Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County Provides Over $56,000 in Emergency Funding to Nonprofit Partners on the Frontline of COVID-19 Support
The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County (WGC) has given over $56,000 to nonprofits on the frontline of responding to the COVID-19 urgent health and economic needs of disproportionately impacted communities in Howard County.
In addition to $60,000 in grantmaking earmarked in 2020 for programs that benefit women and girls, the WGC is responding to emergency needs in our community through our long-established Emergency Response Network (ERN) and by partnering with our local funding community to rapidly raise and deploy critical resources to nonprofits focused on assisting with food security, housing, childcare and healthcare.
The WGC's Emergency Response Network was created over 15 years ago and is typically utilized for donations up to $1,000 to help an individual in need through our nonprofit partners. However, to address the escalating and unprecedented coronavirus public health crisis, we broadened the scope of our grantmaking.
"We made the swift decision to broaden the scope of our grantmaking at this critical time in order to be as responsive as possible to growing community needs" said Alice Giles, Chair of the WGC's Grants Committee. "We will continue to leverage the strength of our Emergency Response Network to learn of and highlight needs, accept donations, and provide emergency funding to our nonprofit partners right away."
The WGC has organized four successful ERN requests that have allowed us to give over $23,000 in support to the community so far to address COVID-19.
And, the WGC’s Young Women's Giving Circle, made up of girls in grades 7-12, supported the community through their Spring Feminine Product Drive. They collected products all over the county for two months, and raised $1,500 which they immediately gave to the Community Action Council and Hope Works for women and girls in need during this challenging time.
“We are able to invest in our community quickly because of the support of so many who are looking to make a measurable difference for women and their families right away” said Barb Van Winkle, chair of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. "We will continue to leverage our unique strengths as a giving circle to have a bigger impact together than we might otherwise have alone."
Additionally, in March 2020 the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County partnered with the Community Foundation of Howard County, Horizon Foundation, and United Way of Central Maryland to establish HoCoRespond.com to support Howard County nonprofits on the frontline of support, focusing on assisting with food security, housing, childcare and healthcare.
An initial $100,000 fundraising goal has been met and exceeded and $205,000 in grant awards have been made for the first round of funding from HoCoRespond COVID-19 Emergency Funds. Find the list of grantee partners here.
The application process for the second round of emergency grants opened on Monday, April 20 and applications are due on Friday, April 24, 2020. Nonprofits can apply here.
HoCoRespond has also launched its second fundraising challenge, with a goal of raising $200,000 in five days. As part of HoCoRespond, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County has established the WGC COVID-19 Fund, looking to add additional funds to the $32,000 WGC has already contributed to HoCoRespond. Donors can double the impact of their gifts through the generosity of Cyndi and Ron Gula, who are matching donations dollar for dollar up to $25,000 to address unprecedented COVID-19 community needs.
Additionally, the WGC is taking part in #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5 and inviting donations on this global day of giving and unity that is an emergency response to COVID-19.
“We know the needs are continuing to grow, and we will continue to leverage the strength of our partnerships with our donors and funding community partners to support nonprofits with emergency funding in these challenging times” said Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, executive director of the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County. “We are in this together, and working in partnership, we will get through this together.”
The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County, Maryland. We bring women together to learn about issues impacting our community, and we pool our dollars to fund programs that address women and girls. The WGC is a fund of the Community Foundation of Howard County. www.womensgivingcircle.org