Community Impact

Pierce County Connected Funding Opportunity FAQ

WHAT IS THIS FUND? 

As COVID-19 and the necessary public health measures to address it disrupt the normal operations of nonprofits and community service providers in Pierce County, each of us has the ability to strengthen our community by giving to the organizations and causes that matter to us.  

The impact of COVID-19 reveals where social systems are not supporting or addressing needs in a sustainable, inclusive, and equitable way. These challenges show how fragile the social safety net is and the limitations of current service providers to continue meeting needs during times of crisis.  

To support urgent human service needs, United Way of Pierce County and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation partnered to launch an aligned philanthropic response. The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund was seeded with $750,000 from GTCF. 

Current information about PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED FUNDS can be found using the following links: 

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund Page
PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Recipients
PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED FUNDING Partners 

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funding supports organizations providing services to address emerging needs and the disruption of basic human services due to COVID-19. 

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED partners are committed to delivering rapid funding to organizations in a way that supports their continued services to vulnerable populations with the fewest barriers possible. 

Requests are being accepted from organizations and entities with services based in Pierce County including tribal governments, local governments, school districts, 501c3 nonprofit organizations, intermediaries, and fiscally sponsored projects or collaborations. 

United Way Pierce County and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation are not taking any fees on this fund. The fund is expected to be open for one year (through February 2021). 

 

Additional funders continue to join in the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund. Please visit the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Partners page for the most current list of contributors.  

 

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. We also strongly encourage individuals and foundations to directly contribute to organizations and issues 

 

FUNDING REQUEST OVERVIEW & PROCESS 

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funds will be distributed in four phases:  

PhaseGoalFunding Awarded
Phase 1: Urgent Response
March 30 - April 3, 2020
$1M funding support of food access, shelter, and childcare for first responders, medical providers, and essential workers. Phase 1 Funding Recipients
Phase 2: Rapid Response
April 4 – 30, 2020

Rolling Requests
$2M funding in support of urgent and emerging needs identified through online requests and surfaced through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee.Phase 2 Funding Recipients
Phase 3:
May – December 2020
(Rapid Response and Emerging Needs)

See full Phase 3 timeline
Funding in support of rapid response emerging needs identified through online requests and surfaced through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee will continue through the end of 2020.Phase 3 Funding Recipients
Phase 4: Rebuilding
Jan 2021
Phase 4: Rebuilding
Jan 2021
As this situation continues to develop, PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED will post focus areas for any additional funding.

 

INFORMATION & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 

What resources are available to support organizations in requesting funding? 

GTCF will host the following technical assistance sessions through the month of July 2020. 

Sign up for Technical Assistance session here 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Who is eligible to request funding? 

Requests are being accepted from organizations and entities with services based in Pierce County including tribal governments, local governments, school districts, 501c3 nonprofit organizations, intermediaries, and fiscally sponsored projects or collaborations. Vulnerable populations include, but are not limited to, people with food insecurity, people experiencing homelessness, communities of color, frontline workers, immigrants, people experiencing domestic violence, people needing behavioral health supports, people with disabilities, remote or isolated persons or families, and senior citizens. 

 

I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this fund help me?

We recognize that many individuals and families have been affected by COVID-19 already and more will continue to be affected. PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funds are for community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts.  

  

What are the current funding priorities? 

From May to September of 2020 (Phase 3) PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding is focused on Emerging Needs. During this phase $2 Million in funding will be distributed prioritizing the support of organizations serving vulnerable populations and identifying emerging needs in response to COVID-19 conditions. 

Emerging needs, if addressed now, allow organizations to creatively continue, adapt, and/or adjust services during COVID-19 disruptions.  

 

Emerging needs: 

  • Are new challenges or newly critical issues that require significant system changes 
  • Need more than just money, they will also need partnership 
  • Result in new approaches that ideally provide scalable solutions for larger sectors, or at least information that could benefit larger sectors in operating under COVID-19 conditions and beyond 

Vulnerable populations include, but are not limited to:  

  • people with food insecurity, people experiencing homelessness 
  • communities of color 
  • frontline workers 
  • immigrants 
  • people experiencing domestic violence 
  • people needing behavioral health supports 
  • people with disabilities 
  • remote or isolated persons or families 
  • senior citizens 

     

    Who makes decisions about funding distribution 

    The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Committee will review requests and recommend funding. Recommendations are approved by GTCF’s CEO and Board of Directors. Committee members are:  

    Brad Cheney, Ben B. Cheney Foundation (Co-Chair) 

