This blog post was written by Imani Stewart-Jackson, Communications, and Digital Engagement Manager

The COVID-19 Prevention & Response Fund is a community-led effort to invest in neighborhood-based solutions to urgent needs related to COVID-19 and was created to help non-profits, small businesses and individuals provide neighborhood-based solutions to urgent needs related to COVID-19.

This fund uses a trust-based philanthropy approach to lower barriers to entry for groups that are often excluded from traditional grant opportunities. The COVID-19 Prevention & Response Fund seeks to increase rates of vaccinations in communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and to address the challenges exacerbated as a result of the pandemic. So far the fund has distributed over $1 million in general operating support grants to 117 nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals. 

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. In the second round, a total of $668,885 was distributed over 84 organizations and individuals.  Of the 84 organizations, seventy-six percent are led by a person of color.

Beyond grant dollars, Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia has partnered with the Philly Counts office, to provide support to grantees through bi-weekly calls that help support, connect and inform grantees about hosting Covid-19 vaccination clinics and the latest updates from the  Philadelphia Department of Public Health.  In addition,  Philly Counts will provide 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.  Philly Counts has provided training and professional development for the 10-week Ambassador program sponsored by the Philanthropy Network.  Ambassadors are partnered with grantees to help support innovative initiatives around Covid-19 relief and response.

A list of the first and second-round grant recipients can be found here

With over half a million grant dollars distributed in Philadelphia, there is anticipation around the third round of funding.  Details about the third round of funding have not been released yet. Please look out for that information in the near future.