Community Impact

Pierce County Connected Funding Opportunity FAQ

As the public health response to COVID-19 in Pierce County escalated on March 13, 2020, United Way of Pierce County and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation partnered for an aligned philanthropic response to emerging community needs. Together, they launched the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund.

 

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Overview

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED supports organizations providing services to address urgent needs and the disruption of basic human services to Pierce County’s most vulnerable populations due to COVID-19 and the necessary public health measures to address it.  

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 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. 

United Way of 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. Find a current list of contributors here.  

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

 For more questions about contributing to the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund, please contact Robin Callahan, GTCF Vice President Philanthropy.

 

FUNDING PROCESS 

 PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funds will be distributed  in four phases:  

Phase 1: Urgent Response 
March 30, 2020 – April 2, 2020

$1M funding support of food access, shelter, and childcare for first responders, medical providers, and essential workers.

Phase 2:  Rapid Response
April 2 – 30, 2020 
Rolling Funding Request Review 

$2M funding in support of urgent and emerging needs identified through submitted funding requests and surfaced through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee.

Phase 3: Emerging Needs
May 2020 – September 2020

Funding in support of emerging needs identified through submitted funding requests and surfaced through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee.

Phase 4: Rebuilding
October 2020 – September 2021

As this situation continues to develop, PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED will post focus areas for funding.

  

INFORMATION & TECHNICAL SUPPORT

 GTCF hosted an information and technical support session on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

 Questions and answers from this session are available on the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Technical Support page. 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Who is eligible to request funding? 

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. 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?

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funds are for community-based organizations and entities that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts. Funds will not be distributed to individuals.

  

What are the funding priorities? 

Phase 1 and 2 funding is prioritized for organizations that serve vulnerable populations and are addressing one or more of the following issues: homelessness, childcare gaps (for first responders, front line providers and essential workers who need to go to their jobs), and food access 

 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. 

 

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.

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Committee members:  

  • 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 

 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? 

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.  

The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee is 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 weekly.  Except for the first week of April, requests submitted by Wednesdays at 5 pm will be reviewed the following Monday.  Selected organizations will be informed on Tuesdays.  If there are no significant follow up questions, funds will be distributed by ACH payment on Fridays.  

Eligible requests that are not funded will continue to be considered throughout Phase 2, ending April 30, 2020.  

Information about Phase 3 and Phase 4 processes will be made available as soon as possible. 

 

Is there an estimated funding range?  

There is not an estimated range. Organizations and entities should request what they need based on what they know about their circumstances currently

 

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

No. Organizations and entities should request what they need based on what they know about their current circumstances. 

 

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 requests 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 expenses that would be part of an organization or entity

’s annual budget. The funds are unrestricted, flexible dollars for the urgent and emergent needs related to COVID-19 disruptions.  

 

If an organization or entity receives funds in Phase 1 or Phase 2 does that prevent us from receiving another grant?  

No. 

 

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 CONNECTED funding? 

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

 

What is the typical turnaround time to receive an answer regarding funding requests?

Requests are reviewed at least weekly. Entities and organizations that are receiving funding will be notified the same day the decision is made. Requests that are eligible and not yet funded will be surfaced and reviewed by the Funding Committee ongoing through the month of April. Entities and organizations with unfunded requests will be notified at the end of April and will be encouraged to consider requesting funds for Phase 3.

 

What are the reporting requirements for organizations that receive funding? 

One month after funding an organization or entity, a brief questionnaire will be sent. 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 or entity’s needs and barriers due to COVID-19 disruptions.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT REQUESTING FUNDS 

How do I fill out the funding request? 

  • Find the request form here. 
  • 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 and entities will be asked for basic information (name, fiscal sponsor if applicable, address, EIN number). Organizations and entities 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 and entities 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 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 2 to address that impact? 

Phase 2 funding is for the immediate and urgent needs related to COVID-19 disruption. Phase 2 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 urgent need, then please describe the urgent need and how your entity or organization can help address it.  

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.  

When will more information about Phase 3 funding be shared?

In order to respond to the rapidly evolving landscape, the Funding Committee is planning for Phase 3 and will provide information online as soon as it is available.

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

Funding request technical assistance: grants@gtcf.org  

 

This page will be updated as new questions are asked.