March 26, 2020 – The United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor, have established the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF) to raise funds from individual, corporate, and foundation donors to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This fund will deploy additional financial resources to local community foundations and nonprofits to support residents in need of:
- Emergency food and basic supplies
- Interim housing and shelter
- Primary health care services
- Utility and financial assistance
- Supports for children and other vulnerable populations, and
- Nonprofit safety and operations assistance.
“My team and I are incredibly grateful for all of the businesses, leaders and organizations who have stepped up to meet this moment,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This is a fund to support all of Illinois: from Chicago to Carbondale, Cairo to Rockford. No one is immune to this virus — and nobody should be left to recover without help. We will get through this if we work together and stand up for one another.”
The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund will work in tandem with other response funds set up around the State to ensure that resources are directed where they are needed most. The ICRF will provide flexible funding to local nonprofit organizations across the state to supply essential resources to the individuals and households most impacted by the pandemic. Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will chair this effort and it will be governed by a diverse steering committee made up of philanthropic, social sector and corporate leaders from across Illinois.
“As the Governor has said, there’s no more important work to do right now than protecting our most vulnerable residents,” said Penny Pritzker, Chairman of PSP Partners. “Illinois is blessed with strong local nonprofit organizations and community foundations that serve our state. We applaud the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations and the United Way of Illinois for stepping up in this time of great uncertainty. Their role is critical in this effort and leverages the strong capacity and expertise that already exists around the state in the form of their local affiliates. In this moment of extraordinary demand, it’s imperative that these organizations have the resources they need to operate at the highest capacity. This vital emergency fund will support our fellow Illinoisans most in need, and do so quickly and effectively.”
The ICRF Steering Committee will identify organizations for its first round of funding in the coming days. All funds will be disbursed to Illinois nonprofit organizations serving individuals, families and communities with emergency needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals and families in need of support should check https://www.ilcovidresponsefund.org/ for updates on which organizations are receiving support and may be able to extend assistance.
“The capacity of individuals and organizations to support each other during this unprecedented time is inspiring,” said Louise “Wegi” Stewart, Manager of the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations. “This is an all hands-on deck moment. Illinois’ more than 35 community foundations and our stellar local United Way partners are proud to be a part of this important effort to ensure all corners of the state are helped by this response fund. And we are well positioned to help ensure that this fund operates in coordination with other efforts underway.”
An extraordinary group of founding donors — corporations, foundations, and individuals — have come together in an unparalleled way to make the base commitment of nearly $23 million to the Illinois COVID-19 Fund to provide immediate relief to Illinois families. The full list to date of donating organizations and individuals can be found at https://www.ilcovidresponsefund.org/#supporters.