Early last year, the Cape and Islands United Way established a new, two-year grant period, awarding more than 20 nonprofit partners funds that would be dispersed from July 2020 to June 2022.
Then, the pandemic hit, and every grantee suddenly had different choices to make. Funds originally allocated for specific programs and services now had to be used for PPE essentials, the expansion of mobile or online services, and sometimes, just to keep the doors open.
In response, the Cape and Islands United Way has done several things to pivot, said President and CEO Mark Skala.
First, restrictions on fund usage and reporting requirements have been relaxed. Second, as long as the current partners have made a measurable impact with their 2020 grant proceeds, it will automatically be renewed for 2021. Third, grant payments originally scheduled for the end of March were released a month early.
“Given the current needs among our many collaborators, the board and staff felt an urgency to get that money distributed as soon as possible,” said Skala. “It wouldn’t have been possible to do that without our very generous donors who are committed to making an impact.”
More than $85,000 was awarded last month to organizations addressing key issues in the community around education, health, financial stability and housing. They include:
Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod
Behavioral Health Innovators
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and the Islands
Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod
Cape Cod Children’s Place
Cape Kids Meals
Catholic Social Services (Faith Family Kitchen)
Cape Cod Council of Churches
Community Health Center of Cape Cod
Duffy Health Center
Falmouth Service Center
Harbor Homes of Martha’s Vineyard
Homeless Prevention Council
Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard
Housing Assistance Corporation
Island Grown Initiative
Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club
Nantucket Interfaith Council
Outer Cape Health Services
Sassafras Earth Education
The Family Pantry of Cape Cod
In addition, $130,000 has been distributed from the Cape and Islands United Way’s Community Response Fund. This fund was established to quickly support local nonprofits serving the community’s most basic human needs (food, housing and emergency services). Donations to the CRF are accepted at capeandislandsuw.org.