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Northern Illinois receives $250K from Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund

The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF) announced today 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 on 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.”

In this first round of funding, the United Way of Rock River Valley received $250,000 to be added to and distributed through their Emerging Needs Fund. The Emerging Needs Fund supports nonprofits and the people they serve in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties, as they respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Emerging Needs Fund grants will be reviewed by a committee with representatives from United Way of Rock River Valley, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence, and the Kjellstrom Family Foundation. The first round of grant review was completed on April 9 and the details of these grants will be announced on Tuesday, April 14.

Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations: 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.

About United Way of Illinois: United Way of Illinois (UWI) is a statewide association of local United Way organizations representing communities across Illinois. We 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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