Local community members are encouraged to donate from home to relief efforts

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County recently opened its Disaster Support Fund in response to the World Health Organization declaring the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a Global Health Emergency. With the support of generous community members and donors, The Community Foundation is excited to announce that an initial $30,000 in Rapid Response Grants have been awarded to local organizations providing direct support for vulnerable communities in San Luis Obispo County affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Specific organizations and efforts receiving Rapid Response Grants include: El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO), RISESLO Food BankStand Strong and 5 Cities Homeless Coalition to support the homeless, victims and families of domestic abuse and low-income community members that are food insecure throughout San Luis Obispo County. The Community Foundation will continue to award Rapid Response Grants to local organizations over the coming months as donors and the local community contribute to the Disaster Support Fund.

The Disaster Support Fund, operated by The Community Foundation, is a fund that provides flexible resources to organizations during a natural disaster. With the recent developments with the COVID-19 outbreak, this fund was opened to support those working with impacted and vulnerable communities, as well as the economic consequences of the outbreak, specifically with at-risk community members. In an effort to maximize the impact of donations, the Foundation is waiving all administrative fees associated with the fund. This provides community members a safe and flexible giving opportunity, while sheltering-in-place.


“In these challenging times, we are uplifted by the quick action on the part of our donors through giving to the Disaster Support Fund,” shared Foundation CEO Heidi McPherson. “We are fortunate to live in a community where people endeavor to support one another in times of need and their generosity is inspiring. The Foundation is already well connected to the nonprofits supporting those in need so we can serve as an important source for relief funding.”

The Community Foundation will continue to award Rapid Response Grants to local nonprofits that serve our most vulnerable populations with basic needs (food, shelter, transportation, etc.) and have a broad reach in serving our community. Grants will be for general operating support and are expected to range between $5,000 to $20,000 and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis or until funding is depleted. All gifts to the Disaster Support Fund are vital during this time, no matter the size, and can be made at www.cfsloco.org. The grant application for nonprofits will be available on the Foundation website on Monday, April 6th.

For additional information on donating to the Disaster Relief Fund or how to work with The Community Foundation, contact Cassandra Wagner, The Community Foundation’s Director of Grants and Programs, at Cassandra@cfsloco.org or 805-543-2323.