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More COVID-19 United Community Funds coming

Regional nonprofit organizations will soon be able to apply for funds during the second phase of funding from the COVID-19 United Community Funds.

The funds are offered through a collaborative effort of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania and United Ways representing Lycoming, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties.

To date, the total amount of COVID-19 United Community Funds raised is $763,744, The first phase of funding resulted in over $301,000 in grant awards distributed to 33 nonprofits.

In preparation of the second round of grantmaking, FCFP has announced that it is committing an additional $200,000 to the fund. The Lycoming County United Way has also contributed $100,000 to the fund since it was created.

Nonprofits that had received funding during the first round are welcome to apply for funding in the second phase, but will have to fill out a new application, according to Ron Frick, president and CEO of the Lycoming County United Way.

“We believe in community partnerships, and our commitment to these funds is recognition of the value of our community coming together to support each other during these unprecedented times,” Frick said.

Frick noted that the fund has grown over the last couple of months due in part to corporate sponsors that provided incentive match dollars throughout the campaign.

In addition, the community has responded to the fundraising challenges, Frick said.

The COVID-19 United Community Funds was launched earlier this year to ensure that regional nonprofits would have the support needed to continue their services during the pandemic.

“We think this is supplemental to all the other work going on in the community,” Frick said, citing funds that are available through the state and federal governments.

“Our normal allocations, which will go out in the next couple of weeks, the CARES Act funding that’s available through the county, I think we’re all trying to work together to figure out the best way to allocate what those resources are in response to the need,” he said. “I don’t think the need has gone away.”

Frick explained that the first phase of the grantmaking was focused on response efforts, such as food insecurity, housing and shelter.

“Now it’s recovery. How are we helping those folks who have lost revenue over that period,” he said.

Using the local arts community as an example, Frick said that an organization like the Community Arts Center has been closed for a long time and under Gov. Wolf’s new orders would be limited in the number of patrons allowed if they were to reopen.

Speaking of the new round of grantmaking, Frick said, “This is a way for us as a community, United Ways and the First Community Foundation to work together and try to fill in some of the gaps.”

The Phase II funding round will be announced in the coming days at www.ncpagives.org, according to a release from FCFP. Grantmaking efforts will be overseen by each United Way and key stakeholders in their communities.

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