Charities receive more than $300K from COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund


 April 15, 2020 Edmonton, AB:

 Twelve charities have received a combined $321,600 from Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) to help vulnerable Edmontonians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today we are pleased to announce that our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund (RRF) is making a difference to those who need it most,” says Martin Garber-Conrad, ECF’s CEO.

Grant recipients include organizations across multiple sectors. Edmonton Meals on Wheels received funding for new food handling equipment to substantially increase their capacity. YMCA Edmonton received support to hire a new youth support worker. The Jasper Place Health and Wellness Society was given additional resources for its Good Food Hamper program, and the Edmonton Arts Council received support for its Digital Arts Fund—helping to keep local artists working as Edmonton’s gig economy crashes.

ECF’s COVID-19 RRF was established on March 25 to assist the city’s charitable sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. The fund was seeded with $500,000 of the Foundation’s discretionary dollars. Generous donors have contributed additional amounts to increase the capacity of the RRF.

On April 15, EPCOR announced it is donating $150,000 to ECF’s COVID-19 RRF as well as $150,000 to a similar fund at United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.

“EPCOR understands the importance of being there when your community needs you the most,” says Stuart Lee, EPCOR President & CEO. “We have longstanding partnerships with Edmonton Community Foundation and the United Way, and during a time like this, the work they do is more important than ever. Thanks to the Alberta government’s support through donation matching, their capacity to aid the community will now be even greater.”

Earlier this week, ECF’s COVID-19 RRF was designated to participate in the $2 million in matching funding from the Government of Alberta. This means that individual or corporate donations to the COVID-19 RRF will be matched by the Province, enhancing the value of each donation and the amount ECF can accomplish during the pandemic.

“ECF has a 30-year history working with hundreds of charities in Edmonton,” Garber-Conrad says, adding that the Foundation has granted more than $270 million to the community since its inception in 1989. “This puts the Foundation in a strong position to identify emerging needs and gaps in the community. The COVID-19 RRF enables us to fill those gaps quickly.”

ECF is not actively fundraising for the COVID-19 RRF, but people who see the potential for this kind of nimble and strategic response, may contribute at Rapid Response Fund.