Community Foundation of Utah mobilizes over $7 million to support non-profits

Salt Lake City — Community Foundations across the country are making an unprecedented effort to mobilize funding in light of the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2020, over $1 billion in charitable giving came from Community Foundations, according to data gathered by the Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative. Locally, Utah is no exception.
The Community Foundation of Utah (CFU) is focused on providing continued support and unrestricted funding for nonprofit organizations, and is deploying crucial dollars to nonprofits state-wide. In a nimble response to unforeseen community challenges during COVID-19, CFU has mobilized over $7.2 million year to date in support of critical nonprofit work, compared to $3.3 million granted year to date in 2019.

As part of these increased funding efforts, several nonprofits including The Mundi Project, received a surprise grant of $20,000 for COVID-19 relief from a fund with CFU.
“Historically the arts have often been reduced or cut altogether during times of financial crises,” said Ruby Chou, Executive Director of the Mundi Project. “In addition to the low-income residents of Salt Lake County that we typically serve, we are able to include learners and families in more rural areas of Utah [with this funding].”

“The generosity of our donors has been a shining light during an exceedingly difficult time and is a true proof of concept for Community Foundations.  We do not know what the future holds, but our ability to access charitable resources for communities in need during crisis is powerful,” said Alex Eaton, CEO of CFU.

Over and above the increased funding for nonprofits, CFU is supporting the Utah community through local partnerships. In April, CFU collaborated with Mercato Partners to provide Relief Pack meals for first responders, healthcare workers and others hit hard by COVID-19. In August, CFU announced a partnership with the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office in Raise Up Salt Lake City, dedicated to raising $1 million for financial assistance to families unable to access federal stimulus funding.

In addition to COVID-specific initiatives, CFU is committed to ensuring a resilient and innovative nonprofit sector. CFU continues to support Utah nonprofits through ongoing initiatives such as the Social Investors Forum (SIF) and Invest in Success (IIS).

This Spring, SIF granted $45,000 in seed funding to New Pattern Utah, a coalition dedicated to providing funding and training to black female entrepreneurs. SIF also granted $25,000 to the International Rescue Committee to support translation services for refugee populations seeking medical care.

Over the Summer, CFU invested in eight non-profit leaders through IIS, providing a comprehensive peer development cohort to build crucial leadership and management skills and increase organizational capacity. These leaders will have the opportunity to pitch on September 11th at 9:00 a.m. for $35,000 in grants to support their organizational and professional growth.

“I work with about 130 community foundations around the country of all sizes,” said Jeff Hammond, Director of the Philanthropy Practice at Van Scoyoc Associates. “The Community Foundation of Utah is one of the fastest-growing community foundations in the country and they really understand the needs of donors and nonprofits in the Salt Lake City region and beyond.”