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Dane County nonprofits encouraged to apply for $5 million worth of COVID Relief Grants 


“Non-profits in Dane County have been absolutely critical in meeting people’s needs and helping them maintain thriving lives as much as they can during the pandemic and certainly before … and they will continue afterward,” Andy Davey, community program analyst for Madison Community Foundation, tells Madison365. “Given how much of a major impact the pandemic has had, we are really happy that we can assist the County in getting some dollars out right now to help our non-profits recover coming out of the pandemic.”

Dane County nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply for grants through the Dane County COVID Relief Grants program at Madison Community Foundation (MCF). This program is intended to provide relief to local nonprofits that experienced economic loss this past year due to the pandemic.

Andy Davey

“There is $5 million dollars in funding that is coming from the federal government through the County that we’re helping to distribute,” Davey says, referring to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. “Any 501(c)(3) organization registered and operating in Dane County is eligible. Because there are over 3,000 of those registered non-profits in Dane County, we’ve estimated that in order to fairly distribute grants to the number of folks we imagine will apply, we’re expecting the grants to range from $2,500 to $50,000.”

The funds will help organizations rebuild and reinvest in the important work they do in the greater Madison community. 

“Many nonprofits in our community have faced reduced revenue and increased expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tom Linfield, vice president of community impact at MCF, in a statement. “At the same time, we saw so much innovation and leadership from organizations here in Dane County. We are pleased to be able to work with the County to help mitigate the challenges caused by the pandemic so these organizations can continue to contribute to our community.” 

Information about the grant program and eligibility is available on the MCF website.

“The program is really designed to assist non-profits that had some sort of financial deficit because of the pandemic – increased expenses, drops in revenue or extraordinary financial expenses related to Covid. We understand that sometimes a financial situation can be complex and so we’ve also created space in the application for non-profits to describe that complexity if the raw numbers don’t necessarily express that.

“We’re aiming to give preference to those non-profits who have not yet received federal funds such as through the Payment Protection Program,” Davey continues. “We know that with those prior funds that there have been racial disparities in terms of who ended up replying and receiving those funds … so we are keeping that in mind.”

Organizations can apply for the grant on the MCF website between June 25 and July 19. MCF also will be hosting a webinar for applicants on June 30. A review of all the applicants will take place in August and the grants will be announced and checks distributed in September.

“We try to make the application as easy as possible in terms of not being onerous or asking for extensive information,” Davey says. “Hopefully, that won’t discourage too many people from applying.”