COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund: How to donate, apply for grants, and other frequently asked questions

Coastal Community Foundation serves an essential function in times of need. In the wake of natural disasters or other events with widespread ramifications, demand on nonprofit services tends to soar. And while charitable giving often spikes, too, donors don’t always know which organizations are serving the greatest needs at the time. Coastal Community Foundation helps bridge that gap by quickly setting up a link between donors and the specific causes that need them most. 

That’s why Coastal Community Foundation has activated the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund to stand ready to deploy flexible resources to organizations that are working with communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak and whose work is within our nine-county service area of coastal South CarolinaBeaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper Counties. This effort is supported by regional organizations including Black River United Way, the Chapin Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Social Venture Partners Charleston, Trident United Way, United Way of Horry County and United Way of the Lowcountry, as well as, the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation and Waccamaw Community Foundation.

Our nonprofit partners are often at the front lines when crisis strikes for individuals, families, neighbors and communities, and no doubt they will be stretched in this time of uncertainty. This fund is intended to support those nonprofit operations so that our region can quickly respond to and recover from this public health emergency. Please consider donating today, and see our FAQ’s below for more information.

To view the running list of grant awards so far, head here.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Please review the answers below here to better understand the Fund’s purpose and expected grantmaking scope.

What will the COVID-19 Response Fund support?

The initial goal is to award one-time operating grants, on a rolling basis, to nonprofits whose operations are in support of vulnerable populations, elders, children, health-compromised, and others, that have been stressed by the outbreak.   

I am an individual affected by the COVID-19 situation. Can I apply for assistance from this Fund? 

Unfortunately, no we cannot provide direct assistance to individuals.  We are committed to supporting community-based organizations that are directly supporting local families and residents who are most affected.  If you do not know where to begin, an available resource for referrals is United Way’s 211-Hotline 

How do I know my donations will go to the organizations providing help to those in need? 

Coastal Community Foundation helps deploy resources to nonprofits through an application process, in order to review and understand what supports the community needs. 

How will the Fund shift gears if needed? 

The Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience. 

For Donors

If I am a fundholder at Coastal Community Foundation, how can I donate? 

We encourage you to contribute to the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund or to make a recommendation to support an organization you wish to help.  We urge you to consider supporting general operations, rather than adding a restriction, as it may limit a nonprofit from focusing on its base activities on the immediate need.   

To use a Donor-Advised Fund, submit your grant recommendation to Coastal Community Foundation for the “COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund. 

We encourage you to reach out to a stewardship officer or your relationship manager at any time for questions and assistance: 

What should I do if I wish to contribute to the COVID-19 Response Fund? 

You can make a secure, tax-deductible donation online here..  If you wish to contribute securities or funds by wire, please contact Tess Martin at for instructions. It is our intention to check our USPS mailbox periodically; however, we encourage you to give electronically. If you are a CCF donor advised fund holder and wish to make a gift from your fund, please contact Wanda Willis at

For any additional questions about donations, reach Vice President of Development & Stewardship Melissa Levesque at 

Can I restrict my gift to a certain county or counties?

Yes, as long as they are in our nine-county service area of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper Counties. Please specify which counties you’d like your gift to support in the “comments” field of the payment form.

Can I restrict my gift to a certain organization? 

To ensure that we can coordinate and share resources as quickly as possible, donors may not restrict their grants to an individual grantee. If you have a specific organization you would like to support, we encourage you to give directly to that organization.   

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

No, this Fund is not intended to be the only vehicle to give funds to nonprofits working at the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak. You are encouraged to give directly to organizations you may have supported in the past or nonprofits you know are addressing needs in your community. This fund is another vehicle through which those needs will be addressed.  

Will contributions to the COVID-19 Fund be co-mingled with prior disasters? 

No, funds are not co-mingled, as we segregate and track accordingly. 

Will any funds be held back to maintain a small balance for the future? 

No, we deploy all funds for immediate, short- and long-term efforts related to disaster for which dollars were donated for. 

For nonprofits 

How do I apply?

If your organization is interested in applying for assistance from the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund, please visit the Coastal Community Foundation’s Online Portal. If you have questions, please contact Kristi Wallace at with the subject line “COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund”.

When are you accepting applications? 

Funds are expected to be deployed within the next several weeks.  If your organization is interested in applying for assistance from the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund, please visit the Coastal Community Foundation’s Online Portal. If you have questions, please contact Kristi Wallace at with the subject line “COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.”

What type of requests are you funding?

We are funding requests to meet food insecurity, organizations that provide direct assistance to those they serve, and organizations that have expanded reach to meet the demand for services.

My organization had to shutter all programs and staff is at home. Can we apply for funding to pay bills until we are able to open our doors again?

At this time, with limited resources, we can only provide support for organizations providing direct services.

When will you announce grants? 

We do not know at this time; however, we anticipate that with a rolling basis process, we may begin within the next several weeks.  We will publish the names of grantees and more information on a regular basis, as dollars are deployed. 

Can my organization tell you what we are doing or how we are affected by the epidemic? 

Yes, you can email with the subject line of “COVID-19 Impact”.  We ask that you provide:

  • Organization Name & EIN 
  • Primary Contact Name, Email & Phone 
  • Secondary Contact Name, Email & Phone 
  • Mission Statement 
  • Primary population served and current #’s (e.g., 47 children from Whale Branch Elementary, 42 elderly residents at Sherman House) 
  • Geography served (e.g., Colleton County; Sewee to Santee area of Charleston County) 
  • How the organization is providing for those effected by COVID-19 (e.g, feeding program for children at our local church’s family activity center) 
  • Current primary need (e.g., we have to deliver bagged groceries or other resources to outlying communities that are isolated and transportation costs have sky-rocked).

Who should I contact for other questions about the COVID-19 Response Fund?

Depending on your needs, please contact, with “COVID-19” in the subject line:

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