Centre Foundation Commits More Than $500,000 to Support Local Nonprofits During Pandemic
April 03, 2020 1:15 PM
by Geoff Rushton
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Centre Foundation announced on Friday it is opening a special fund, redirecting an existing grant program and expanding the annual Centre Gives, all to boost support for local nonprofits facing challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.

The foundation's COVID-19 ACTION (Activating Contributions to Invest in Operations of Nonprofits) Fund will start with $375,000, including $125,000 from the Centre Foundation Community Impact Fund and $250,000 from the Knight Foundation's donor-advised fund.

The special fund will provide support for nonprofits' operations and programming during the pandemic. Information about distribution of funds will be released in the coming weeks.

“We understand that many nonprofits are losing income due to the cancellation of events, programming and fundraisers," Centre Foundation executive direct Molly Kunkel said. "We’re creating this fund to help them through this difficult time and the Knight Foundation is generously supporting our efforts. We’re currently collecting information from local organizations and nonprofits to ensure we make the distribution process as easy as possible and meet the greatest needs.”

Centre Gives, the annual 36-hour online giving event, will see several changes to help address the needs of nonprofits and rally community support.

The fundraiser will be held as scheduled from 9 a.m. on May 12 to 9 p.m. on May 13. It will include an additional stretch pool of $100,000; lowering the minimum gift amount from $25 to $10; increasing the available prize pool from $27,000 to $40,000; and reducing nonprofits' participation fees. 

The 2020 Centre Inspires grant program will be redirected to provide the additional $100,000 stretch pool on top of the $200,000 already committed by The Hamer Foundation and Centre Foundation. The Centre Gives stretch pool allows gifts to go farther: the more money a nonprofit raises, the greater its share of the pool.

“Each year, when considering applications for Centre Inspires, we think about what projects inspire us and will provide transformational change within our community," Kunkel said. "This year, we couldn’t think of anything more inspirational or transformative than expanding our support of the hundreds of organizations doing incredible work every day, despite the challenges that this year has brought.”

Since its start in 2012, Centre Gives has raised more than $8.2 million for local nonprofits.

“This year, more than ever, local nonprofits are faced with extreme uncertainty, so we want to help as much as we can. An online fundraiser like Centre Gives allows the public to support their community, while observing our state’s stay-at-home orders and practicing social distancing," Kinkel said.

"We’re providing additional funding to make the biggest impact we can, and lowering the minimum gift amount to make it easier for everyone in the community to participate. Our community is always so generous during Centre Gives and during this time especially, we know many people are looking for ways to help. We want to make it easy for the community to join together and provide support to our great local nonprofits.”

Gifts during Centre Gives can be made at centregives.org.

To contribute to the COVID-19 ACTION Fund, visit centre-foundation.org/funds/centre-foundation-covid-19-action-fund.

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