The St. David’s Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Fund is a $10 million recovery fund created to support 501(c)(3) nonprofits and public entities located in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties that have been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
St. David’s Foundation is strategically committed to the health and well-being of the Central Texas community. Recognizing the impact and unprecedented circumstances caused by COVID-19, St. David’s Foundation created the Fund to provide grants supporting both the immediate and intermediate needs of Central Texas’ most impacted communities by supporting those working on the front lines to provide emergency assistance during the pandemic.
The St. David’s Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Fund aims to ensure that nonprofits and public entities on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis can continue operating today, so that their important contributions will be felt tomorrow. St. David’s Foundation hopes to alleviate some of the needs of our community – both the urgent and eventual – as we look to stabilize and then rebuild. While the Fund seeks to strengthen and support all of the Central Texas community, particular attention and priority will be given to supporting communities who are inequitably bearing the brunt of this crisis.
We listened and learned from those serving our community to identify the areas of greatest need and opportunity for support.
In Phase I, the St. David’s Foundation solicited proposals to address one or more of the following priorities:
In Phase II, St. David’s Foundation solicited proposals to address one or more of the following four priorities.
Within these priorities, we welcomed proposals for proven approaches and programs, as well as for innovative, community-led approaches that offered creative and sustainable solutions to problems caused by COVID-19. Further, to ensure the voices of these communities were brought to the forefront, priority was given to requests from organizations that:
In each phase of funding, the Foundation based priority areas of funding on community feedback, listening to and learning from local leaders and synthesizing data from trusted resources.
Tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and public entities in our Central Texas community (organizations located in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties) were eligible to apply.
Organizations that applied for a St. David’s Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Fund grant must have met the following eligibility criteria:
The Foundation prioritized nonprofits working on the front lines to provide emergency assistance to those impacted by COVID-19 with immediate and intermediate needs. Using the equity lens that we apply to all our work at the Foundation, our recipients include nonprofits that work with priority populations, including older adults at risk of social isolation, women, children and vulnerable populations, with special attention given to our rural communities. Additionally, the Foundation has created an Equity Committee to review eligible applications and ensure that funding decisions are made equitably. Recipients also include those whose work prioritizes health and well-being including telehealth, mental health and youth serving organizations, as well as direct service providers, such as those supporting essential health care, human services and food insecurity directly connected to COVID-19.
The St. David’s Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Fund was deployed in two phases and focused on immediate and intermediate needs for those most severely and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Central Texas. Beyond the needs facing our community, we believe this public health crisis has created an extraordinary moment to call for greater and more equal health justice within our Central Texas community. St. David’s Foundation is committed to partnering with our neighbors throughout this time to continue this work and funding with through a COVID-19 lens.
Across all of the Foundation’s goals and principles, we are guided by a commitment to achieve health equity. We believe all Central Texans should have the opportunity to achieve optimal health and that there are no avoidable, unnecessary or systemically caused differences in health status (due to age, ethnicity, gender or geography). Eliminating health disparities cannot be accomplished without seriously addressing the underlying social determinants of health. This requires a prioritization of available assets to remove barriers and provide relief where vital resources may be lacking.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and compounded pre-existing inequities that manifest in all aspects of life, from access to healthy foods to vital, preventative healthcare and services. This crisis has created an extraordinary moment to call for greater and more equal health justice within our Central Texas community, and we are committed to partnering with our neighbors to achieve healthy equity. This means removing barriers that create unnecessary and systemic differences in health status due to age, race, ethnicity, gender or geography.
In both Phase I and Phase II, the Foundation’s Equity Committee served as part of the review process to ensure that priorities and process resulted in funding that supports communities experiencing the most disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was of utmost importance as we strive for a more equitable future for our Central Texas neighbors. Please visit the COVID-19 Recovery Fund Grant Recipients page of our site to learn more about the organizations selected for Phase I and Phase II of the COVID-19 Recovery Fund.
Phase I prioritized immediate needs for those most impacted by COVID-19 including access to basic needs (e.g. food access, rent/financial assistance), healthcare (e.g. dental, mental and primary care) and factors which contribute to the social determinants of health (e.g. education and transportation). Of the 77 organizations receiving Phase I grants, 66% represented new relationships for the Foundation and reflected our commitment to raise up nonprofits that are often overlooked, such as smaller grassroots organizations and those in rural communities. Further, 29% of all applications received were from organizations led by people of color, and, among the final cohort of grant recipients, this increased to 36%.
Phase II prioritized four funding categories, including: behavioral health and emotional well-being, basic needs, childcare and access to health care services. Of the 116 organizations receiving Phase II grants, 59% represented, new relationships for the Foundation while 41% of funding supported behavioral health and emotional well-being, including: individual counseling, peer support, community outreach, parent education, youth development and community healing. Funding was prioritized for populations who are inequitably bearing the brunt of this crisis including people of color; people living with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness; refugees; immigrants; and LGBTQ communities. 82% of grant recipients specifically addressed the needs of at least one of these marginalized populations. Phase II funding also reflected a significant increase in grants for organizations led by (46%) or supporting (70%) people of color, compared to 36% and 31%, respectively, in Phase I.
The Foundation recognizes the need for local nonprofits to have flexibility in responding to the current needs of Central Texans and determined it was vital to convert our grants, where appropriate, to unrestricted, general operating support to ensure the stabilization of day-to-day operations. In March 2020, St. David’s Foundation converted nearly $16 million in existing grants to allow for flexibility to fund general operating expenses for our current grantees as they navigate the impact through this evolving and uncertain time. In July 2020, we announced over $22 million in unrestricted, general operating grants to ensure that our grant partners could continue to provide the resources and services our community so urgently needs in the wake of COVID-19.
On April 14, 2020, St. David’s Foundation pledged $250,000 to the All Together ATX Fund, a philanthropic partnership between Austin Community Foundation and United Way for Greater Austin to aid in the relief and recovery of those working on the front lines of the pandemic. Additionally, the Foundation pledged $50,000 to the Hispanic Impact Fund to support COVID-19 recovery efforts.
The Foundation continues to evaluate community-wide, collaborative funds supporting COVID-19 relief initiatives to determine how to make a meaningful and strategic impact within the Central Texas region.
In April 2020, St. David’s Foundation pledged $250,000 to the All Together ATX fund, a philanthropic partnership between Austin Community Foundation and United Way for Greater Austin to aid in the relief and recovery of those working on the front lines of the pandemic. This community-led philanthropic fund will provide flexible resources to nonprofit organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak. Additionally, the Foundation pledged $50,000 to the Hispanic Impact Fund to support COVID-19 recovery efforts. St. David’s Foundation continues to evaluate community-wide, collaborative funds supporting COVID-19 relief initiatives to determine how to have a further, more meaningful and strategic impact within the Central Texas region.
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