    Dona Ponepinto, United Way of Pierce County (Co-Chair) 

    Alisha Fehrenbacher, Elevate Health & One Pierce 

    Cassandra Mitchell, KeyBank 

    Georgia Lomax, Pierce County Library System 

    Holly Bamford Hunt, Bamford Family Foundation 

    Janece Levien, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation 

    Jeff Woodworth, Woodworth Family Foundation 

    Lois Bernstein, MultiCare 

    Richard Woo, retired CEO, The Russell Family Foundation 

    Seth Kirby, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation 

    Nick Russell, The Russell Family Foundation 

    Tyler Zemanek, Windows of Hope Foundation 

     

    The funding process is informed by the Pierce County Connected Community Response Committee which serves to enhance community ownership of the issues and solutions by elevating community voice, supporting long-term partnerships, and highlighting system changes that are needed in the wake of COVID-19 emergency actions.    

     

    How will the funding committee know what the needs are? 

    We are working with the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County Human Services Department, area schools, and non-profit agencies to surface new and urgent needs. The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Response Committee supports an aligned philanthropic response to COVID-19 in Pierce County.  Through coordinated contacts with organizations in key service sectors, referred to as ‘pods’, real-time on-the-ground information is compiled and shared in a regular report to all participants.  

     

    What is the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funding timeline?  

    Requests are reviewed biweekly.  Organizations will be notified within six (6) weeks of request submission date if they are awarded funding or not.  For organizations awarded funding, if there are no significant follow up questions, funds will be distributed by ACH payment on Fridays.   

     

    Phase  3  Schedule: 

    Request Submission Date  Internal Staff Due DiligenceCommittee Review  Deadline Org Follow Up (if needed) Funding Committee Meeting  Funding NotificationFunding by ACH PaymentNotify unfunded Orgs
    June 1  June 1  June 15  June 18  June 22  June 22  June 24  June 26 
    June 8  June 15  June 29  July 2  July 13 July 13  July 13  July 17
    June 22  June 29  July 13  July 16  July 20  July 20  July 22  July 24 
    July 6  July 13  July 27  July 30  August 3  August 3  August 5  August 7 
    July 20  July 27  August 10  August 13  August 17  August 17  August 19  August 21 
    August 3  August 10  August 24  August 27  August 31  August 31  September 2  September 4 
    August 17  August 24  September 7  September 10  September 14  September 14September 16  September 18 
    August 31  September 8  September 21  September 24  September 28  September 28 September 30  October 2 
    September 14September 21  October 5  October 8  October 12  October 12  October 14  October 16 
    September 28September 29October 19  October 22  October 26  October 26  October 28  October 30 
    October 12October 13November 2November 5November 9November 9November 12November 13
    October 26October 27November 16November 19November 23November 23December 2December 4
    November 9November 10November 30December 3December 7December 7December 9December 11
    December 7December 8December 28December 31January 4January 4January 6January 8
    December 21December 22January 11January 14January 18January 18January 20January 22
    January 4January 5January 25January 28February 1February 1February 3February 5

    While these dates are guidelines, they are not hard deadlines.  

    Information about Phase 4 process will be made available in Fall 2020.   

     

    Is there an estimated funding range?  

    There is not an estimated range. Organizations should request what they need based on what they know about their circumstances currently. Organizations are encouraged to update their information regularly in the grant portal. 

     

    Is there a cap on how much an organization can request? 

    No. Organizations should request what they need based on what they know about their circumstances currently. 

     

    If our non-profit received an initial Phase 1 or Phase 2 funds does that prevent us from receiving additional funding? 

    No. Potential grantees are encouraged to continue sharing their needs with us. 

     

    Things are changing quickly.  Can a request be edited after it is submitted? 

    Requests cannot be changed after they are submitted. This is only due to system limitations on our end. If you have an update to share, please contact grants@gtcf.org 

     

    Are there other benefits to requesting PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTD funding? 

    Yes. Requests that fit the eligibility criteria but are not funded will made visible to GTCF fundholders and shared with PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Parnters for potential support. 

     

    What are the reporting requirements for organizations that receive funding? 

    One month after funding an organization, we will send you a brief questionnaire to complete, Your answers will help inform the next phases of PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funding distribution. It will also be an opportunity to share updates on your organization’s needs and barriers due to COVID-19 disruptions.  

     

    REQUESTING FUNDS 

    How do I fill out the funding request? 

    • The funding request form is at this link 
    • If you previously applied for funding through GTCF, you can use your same username and password to login and apply again. If this is your first-time requesting funds, you will need to create a new account. 

