Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund distributes first round of $5.5 million in grants to nonprofits

Submitted by Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund
Posted4/8/2020 5:18 PM

The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund announced that it has distributed more than $5.5 million to 30 nonprofit organizations across the state, marking the first grants since launching.

The fund established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor, today also announced it has raised more than $28 million from nearly 2000 donors since its launch March 26. Funds raised will be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The fund prioritizes swiftly deploying resources to local community foundations and nonprofits in support of residents in need of: emergency food and basic supplies; interim housing and shelter; primary health care services; utility and financial assistance; supports for children and other vulnerable populations, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance.

"I am so proud to see people rallying together around the state they call home and helping each other during these unprecedented challenges," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This initial wave of funding will help people across the entire state and provide critical support to the communities that need it most. This generosity defines what it means to be All In Illinois."

The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, is providing flexible funding to local nonprofit organizations across the state to supply essential resources to the individuals and households most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first round of grants and there will be multiple rounds of funding in coming weeks aimed at addressing needs as they evolve. The ICRF grants announced today range from $25,000 to $250,000.

"In this time of such great need, we have been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of people across our state to support the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund," said Penny Pritzker, chairman of PSP Partners. "Our fund's committee members are working very hard to distribute funds quickly and thoughtfully across Illinois in response to this terrible crisis."

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The initial grant recipients from the ICRF Fund are: Organization

• AgeOptions on behalf of I4a the Illinois Association of AAA

• Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley

• Community Foundation of Macon County

• Community Foundation of the Quincy Area

• DeKalb County Community Foundation

• Feeding Illinois

• Fox Valley United Way

• Freeport Community Foundation

• Galesburg Community Foundation

• Heart of Illinois United Way

• Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

• Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

• Illinois Migrant Council

• Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living


• Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies

• Prairieland United Way

• Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation

• Southern Illinois Community Foundation

• Starved Rock Country Community Foundation

• The DuPage Community Foundation

• The Moline Foundation

• United Way of Central Illinois

• United Way of Champaign County

• United Way of Greater McHenry County

• The Community Foundation for McHenry County

• United Way of Greater St. Louis

• United Way of Lake County

• United Way of McLean County

• United Way of Rock River Valley

• United Way of South Central Illinois

• United Way of Will County.

The ICRF also announced its Steering Committee made up of philanthropic, social sector and corporate leaders from across Illinois. The ICRF Steering Committee members include:

• Penny Pritzker (PSP Partners) -- chair

• Sean Garrett (United Way Metro Chicago) -- ex officio

• Helene Gayle (Chicago Community Trust) -- ex officio

• Ellen Alberding (Joyce Foundation)

• Sharon Bush (Grand Victoria Foundation)

• Genna Gent (McDonald's)

• Sue Grey (United Way of Champaign County)

• Amanda Lessley (Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation)

• Maria Pesquiera (Healthy Communities Foundation)

• Mary Schmidt (State Farm)

• Gretchen Crosby Sims (University of Chicago Institute of Politics)

• Maurice Smith (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois)

• Wegi Stewart (Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations)

• John Stremsterfer (Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln)

• Eric Weinheimer (Forefront)

"As a locally-based community foundation and United Way, we regularly interact with the key front line nonprofit organizations providing round the clock services to our most vulnerable citizens," said Dan Templin, executive director of the DeKalb County Community Foundation. "This is an all hands-on deck moment and we greatly appreciate not only the trust and confidence of our local donors and grantee partners, but also being entrusted with a grant from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to help address this unprecedented crisis."

An extraordinary group of founding donors -- corporations, foundations, and individuals -- have come together in an unparalleled way to contribute more than $28 million to the Illinois COVID19 Response Fund to provide immediate relief to Illinois families. The full list to date of donating organizations and individuals can be found at

Contributions to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund can be made by visiting

The Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations strengthens and promotes community foundations in cities, counties and regions across Illinois. Community foundations steward donor funds to improve the quality of life in our local communities. Visit

The United Way of Illinois is a statewide association of local United Way organizations representing communities across Illinois. They fight to create lasting community change by helping children and youth succeed in school, promoting financial stability and family independence and improving the health of all Illinois' residents. More information at

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