MV Emergency Response Fund

Photo: Alison Shaw

Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation Launches Emergency Response Fund

Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation has launched the Emergency Response Fund in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to address urgent needs that face Islanders and their families.  This Fund seeks to shore up the invaluable role of Island non-profits when a crisis hits, whether it’s today’s public health emergency or future crisis facing the Vineyard from natural disasters to financial.  The fund was established with a $25,000 seed grant from the Foundation and to date has received over $350,000 from generous donors, including a $100,000 grant from the Barr Foundation.   

In June we were honored to be made a partner community foundation of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund.  The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund supports those across the state most impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, focusing on essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations including the homeless, immigrant populations, people with disabilities and those facing food insecurity. The Fund works in concert with regional community foundations and non-profit leaders who partner with local leaders to understand the response and relief landscape, strategically filling in where gaps are pronounced. For more information, visit MACovid19ReliefFund.org   Grants from the Relief Fund have been made to Island Grown Initiative, MV Fisherman’s Preservation Trust, and Island Food Pantry.

The Foundation is also the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts awarded in December to address the needs of vulnerable Vineyard residents who have been impacted by Covid 19.  We are in the process of partnering with critical community based organizations to provide direct support to individuals and their families.

In another response to the challenges facing our community, the Foundation has collaborated with the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority and created the Emergency Rental Relief Fund to assist renters unable to meet their rent payments due to the economic fallout from the pandemic.  For a description of this program, please click here.  Applications for rental relief may be found on the DCRHA website.  Donors particularly interested in this issue may earmark their donations for this program.

Grants are being awarded on a rolling basis to 501.c.3 Island non-profits based on an application available here, and on the grant application page. 

As of December 21st, we have awarded $308,000 in grants to Island non-profits and regional service providerswhich includes $85,010 in rental relief.

“The Community Foundation is uniquely positioned to deliver immediate financial relief to the many non-profit organizations that step up in times of crisis or emergency,” said Emily Bramhall, the Executive Director.  “This fund is specifically designed to be a rapid response vehicle to quickly get resources where they’re most needed.”

“We established the Emergency Response Fund to deliver relief and hope to the many non-profits that work on the front lines assisting our most vulnerable neighbors,” says board chair Anne Williamson. “We feel an obligation to do all we can to support our fragile safety net.”

As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving day-by-day, the Foundation will continue to reassess both need and the requirements for support from the Emergency Response Fund.

What follows is a brief FAQ designed to address the most immediate questions and will be updated regularly on the website:

The Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation has launched the Emergency Response Fund in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to address urgent needs that face Islanders and their families.  This Fund seeks to shore up the invaluable role of Island non-profits when a crisis hits, whether it’s today’s public health emergency or future crisis facing the Vineyard from natural disasters to financial.  The fund was established with a $25,000 seed grant from the Foundation and to date has received over $300,000 from generous donors, including a $100,000 grant from the Barr Foundation.   

In June we were honored to be made a partner community foundation of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund.  The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund supports those across the state most impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, focusing on essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations including the homeless, immigrant populations, people with disabilities and those facing food insecurity. The Fund works in concert with regional community foundations and non-profit leaders who partner with local leaders to understand the response and relief landscape, strategically filling in where gaps are pronounced. For more information, visit MACovid19ReliefFund.org   Grants from the Relief Fund have been made to Island Grown Initiative, MV Fisherman’s Preservation Trust, and Island Food Pantry.

In another response to the challenges facing our community, the Endowment has collaborated with the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority and created the Emergency Rental Relief Fund to assist renters unable to meet their rent payments due to the economic fallout from the pandemic.  For a description of this program, please click here.  Applications for rental relief may be found on the DCRHA website.  Donors particularly interested in this issue may earmark their donations for this program.

Grants are being awarded on a rolling basis to 501.c.3 Island non-profits based on an application available here, and on the grant application page. 

As of December 1st, we have awarded $308,000 in grants to Island non-profits and regional service providerswhich includes $85,010 in rental relief.

“The Community Foundation is uniquely positioned to deliver immediate financial relief to the many non-profit organizations that step up in times of crisis or emergency,” said Emily Bramhall, the Executive Director.  “This fund is specifically designed to be a rapid response vehicle to quickly get resources where they’re most needed.”

“We established the Emergency Response Fund to deliver relief and hope to the many non-profits that work on the front lines assisting our most vulnerable neighbors,” says board chair Anne Williamson. “We feel an obligation to do all we can to support our fragile safety net.”

As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving day-by-day, the Foundation will continue to reassess both need and the requirements for support from the Emergency Response Fund.

What follows is a brief FAQ designed to address the most immediate questions and will be updated regularly on the website:

My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. How can we be considered?

This fund will make grants to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, and groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 organization.  A link to the application is included on this page.   It may also be found on the grant application page. 

I am an individual effected by the COVID-19 situation. Can I apply for assistance from this Fund?

The Community Foundation understands that the COVID-19 pandemic is having and will continue to have a significant impact on individuals and families on Martha’s Vineyard.  We have collaborated with the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority to offer rental assistance.  More information may be found on their webpage.  We will work to move resources as quickly as possible to other community-based organizations that are directly supporting local families and residents who are most effected. We believe the biggest contribution we can make is to support the work of those non-profits on the front lines who, additionally, are the most qualified to assess and address the greatest need.  

May I target my donation to a specific organization?

To ensure that we can coordinate and share resources as quickly as possible, donors may not restrict their grants to an individual grantee. If you have a specific organization you want to support, we encourage you to give directly to that organization.

Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?

No. This Fund is not intended to be the only vehicle to give funds to nonprofits working at the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak. You are equally encouraged to give directly to those organizations.  We hope this Emergency Fund will be useful for those who want to help but are not certain where to direct their contributions.  The Community Foundation board is deeply rooted in the Island community and can direct contributions to the agencies providing urgent services.

When will you announce funding decisions?

Grants from this Fund will be accepted on a rolling basis.  We are reviewing applications, and funding requests on a weekly basis.  An application not immediately funded remains open for review and consideration going forward.  We will share the list of grantees and more information on our website. 

For More Information Contact:
Emily Bramhall 508-338-2212

Email Emily Bramhall
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The Foundation is grateful for your contribution.

You may contribute by writing a check to Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, noting Emergency Response Fund,  Emergency Rental Relief Fund, or the Fund of your choice in the memo line, and mailing to P.O. Box 243, West Tisbury, MA  02575.

You may make a donation online by using the Donate button.

We will also accept stock transfer.  Please email or call for more instructions.

Helpful Links

Emergency Response
Fund Application

APPLICATION

Martha's Vineyard Community Foundation