In an effort to respond to the effects of novel coronavirus in local communities, the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation (GVCF) sought to provide support to local nonprofits in as many ways possible.
The organization partnered with the United Way of the Greenbrier Valley and started a COVID Relief Fund, raising and distributing/pledging over $215,000 to nonprofits directly responding to the pandemic. Organizations providing feeding programs, senior services, basic needs support, and virtual education support received funding from this program. Additionally, the fund provided assistance to first responders and medical professionals by providing funding for PPE, large-scale sanitizing equipment, and mobile testing units. Still, GVCF felt more could be done from their position of grantors in the community.
Left behind from the COVID Relief Fund were nonprofits whose missions do not include providing relief services. Many organizations were forced to cancel fundraisers and special events, leaving significant budgetary challenges moving into 2021.
The Greenbrier Valley is a unique place in that some of the primary economic and tourism drivers are actually nonprofit organizations. Their financial sustainability is in the best interest of everyone in the Greenbrier Valley, residents, employees, and visitors alike. GVCF secured grant funding from the Landry Family Foundation and other anonymous sources to help lessen the burden brought on by COVID on nonprofits in the Greenbrier Valley.
The GVCF Board of Directors voted to match these awards, putting the foundation in the position to distribute $75,000 in operating assistance to nonprofit organizations in the Greenbrier Valley.
The criteria set by the Allocations Committee for GVCF were the following:
- Most importantly, the organization had to provide services to all three counties GVCF serves (Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas)
- The organization either provided basic needs assistance to these individuals affected by COVID OR
- The organization serves as a primary economic driver for the region through tourism and job creation.
Our first selection was the United Way of the Greenbrier Valley. This organization provides basic needs assistance to individuals in our three-county region. Ensuring our residents who are out of work and struggling with access to food, evictions, utility interruptions, and other basic expenses is of utmost importance to us, so the United Way was an easy selection. Secondly, we wanted to focus on organizations that provide jobs and drive our local economy, attracting tourists who stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, and shop in our downtowns. We selected to provide operating support to the State Fair of West Virginia, Carnegie Hall, WV, and Greenbrier Valley Theatre in hopes they will rebound from a difficult 2020.
It is our hope that these grants will help these organizations start their 2021 year with increased financial sustainability. When these organizations thrive, as does the Greenbrier Valley, and it is our great pleasure to help. Please direct any questions to Anne at 304-645-5620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.