Fox Valley COVID-19 Community Response Fund Grants $1.6 Million to 106 Nonprofit Organizations in One Year

Published Monday, April 5, 2021

APPLETON, Wis. – Thanks to gifts generously donated to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund established one year ago by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities, 106 local nonprofit organizations have been awarded $1.6 million in grants to assist their efforts with providing immediate basic needs relief, short-term response and longer-term recovery in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha areas of Winnebago counties impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency and economic crisis

In an incredible show of generosity and selflessness during a time of challenges 415 individuals, businesses and foundations have stepped up generously to contribute more than $1.7 million since the fund was created March 17, 2020. A list of donors is available at

“The incredibly fast timeline from the onset of the pandemic, to the Community Response Fund being activated, to donations flowing in, to grant dollars being administered, and to families receiving assistance is a powerful testament to the generosity of our community and the resilience of our nonprofit sector,” said Curt Detjen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Our community stepped up to support our neighbors, and the strength of our Fox Valley region nonprofit network allowed those individuals to quickly receive the support they needed.”

“I could not be prouder of our community than I am now. We’ve been encouraged and humbled by the outpouring of support,” said Peter Kelly, president and CEO of United Way Fox Cities. “The pandemic has fundamentally altered the trajectory of the lives of many in our community. People are finding themselves in need, some for the first time, and will be feeling the effects of this disruption for years to come; they will need our continued support. It is a comfort to know the Fox Cities is rich with people and organizations eager to help others.”

Grants totaling $1.6 million have been given to nonprofit organizations providing basic needs services to people who are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. This includes providing short-term support to these organizations as they reopen facilities and restart or reinvent their services. Grants are awarded on an ongoing basis and listed at

Areas of funding priority and the amount awarded in each:

  • Housing and Safe Shelter – stable housing, eviction prevention, and safe shelter for homeless individuals: 15%
  • Health and Well-Being – physical, mental and behavioral health: 23%
  • Child Care – adequate access and availability: 8%
  • Financial Assistance – programs providing emergency assistance to individuals:  13%
  • Food – rural access and availability, underserved groups, emergency response: 16%
  • The populations disproportionately affected: 25%

Thirty-one percent of the grant dollars went to nonprofits serving people in northern Winnebago County, while 29% went to Outagamie, 23% to Calumet, 11% to Waupaca and 6% to Shawano County.

As the crisis and its impacts continue, the Community Foundation and United Way Fox Cities will continue to assess and consider evolving the granting approach as needed. Designed to respond to immediate needs, the Community Response Fund is not actively seeking donations as our community moves toward longer-term recovery solutions. Eligible nonprofits can email United Way to share their needs so they can be considered for grants with the remaining funds.

To learn more about the fund, please visit:

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, a Fox Cities-based nonprofit founded in 1986, helps people provide long-term support for favorite charities through endowments and other charitable funds. The second-largest certified community foundation in Wisconsin, its donors have allowed it to award more than $356 million to nonprofit organizations from more than 1,689 charitable funds. Affiliated community foundations operate in Brillion, Chilton, Clintonville, Shawano and Waupaca. To learn more, go to, subscribe to The Loop at or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

United Way Fox Cities is a tax-exempt, donor-supported organization improving lives by fighting for the health, education, and financial stability of every person. Through United Way, more than 100 funded programs positivity impact the lives of 1 in 3 people in the Fox Cities and build a stronger, more caring community for everyone. Learn more at