Early in the pandemic, we talked with nonprofit leaders around the state to learn what needs weren’t being filled, and we targeted our efforts to address gaps. When our own finances took a hit, we paused routine grantmaking even as we stood up or invested in new grant programs for these times. We called attention to support being offered by other organizations. This virus that has sickened and killed so many also has disrupted everyone’s lives. We continue to work to make sure the basics are covered. Housing. Food. Sanitation.

Rasmuson Foundation’s board committed $2 million in new money to address the pandemic, and we are redirecting other funds to address the most critical needs. So far we have allocated more than $2 million including $1.2 million from our COVID Relief Fund. This page features highlights of our response to COVID-19.

Current opportunity! The State of Alaska changed the rules so that small businesses and nonprofit organizations that previously received Paycheck Protection Program support in any amount can still qualify for Alaska CARES Act grants. This is effective Aug. 31, and the program is first come, first-served so apply soon! Remember, once you start the application, you cannot pause to finish later. So gather materials ahead of time. More information is here.

We are helping to address the pandemic through:

AK Can Do, the statewide COVID-19 relief fund. This partnership between United way of Alaska and The Alaska Community Foundation has raised more than $2.6 million and distributed $1.5 million as of late August. We’ve invested $410,000 in AK Can Do and have provided additional support for communications and administration. Learn more here. Applications for a third round of grants are due Sept. 9. Click here to apply.

A new grant program to support the arts in this critical time. This encourages Alaska’s municipalities and boroughs to use Alaska CARES act funds for arts and culture. Selected local governments are receiving up to $50,000 from the Foundation in matching grants to local arts and culture organizations. So far we’ve awarded $440,000 in matching grants to 10 communities: Anchorage, Cordova, Denali Borough, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Petersburg and Unalaska.

A partnership to provide emergency relief to nonprofits. The state carved out $35 million in Alaska CARES Act funds for nonprofits. The Alaska Community Foundation and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are working together to get relief to organizations fast. One of our program officers has helped to review dozens of applications from all over the state. Go here to learn about round one award recipients. The third round of grant applications are due Oct. 14. Learn how to apply here.

A resource guide. So many Alaska organizations have stepped up to respond during the coronavirus pandemic. We compiled this list of resources including sources of emergency grants. We will keep updating it, so please let us know when new opportunities emerge. And read all of our posts on coronavirus here.

A partnership for access to Personal Protective Equipment. Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the Denali Commission in partnership with the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health have created the Alaska PPE Resource Links Project. The project vision is to advance public health by linking PPE resources with service providers. The PPE Resources document serves as a starting point for those identifying and securing PPE resources. It is subject to change as resources or programs evolve over time.