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 partnered together to create the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to provide support to individuals and families in our community.  The fund provided two rounds of grants to local agencies that are working on the front line of the pandemic. Each organization used its existing processes and protocols to distribute funds directly to individuals and families for needs such as food, housing, utilities, prescription assistance and childcare.  

One hundred percent of COVID-19 Community Response Funds supported local individuals and families in need due to circumstances related to the pandemic.  

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund was housed at Waco Foundation and administered through United Way. 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?

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 prescription assistance.

Who is contributing to the fund?

Waco Foundation and United Way originally seeded the fund with $125,000. United Way’s initial contribution came through their corporate partners which includes The Allergan Foundation, L3, Texas Mutual, Truist and Wells Fargo. This second phase of funding was made possible with donations from 1st National Bank of Central Texas, The Allergan Foundation and numerous philanthropic individuals and families within the Greater Waco community. Cumulative giving to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund totaled $220,000.

What is the size of the grants?

Grants have beendetermined 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 in Phase II?

Grants will be distributed to Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children, Caritas of Waco, and Mission Waco early August 2020. 

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 second distribution of funds:

  • Caritas of Waco
  • Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children
  • Mission Waco

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. 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 nonprofit recipients have been selected.

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 

Donor FAQ

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

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

How can I make a donation?

At this time, Phase II will be the final phase of funding from the Community Response Fund. Moving forward, donors will be connected directly with non-profit agencies.

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: unitedwaywaco.org and wacofoundation.org.

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