The COVID-19 Community Response Fund provides support to individuals and families through grants to nonprofit organizations.  

Waco Foundation and the United Way of Waco-McLennan County have partnered together to create the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to provide support to individuals and families in our community.  The fund will provide grants to four local agencies: Caritas of Waco, EOAC, Mission Waco and Salvation Army. Each organization will use its existing processes and protocols to distribute funds directly to individuals and families for needs such as food, housing, utilities and childcare.  

One hundred percent of COVID-19 Community Response Funds will go to individuals and families in need due to circumstances related to the pandemic.  Businesses and community members are invited to contribute to the fund.

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The COVID-19 Community Response Fund is housed at Waco Foundation and administered through United Way.  As community need and funding exists, additional organizations may be eligible to receive grants from the fund in the future. 

Click here for more information about Waco Foundation's COVID-19 grantmaking separate from the Community Response Fund.

General FAQ

What are the geographic boundaries of the fund?

The fund is intended to expand the capacity of nonprofits that are serving the residents of McLennan County, Texas.

What is the Fund’s Priority/Giving Focus?

All dollars generated from the Community Response Fund will go directly to serving vulnerable McLennan County individuals and families in need. Neither United Way nor Waco Foundation will use these dollars for costs related to operating the fund.

How will assistance to these populations be administered?

The first round of funding will be distributed to designated agencies that provide financial support to individuals and families in need. Future rounds of funding will follow the same pattern – direct distributions to organizations providing services to families in need. All agencies will distribute 100% of money they receive to individuals and families, the funds will not be used to cover the operating/administrative expenses of recipient agencies.

What activities or needs are eligible for consideration?

The first round of distributions will primarily be used to provide one or more of the following services to vulnerable populations: shelter, rent/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, grocery purchases, childcare and/or meal services.

Who is contributing to the fund?

Waco Foundation and United Way have seeded the fund with $125,000. United Way’s contribution came through their corporate partners which includes Allergan Foundation, L3, Texas Mutual, Truist and Wells Fargo. Community members and businesses throughout McLennan County, and Texas, who are looking for ways to lend support to locals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are invited and encouraged to give.

What is the size of the grants?

Grant size will be determined by a number of factors, including community support through dollars raised for the Community Response Fund, as well as the continual emerging needs for individuals and families served by local nonprofits.

When will awards be made available?

Grants will be distributed to Caritas of Waco, EOAC, Mission Waco and Salvation Army by May 15, 2020. Additional grants may be made to local agencies as funds are available.

How long will this Community Response Fund be available?United Way and Waco Foundation recognize the impact of COVID-19 has not yet been fully realized and there may be future incidents of high, community transmission/transference that affect workplace and employment activity, and resource availability and supports in the coming months. The goal is to structure the fund to accommodate needs in phases.

How can I keep up with the fund’s status?

The community can keep track of contributions received and distributions made, on the following websites/webpages and their accompanying social media accounts and

Seeking Support FAQ

I am an individual who needs support. Where should I go?

Individuals and families in need should connect with the designated agencies to seek assistance. The following agencies have been selected as recipients to help with the initial distribution of funds:

  • Caritas of Waco
  • EOAC
  • Mission Waco
  • Salvation Army

Do I have to work with these groups to get help?

There are a number of organizations in the community working to provide assistance to individuals and families during this time of need. We encourage you to connect with the agency or agencies in which you are most comfortable.

Money from the Community Response Fund however, will only be directed to the aforementioned agencies for this initial phase. United Way and Waco Foundation identified a set of agencies that can quickly receive money from the Community Response Fund and in turn, through their case management support staff and programming, facilitate its’ distribution out to area residents.

Nonprofit FAQ

Can my organization be considered for funding?

The initial group of recipients has been selected.

United Way and Waco Foundation will continue to assess emerging community needs and available funds to initiate a second round of grants, possibly as early as June. Like the first round, the second round of grants will be issue specific. We will notify nonprofits when the second round of grants may be available and qualifying criteria for eligibility and funding.

My nonprofit is also in need of support but does not meet the criteria for becoming a distributor of Community Response funds or a recipient of individual/family support. Where can I look for help?

Local funding organizations are working to understand area need and lend support to fill remaining gaps. We encourage you to connect with each funding agency to learn more about their COVID-19 related funding priorities and application processes.

  • Cooper Foundation
  • Rapoport Foundation
  • United Way of Waco-McLennan County
  • Waco Foundation 

How often can organizations apply?
In an effort to ensure varied access to funds, repeat funding will be limited during the initial distribution of funds. Consideration for future supports will be considered based on fund size and community need.

Donor FAQ

How much of my gift will go back into the community?

100% of your gift will go directly to individuals and families. Waco Foundation, United Way and the partner agency will not withhold any fees for administrative purposes.

How I Can I Help?

You may make a donation to the Community Response Fund. If you are interested in providing support to a specific service agency you may consider a gift directly to the nonprofit.

Where do I go to make a gift?

Those interested in giving to the fund may give online at

How can I keep up with the fund’s status? 

The community can keep track of contributions received and distributions made, on the following websites/webpages and their accompanying social media accounts: and

For more information, contact:
Natalie Kelinske, Director of Communications & Donor Services, Waco Foundation:, 254-754-3404