What's the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund? Here's a quick and easy breakdown.

What's the Mid-South Regional Response Fund? Where's the money going? And why should Memphians support it? Read on.
 

A Regional Response Fund 101

What is it?
A pool of grant money distributed to area nonprofits and awarded weekly. Nonprofits have to be working with people and communities hardest-hit or most at-risk in the pandemic.

How much money are we talking about?
As of May 18, the fund paid out $1,916,000 to 84 organizations. The grants range from $1,000 to $100,000 each. Current donations to the fund sit at $3,065,891.The plan is to pay out 60% for immediate needs and 40% for longer-term recovery efforts.

Where's the money come from?
Donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Find a full list of donors here.

Who's being served?
It runs a huge spectrum. For example, the May 18 grant announcement included funds for families in need of food, nonprofit workers in need of personal protective equipment, single moms in crisis, inmates in high-risk facilities because they can't make bail, and general support for people with HIV and AIDS, Spanish-speakers, and refugees.

Who's involved?
Community Foundation of Greater Memphis heads it up but it's a group effort with these key partners: City of Memphis, Shelby County Government, United Way of the Mid-South, and Momentum Nonprofit Partners/Mid-South Philanthropy Network.

How are they picking the organizations?
There are two ways. The fund's advisory committee seeks out organizations they think would benefit from the grant. Organizations can also apply. They can skip the normally lengthy grant application process and fill out this quick survey instead. The committee recommends final awards and organizations can receive funds more than once.

Why donate to this fund instead of other COVID-related causes and relief funds?
All support matters right now, put yours wherever you want. Individual nonprofits know their needs best and can pool donations towards the most pressing. The regional response fund just does the same thing on a larger scale. Donations are pooled and go to the organizations already connected to those hard-hit communities and most vulnerable Memphians with the most acute needs. You can find more info here and donate here. If you don't know where to give but want to make a deep impact, this is one to consider.

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Find more resources and ways to help in English and Spanish in our Memphis Area COVID-19 Resource Guide.

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Read more articles by Cole Bradley.

Cole Bradley is a native Memphian and graduate of the University of Memphis. Cole's worked locally as a researcher and community engagement strategist and began contributing to High Ground in Jan 2017. 
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