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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Grants for nonprofits available through Community Foundation amid COVID-19 crisis

The Marion County Board of County Commissioners and the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County have partnered together to provide grants to eligible nonprofits offering essential services within the county.

Qualifying nonprofits include those with at least a two-year service history in the community, operating in full state and federal compliance, and that have been negatively impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant opportunities include:

  • Sustaining Critical Services Grants: Marion County nonprofits providing critical services during COVID-19 can apply for grants of up to $50,000, based on the nonprofit’s pre-COVID operating budget size, to cover operating expenses such as rent, utilities, and salaries.
  • Supporting Safe Operations Grants: Grants of up to $25,000 are available to Marion County nonprofits, helping offset costs associated with new social distancing guidelines and other modifications that impact delivery of services. (Examples include costs for PPE and disinfection supplies, as well as technology required to transition to providing services online).
  • Nourishing the Community Grants: Grants of up to $25,000 are available to Marion County nonprofits, helping offset costs associated with purchasing food to respond to increased demand for emergency food aid.
  • Responding to Other COVID-Related Needs: Understanding that the impact of COVID-19 will be different for each nonprofit, this program offers grants of up to $50,000 for COVID-19 related needs other than those outlined above.

“We know our nonprofits have suffered during this time with decreased funding and increased service needs,” said Lauren Deiorio, president and executive director of the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County. “These new funding opportunities through the CARES Act and in partnership with Marion County will help sustain an already fragile situation. Our hope is to get dollars to the nonprofits with the greatest needs as quickly as possible.”

Nonprofits can apply online by clicking HERE. As part of the application process, organizations will be required to submit financial documentation including audits, profit-and-loss statements, and balance sheets for the past two years.

“We named these grants ‘Stronger Marion Nonprofits,’” said Deiorio. “We know this pandemic has caused significant issues, but our hope is that we can come out of this a stronger community with stronger nonprofits.