Dozens of nonprofits in the Philadelphia region are about to get a much-needed boost from one of the city's largest charitable foundations.
The Philadelphia Foundation said 44 nonprofit organizations will receive $2.3 million dollars in grants from the PHL COVID-19 Fund.
“The checks got signed Thursday. They’re now in the process of going out,” said Pedro Ramos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation.
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The Philadelphia Foundation, along with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and the City of Philadelphia, created the fund March 19. It’s aimed at helping nonprofits continue to provide services to people suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants will be distributed in phases. Nonprofits with a proven track record that feed the needy will be given top priority.
“Everybody involved has been struck by the extent to which food insecurity became an issue so quickly on such a grand scale. When we asked around, food was the biggest need,” Ramos said.
Organizations such as Philabundance and MANNA are among the organizations receiving money in the first round. Both organizations have seen their food pantries and supplies come under much more demand during the coronavirus.
Ramos expects to announce the second round of grant recipients next week.
So far, the PHL COVID-19 Fund has received about $13 million in pledges and gifts from businesses, foundations and more than 2,000 donors, but Ramos said there's a problem: 700 nonprofits have requested grants totaling $19 million.
“The need is always going to be greater than what philanthropy can do,” said Ramos.
Despite the financial gap, Ramos said he was impressed by the overwhelming support the fund has received.
“I know these are tough times, but the response has been terrific. People are getting online and donating, so are businesses.”
If you’d like to donate or get more information on the PHL COVID-19 Fund, click here.