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Chester County Funders Unite to Provide COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Press Release

(WEST CHESTER, PA – June 30, 2020) – Funders in Chester County have joined forces to provide much needed coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid response funds to organizations serving the community. To date, Chester County based funders have awarded over $1.5 million in immediate grants to Chester County based nonprofit organizations.  Responding to the increased demand for funding from essential nonprofits, local foundations raised funding from their charitable partners and designated internal funds to fill these critical needs. Grant funding has been directed to nonprofits who have responded to Chester County residents need for food, shelter, medical supplies, and emergency services, among others.

Funders are working together to ensure grant information is shared, organization funding is transparent, and community based grant panels are making decisions to direct funds to high impact organizations. The funders have turned their attention to grant funding that will ensure long term financial sustainability of partner nonprofits. 

The Brandywine Health Foundation (BWHF) launched the Healthcare and Economic Relief Fund in March to address the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the Greater Coatesville community. Thanks to many generous donations, BWHF granted over $185,000 to 19 nonprofit partner organizations in their first phase of grants. Funding was used to provide food, personal care items, medical needs, and facilitate on-line learning during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.   In phase 2 of their grant making efforts, the BWHF’s focus is on recovery. Current funding will support eligible 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations with general operating grants as they rebuild their capacity. BWHF expects to award in total over $350,000 in phase 1 and phase 2 grant making.

The Chester County Community Foundation (CCCF) has awarded close to $450,000 in COVID-19 grant funding to over 90 organizations via the Foundation’s Rapid Response Fund and through the generosity of its 400+ donor advised funds. Local grant panels have been meeting weekly via zoom to review grant applications and award funding. Many generous individuals, regional foundations and corporate donors have also offered financial support to CCCF’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

In addition to the nearly $200,000 given in grants to local non-profits this year, Chester County Fund for Women & Girls (CCFWG) committed $23,000 in Impact Grants towards response efforts to COVID-19 that are focused on the needs of women and girls such as gender-based violence and economic empowerment. As the long-term impact continues to unfold, CCFWG will utilize the next Blueprint Report to analyze the data measuring the impact of COVID-19 by gender, age, and race to uncover targeted and responsive solutions for members of the community. The organization’s website also has resources which specifically address the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on women and girls. 

The Phoenixville Community Health Foundation (PCHF) Board of Directors created a COVID-19 Special Grant Fund to assist local Nonprofit Organizations in providing critical services during the pandemic.  All undesignated grant funds were designated to COVID-19 relief.  This included Mini-Grant Funds. PCHF has awarded more than $150,000 dollars to 14 organizations in PCHF’s catchment area.   PCHF is currently engaged in a funding cycle to provide longer term support to qualifying nonprofits. 

Through its Chester County COVID-19 Response Fund, the United Way of Chester County (UWCC) raised almost $840,000 and has already awarded rapid response grants totaling nearly $615,000 to 83 organizations throughout Chester County that provide relief for food insecurity, maintain critical service delivery, prevent homelessness, and provide financial stability for the financially insecure. They will be launching their Chester County STRONGER Campaign July 1st that includes additional general operating grants of $264,000, bringing their COVID-19 related support to over $1 million and will be issuing a new, more responsive funding model that will help reimagine a better Chester County.

United Way of Southern Chester County (UWSCC) raised $118,000 for its COVID-19 Response Fund to deploy to local nonprofits who are addressing COVID-related critical needs among our residents. UWSCC was instrumental in working with La Comunidad Hispana (LCH), the American Mushroom Institute and United Way Chester County to initiate and fund a mobile testing unit for local mushroom farms.

The COVID-19 outbreak is far from over and nonprofits will continue to face immediate and long-term challenges. The public is urged to support the nonprofits they care about most, through financial contributions, donations of supplies, and when public health conditions allow, offering their time through volunteerism.  For more information about Chester County funders and their interests please visit their respective websites.


About Brandywine Health Foundation
Brandywine Health Foundation’s mission is to advance a more equitable, resilient and healthy Greater Coatesville community. Listen. Learn. Lead. These words embody the foundations continuing commitment to the residents of Greater Coatesville to LISTEN to their concerns, LEARN from their insights and incorporate what the foundation has learned to better LEAD as advocates for a more equitable and healthy community.

The Brandywine Health Foundation has distributed over $18 million in grants and scholarships. Its new 2020-2022 strategic plan focuses on three priorities and outlines future investments to improve the social, economic, environmental and political challenges that impact healthy living. The three priorities include: helping people live healthy and well; creating healthy spaces and places for people to thrive; and, leading positive community-driven change.;

About the Chester County Community Foundation
Headquartered in West Chester’s historic Lincoln Building, the Chester County Community Foundation connects people who care with causes that matter so their legacy philanthropy makes a difference now and forever.  The Community Foundation holds nearly $70 million in trust and annually awards $3.5 million in grants and scholarships.;

About the Chester County Fund for Women & Girls
The Chester County Fund for Women and Girls leads and unites the community through philanthropy and advocacy to ensure that women and girls have resources and opportunities to thrive. For over 20 years, CCFWG has raised awareness about the critical needs of women and girls, and has awarded over $3.3 million to 75 local non-profit organizations.;

About Phoenixville Community Health Foundation


The vision of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation is to make the greater Phoenixville region one of the healthiest places to live and work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They work to improve health care access, service delivery, and better quality of life for vulnerable populations in our community.;

About United Way Chester County
The mission of United Way of Chester County is to unite people and mobilize resources to build better lives and stronger communities. Their vision for Chester County is a community where all residents have the opportunity to achieve a vibrant and healthy quality of life.;

About United Way Southern Chester County
United Way of Southern Chester County works to improve people's lives by mobilizing the caring power and resources of our community; to provide local non-profit agencies with needed financial, professional, and strategic support; and to ensure that contributions fund programs that effectively move people from crisis to independence.;