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FAQ – Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund

The Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to support our most vulnerable neighbors. This includes those currently or those at risk of becoming homeless and those who could suffer devastating financial and health impacts due to the coronavirus. Learn more and donate at https://unitedtoact.org/unitedwaygp/greater-portland-covid-19-community-relief-fund.

I’m not an organization but an individual in need. Can I apply directly to this fund? 

We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. To best meet those needs, this Fund will make grants available to organizations and municipalities that directly support residents who are impacted. 

Although we cannot make grants to individuals, we will post the list of grantees here. Please check back frequently. Additionally, we encourage any individual or family needing assistance right now to contact 211. 

We are an organization interested in applying for funds. How can we be considered? 

Grants the first two rounds of funding from the Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund have already been made. The opening date for the third round of funding has not been determined yet. Once open, the applications link will be advertised on United Way of Greater Portland’s social media accounts and website. 

I want to give to this fund. Can I restrict my gift to a specific grantee? 

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to the needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations.  

Should I give to this fund rather than giving to other funds or organizations? 

No. There are other possible ways to give to support community-based work. This fund is not intended to replace the support of specific organizations and programs; however, this fund exists to facilitate, efficiently and expeditiously, resources into the community where they are most needed. More than ever, your support of organizations you care about in the community is important. 

What is not included in the initial phase of funding? 

We expect there to be multiple phases of funding that the committee, comprised of cross-sector leaders, will direct and oversee. Specific funding priorities may change over time, but the fund will make grants, geared towards helping people currently or in danger of becoming homeless, or those who will suffer devastating financial and health impacts due to the coronavirus.

Our grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, groups having a 501(c)(3) as fiscal agent, and municipalities.

What is the geographic focus of this fund? 

The area served by this fund is individuals who live in Cumberland County, not including Brunswick & Harpswell.

Is there an anticipated average grant size or a maximum request? 

There is no maximum amount that can be requested.  We do not know how many organizations will apply or how many awards will be made by the volunteer committee, but we do expect to have $150,000 – $200,000 to distribute.

How will we know who receives funding? 

We anticipate making awards from the first phase in April and will post awardees on this website.  Additional grants made in the weeks or months following April will also be posted here.

Will 100% of my donation be used for these purposes?

Yes. Thanks to the generosity of AAA of Northern New England, Bank of America, The John T. Gorman Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, Texas Instruments Foundation, and Unum, 100% of funds will go to community and municipal organizations providing services. Other costs associated with the program, including credit card processing fees, advertising, and administration costs, will be covered by these generous underwriters.

What if needs in the community change; what will the fund do? 

The Fund’s specific priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak; however, its funds will continue to be directed to the most vulnerable populations affected by this pandemic. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience for the longer term.