people to allow for active sharing and co-creating. Click here to learn more & register.
  • Mutual Aid Infrastructure grants: coming out of the first rounds of Community of Practice conversations, Grassroots Fund staff will design a Summer funding opportunity to help mutual aid efforts formalize their work. Funding priorities will be determined in collaboration with local organizers. We expect more information to be available by the middle of June. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to get updates over the Summer.