Berks COVID-19 Response Fund Grant Guidelines

Berks COVID-19 Response Fund Grant Guidelines

Description:  United Way of Berks County launched its Berks COVID-19 Response Fund in March of 2020 to address the immediate impacts of the pandemic. More than $1 million has been distributed to date, helping Berks Countians more than 350,000 times. Non-profits serving the most vulnerable in the community are still struggling, whether from increased demand on services or continued financial shortfalls. The Berks COVID-19 Response grants are available to provide flexible resources to health and human service organizations across Berks County.

To meet the continuing and emerging needs of the community, the Berks COVID-19 Response intends to fund applications seeking to address the following:

    1. Immediate and critical services impacting the Berks County community—such services include housing instability, food insecurity, mental health, and childcare. Organizations may be experiencing increased demand for services, operational distress, and/or increased costs to continue current services.
    2. Organizations working to address the immediate and longer-lasting effects of the pandemic on your organization and/or clients. Organizations are resilient and may have identified strategies and solutions to bridge this crisis and to continue providing vital community services. Such efforts could include capacity building, improving internal processes and/or service delivery, equipping staff with appropriate technology and strategic planning.

Eligibility:  Any nonprofit organization or recognized 501(c)3 organization, providing health and human service programs to Berks County residents, is eligible to apply.

Amount of grant:  A maximum of $50,000 can be requested, with United Way reserving the option to award a lesser amount, based on demonstrated need and available resources. United Way encourages agencies of all sizes to apply for these funds; all amounts up to and including $50,000 will be reviewed with the same level of interest and scrutiny. Due to limited resources and high demand for support during the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask agencies to please limit their request for this funding to one per agency. However, additional requests from agencies will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on the availability of resources and urgency of need.

Timeframe:  Agencies may request funding at any time.  Requests will be reviewed in the order received, with staff review and Board action generally being completed within 20 business days from receipt.  Agencies will be notified immediately of decisions.

Application format:  Grant applications will be accepted, via e-CIMPACT and includes an application overview, budget overview, and non-agency partners are required to upload documents (501(c)3 letter, ACH form, and Patriot Act Cert at a minimum). If awarded the grant, a final report will be requested, which will include providing outcomes achieved and demographics of those served with grant funding. UWBC Community Level Outcomes and Program Level Outputs for reporting can be accessed via the Resource Center on e-CIMPACTe-CIMPACT is a comprehensive grant and performance management software tool that helps simplify the grant application, evaluation, and reporting processes for success.

Review criteria:  As is the practice for Rapid Response Grants, requests will be reviewed by United Way staff using the following criteria:

  • How well the request matches the purpose of the grant program.
  • The degree to which no other resources are immediately available.
  • The degree to which sustaining resources have been identified for longer-term solutions.
  • How significant the impact on clients and the community will be if funding is not secured.
  • The amount of the request in relationship to the available dollars at the time of the request.

Grant requests meeting the criteria will be recommended to the United Way of Berks County Executive Committee/Board of Directors for approval.  The Executive Committee/Board of Directors will be provided a summary of grant requests for the approval process.

Use of funds:  Funds requested should support direct expenses of the program, although critical capital needs related to program operation may also be considered.

Additional information, questions or access to e-CIMPACT:  Please contact Ashley Chambers, 610.685.4586 or