The Omaha Community Foundation announced today that they have launched the Community Resilience Fund, a new community fund that will help support local nonprofits as they work to recover from COVID-19.
The Fund is designed to complement local and federal support and prioritize an equitable, long-term community recovery focused on the following five areas: Achievement Gap, Arts & Culture, Housing, Mental Health, and Workforce & Economic Opportunity. It follows the closure of the COVID-19 Response Fund, launched one year ago to respond to the immediate impacts of the pandemic.
“Now, one year later, the pandemic continues to negatively impact local nonprofits, as they have continued to see an increased demand for services, lost revenue, and other challenges,” Donna Kush, President and CEO of the Omaha Community Foundation said. “The work of our COVID-19 Response Fund, as well as our distribution of $30 million in federal funds in collaboration with Douglas County, have positioned us to help lead the community’s recovery and rebuilding efforts. Each of these efforts has given us great insight into the still unmet needs and long-term resources it will take for our community to fully recover.”
In a report from almost 200 nonprofit grantees, organization leaders estimate a revenue loss of over $46 million in 2021 alone.
The fund will be focused on organizations and the residents they serve who have been most disproportionately affected by the consequences of COVID-19. Anyone in the community is invited to contribute to the fund and can give at omahafoundation.org/resilience.
A grant application process for nonprofits opened this week.
“We know that our nonprofits will continue to feel the effects of the pandemic throughout 2021, and possibly for years to come. As we consider the long-term effects from job loss, distance learning, evictions, and more—we as a community have an opportunity to help those that were most disproportionately impacted rebuild in an equitable, sustainable way,” said Anne Meysenburg, OCF’s Director of Community Investment.”
New unemployment claims are still three times higher now than they were immediately before the pandemic, according to the Nebraska Department of Labor. Data also shows that eviction cases filed this fall and winter in Douglas County continued at rates two times higher than normal. More local data on the Fund’s five priorities can be found here.
The Foundation’s initial COVID-19 Response Fund raised $1.5 million from more than 6,000 donors through December 31, 2020, supporting 51 nonprofits. OCF also has partnered with the County since last fall to distribute more than $30 million in grants for nonprofits, venues, and local restaurants adversely impacted by the pandemic.
To learn more about the Community Resilience Fund or to donate visit omahafoundation.org/resilience.