     

    What information do I need to complete the request form? 

    Organizations will be asked for basic information (name, fiscal sponsor if applicable, address, EIN number). Organizations will be asked to select the vulnerable populations they serve, select the impacts from COVID-19 disruptions, and tell us briefly about the need. Organizations are not required to submit financial statements or lengthy essays. The entire process will likely take 20 minutes or less.  

     

    What type of financial information needs to be included in the request? 

    It is not necessary to submit a budget with your application. If your organization hasn’t received funding from GTCF recently or ever, or if you need to update your organization’s banking information, we will ask you to upload an ACH authorization form with sections A, B, C, and F completed and signed. The ACH form is downloadable from the portal.  

    Please send the ACH form back along with ONE of the following: 

    • voided check  
    • cleared check 
    • account and routing numbers and name on the account on bank letterhead 

     

    How can the funding be used? 

    This is not a typical grant application process. This process is designed to surface urgent and emerging needs in the community related to COVID-19 disruptions, elevate these funding needs to a broad networks of funders and GTCF fundholders, and rapidly move PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funds into the community for those applicants that meet the criteria.  

    These funds are not intended to be replacement dollars for government funding or lost fundraising revenue.  

    These funds are not for general operating that would be part of an organization’s annual budget. The funds are unrestricted, flexible dollars for the urgent and emergent needs related to COVID-19 disruptions.  

     

    How should our organization estimate the amount of funds we request?  

    Each organization’s needs will be different and unique. When estimating the amount of funding needed, consider what your organization needs in order to provide services to address urgent needs related to COVID-19 disruptions. These funds are not intended to be replacement dollars for government funding or lost fundraising revenue. 

     

    We serve clients in multiple departments in various ways. Should we combine all requests, or separate them by specific need, population, program, etc.? 

    To the extent possible, please submit one application with information about aligned departmental responses across the organization. Requests for fiscally sponsored entities can be made separately. 

     

    How should our organization estimate the amount of funds we request?  

    Each organization’s needs will be different and unique. When estimating the amount of funding needed, consider what your organization needs in order to provide services to address urgent needs related to COVID-19 disruptions. These funds are not intended to be replacement dollars for government funding or lost fundraising revenue. 

     

    Can organizations or entities serving undocumented families receive support? 

    Yes, entities and organizations serving undocumented families may apply for funding. Immigrants are included as a vulnerable population on the request form. Requests will be accepted from organizations and entities with services based in Pierce County including tribal governments, local governments, school districts, 501c3 nonprofit organizations, intermediaries, and fiscally sponsored projects or collaborations. 

     

    Are activities with Emergency Day Camps for children of essential workers eligible for funding? What about the development of online/digital learning and student community-building resources?  

    If these activities fulfill or support an urgent needs for the immediate responses to COVID-19 disruption, then the request would be considered eligible. The Funding Committee reviews all unfunded requests at least weekly basis, so any request will continue to be surfaced with the Funding Committee. 

     

    Most of our impact has been from the cancellation of fundraisers. Can we request funding during Phase 3 to address that impact?  

    Emerging Needs (Phase 3) funds are not intended as general operating or replacement funds for loss of actual or anticipated event revenue. However, if loss of event revenue means that your organization doesn’t have the flexible funds to respond to a particular emerging need, then please describe the unanticipated need and how your entity or organization can help address it.   

    If you would like further assistance on this matter, please sign up for a technical assistance session 

     

    Does this fund support general operating costs?  

    Emerging Needs (Phase 3) funds are not intended as general operating or replacement funds for loss of actual or anticipated event revenue. However, if loss of event revenue means that your organization doesn’t have the flexible funds to respond to a particular emerging need, then please describe the unanticipated need and how your entity or organization can help address it.   

    If you would like further assistance on this matter, please sign up for a technical assistance session 

     

    Our organization would like to apply for funding to support a marketing campaign. Can we request funding to support this? 

    Emerging Needs (Phase 3) funds are not intended to support marketing campaigns for organizations. However, if your organization is meeting emerging needs in support of the work and funds for marketing to support this would be beneficial, please set up a technical assistance session 

     

    What happens when the funding request is submitted? 

    You will receive an email from the online portal system saying your application has been submitted. Please add grants@gtcf.org to your safe email list.  

    The funding committee will review requests and make weekly recommendations.  

     

    Who can I contact if I have questions about the process? 

    Grant portal technical assistance: Jason Hamman, Grants Administrator, jhamman@gtcf.org  

    Funding request and content questions: grants@gtcf.org  

     

    This page will be updated as new questions are asked.