REACH Foundation Outlines COVID-19 Funding Priorities

March 25, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented strain on our region’s health and human service safety net.  We are aware of, and gravely concerned about its impact on our region’s nonprofit partners and the clients they serve.

Many health and human services organizations are rightly concerned about the mounting pressures on their services, staff members and agency budgets. Community fundraisers have been postponed or halted, and government funding streams are uncertain – these challenges come as clients are seeking answers and care.

Over the past two weeks, the REACH team has checked in with many of our grantees to hear their concerns and understand how they are working in this changing health environment. We have worked as a team and with the solid support of the REACH Board of Directors to identify areas where we can take immediate action.

  • The foundation is working with grantees to relax deadlines on grant reports.
  • We have given notice to partners that their grants may be used flexibly to meet changing health care and operational needs during this crisis.
  • The foundation has identified three priority areas in which to deploy emergency assistance funding, with the primary aim of addressing critical health and mental health access through the safety net system.

For the near term, REACH will focus its emergency assistance in the following areas:

  1. Federally Qualified Health Centers within the foundation’s core operating grants portfolio.
  2. Community Mental Health Centers receiving funding as part of the foundation’s core operating grants portfolio.
  3. The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund housed at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation that this week announced a campaign to raise $10 million to meet immediate and longer-term health and household assistance needs.

We know there are multiple other organizations and programs that will not be reflected in these priorities. Given our limited resources, it is our intention to direct the foundation’s available funds to the organizations with which we currently work.

Even as we make these difficult decisions, we are interested in hearing your top needs and concerns. Our staff is engaged in advocacy locally and at the state level and are willing to share your challenges with other funder colleagues, business and faith community leaders, and local, state and federal policy makers.

Similarly, we would like to lift up your creative approaches to continuing to meet the needs of your clients and employees. There are many hard lessons we are learning that must be remembered so that future generations don’t find us where we are today. You can share them with us on the Bright Ideas page of our website.

Thank you for all you are doing to serve others, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the REACH team:


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