PHILADELPHIA — The City of Philadelphia’s Philly Counts office and Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia announced the recipients of the first round of grants from the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Fund, a community-led effort to invest in neighborhood-based solutions to urgent needs related to COVID-19.
The Fund awarded its first round of grants totaling $365,150 to 49 individuals and nonprofit organizations working to increase COVID-19 education, vaccine access, health resources, and outreach activities in their communities. Grants were directed to 34 priority communities in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Seventy-two percent of funds went to organizations led by a person of color, and over 50 percent was distributed to organizations with at least 90 percent of their staff living in the communities they serve. A complete list of grant recipients can be found here.
“JGP uses the arts as a tool to help, serve, educate and inspire. In the last year, many of our initiatives, programs, and events, came to a halt due to Covid-19. With the support and funding from PNAF, we are able to kickstart the reopening of our studio and open our doors to artists & community members,” said John Graves, a COVID-19 Prevention & Response Fund grantee, Founder of JGP Productions.
Beyond funding, grant recipients will be partnered with Philly Counts, which will support and cultivate a community of practice. Philly Counts will provide information, training, and resource materials as well as logistical and operational support that will allow Fund recipients to maximize their efforts, and leverage every dollar, to raise awareness in communities about COVID-19 and increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We at Philly Counts team know how important it is to compliment community organizing with low barrier funding for community-based organizations who are already doing such important work. This summer we will have our first cohort of The Philly Counts Ambassador Program which is a paid, ten-week organizing and workforce development program. Ambassadors will work in priority neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. This is another way that we can ensure funding for community work is getting back to our neighborhoods,” said Stephanie Reid, Executive Director of Philly Counts.
To ensure the funding process was inclusive and accessible to smaller organizations and informal groups, Community Investment Advisors established the Fund’s priorities, eligibility, criteria, and application, as well as how to shape a streamlined grant process and make equitable decisions on how dollars are allocated.
“The most wonderful thing about participating as a Community Investment Advisor is meeting so many people engaging in conversation that will lead to saving lives. We are impacting in communities that are many times overlooked or forgotten,” said Gilberto Gonzalez, Community Investment Advisor from Kensington, North Philadelphia.
The COVID-19 Prevention and Response Fund is accepting donations to aid nonprofits and individuals that are supporting their community through the pandemic. The second round of applications for the Fund will be open from Tuesday, June 1 to Friday, June 11, 2021.