COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation and the United Way of Cattaraugus County are engaging in a collaborative effort with other area funding and government agencies to deliver a coordinated philanthropic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Cattaraugus County.

A centralized fund has been created to deploy flexible resources to community-based nonprofit organizations working with communities that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the economic consequences of the outbreak and community and organizational recovery.

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Grants will only be made to 501 (c ) (3) organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501 (c ) (3) or other charitable organization able to receive a tax-deductible contribution (schools, faith-based organizations and other public entities). 

Funding Use:

This crisis necessitates funding in at least two phases. First, we recognize the emergent needs of organizations on the frontline of the COVID-19 response, including those supporting older adults and vulnerable families. Local funding is intended to complement the work of government and other funding sources to expand local capacity. Priority will be given to requests that indicate high levels of collaboration as it relates to the following:

  • General operational support
  • Flexible funds to help individuals and families
  • Food security
  • Housing
  • Service for older adults
  • Child care services
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Other basic human needs

The second phase will emerge after the acute phase of COVID-19 subsides. This includes the economic implications resulting from significant decreases in program revenue and the needs of families with diminished income. In this phase, funds will be strategically distributed to promote a return to normalcy for residents and for restoration of affected organizations.

Application process:

  • Requests will only be considered at this time for immediate basic human needs, mental health services, and addressing the economic impact on individuals from reduced or lost work due to the outbreak.
  • Requests are accepted through CRCF’s online grant application website and will be reviewed as received. Applicants may be contacted while their application is still in “DRAFT” to increase coordination with others seeking funding or to reduce unnecessary work if the request does not fit the current criteria.
  • The Response Fund Decision Committee will receive guidance from government agencies and nonprofit leaders serving in an advisory capacity to ensure coordination with other funding sources.
  • Grantees will be listed on the CRCF and United Way websites
  • Final reports, including documentation of all expenses, will be required.

The online grant application will be opening soon, tent. week of March 30.


Your generous contribution supports Cattaraugus County nonprofit needs during the economic distress associated with COVID-19. To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to the needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County was created to provide a coordinated response and reduce administrative burdens associated with emergency grant-making. Click Here to Donate online. If you would prefer to donate by check you can download this donation form for the COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County. Checks can be mailed to CRCF at 301 North Union St., Suite 203, Olean, NY.


Can individuals impacted by the coronavirus receive grants?

Only organizations will receive grants, but funding will be directed to organizations that directly impact and support individuals affected by COVID-19. We will publicize the organizations receiving grants as we begin awarding them. We suggest you monitor those recipients and consider them as a resource for help. If you are looking for resources now, please consider 211 and the Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services.

Based on the charitable structure of the COVID-19 Response Fund, our grants are limited to 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organizations and charitable organizations that receive tax-deductible contributions such as schools, government organizations and social service programs provided by faith-based organizations.

My organization is interested in receiving support from this fund. How can we be considered?

We understand the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancelations, as well as other challenges. Priority will be given to requests that indicate high levels of collaboration and meeting the most immediate needs of older adults and vulnerable families. The collaborative group is working to ensure that the grants awarded meet the critical needs of populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Applications may be submitted via the this link to the online grant application process (coming soon). For questions about the process, please email Taylor Green at [email protected] or Karen Buchheit at [email protected]. The online grant application will be opening soon, tent. week of March 30.

I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The COVID-19 Response Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible.

Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?

This fund was not created to be the only vehicle for directing resources into the community, but rather to help focus a county-wide response. This is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations that have benefited from your giving in the past. Many organizations had to cancel annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings, so please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community.

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address the both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving on the front line, assisting communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. In this first round, we are not able to prioritize organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services. We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work to assess and evolve our funding strategies.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the fund?

Grants will be directed to provide support in Cattaraugus County. As a number of organizations in neighboring counties provide services to residents in Cattaraugus County, those organizations will be considered so long as funds are used to support residents in the county.

When will you share who you fund?

As grants are made, recipients and a description of the services and support they are providing will be published on CRCF website and United Way website. We will also be working to publicize grants in the local media.


Other Resources


Many agencies have stated a need for additional volunteers. CRCF has agreed to post calls for volunteers on its social media channels. Information about volunteers needs should be sent to the foundation at [email protected]. Please include a short description of the volunteer duties and contact information for the volunteer.