Columbia Emergency Response Fund - How to Apply




Nonprofit organizations in Columbia County working with residents who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. Organizations that have previously received funding and have submitted a final report are eligible to reapply for support.


The Columbia County COVID-19 Response Fund provides flexible resources to nonprofit organizations with experience helping individuals, youth and families stabilize their lives in times of crisis and will help meet the following needs:

  • General operating support for projects and programs impacting the most vulnerable populations in the county
  • Access to food
  • Demand for early child care, especially among health care professionals, first responders and lower-income residents who need to work
  • Mobilizing volunteers to provide services and supports
  • Internet access to ensure students can participate in online instruction
  • Support for the homeless population
  • Increased demand for medical services for uninsured or undocumented individuals
  • Support for residents unable to pay rent due to job loss or cutbacks in hours

Grants are intended to address gaps in services and increase the capacity of organizations to meet needs.


  • Organization must be a 501(c)(3) in Columbia County
  • Organization must be responding to needs pertaining to COVID-19
  • Organizations must adhere to social distancing recommendations of public health agencies
  • Funded projects must begin during summer 2020 and conclude by Sept. 1, 2020


Funds may be requested for up to $15,000


Interested nonprofits may apply by answering the questions below and attaching a PDF with responses in an email to

  • How will the funds address the above eligibility criteria? Please share the primary beneficiaries you will serve.
  • How will the funds be used? Please provide a timeline for project implementation. How are you collaborating with other agencies?
  • How much are you requesting? Please provide a detailed project budget indicating how you propose funds be used.
  • If you expect to receive federal funding for this program, please indicate how a grant from the Columbia County COVID-19 Response Fund will be utilized.


The application process is rolling. Grant amounts will be determined by funding availability and applications will be considered until all funds have been expended.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation will administer grants from the fund in close collaboration with our partners, including the Fund for Columbia County.




What criteria are you using to make your decisions?

Grants will fund organizations that are authentically connected to Columbia County’s most vulnerable residents, including seniors, children, residents without access to paid sick days, health care and gig economy workers, communities of color, immigrants and people with disabilities. Grants will support these organizations' capacity to provide food and address other immediate basic needs caused by closures and cancellations related to COVID-19.

How much funding is available?

In general, we will be making general operating support grants of up to $15,000 in this round of funding. The number of grants will be determined by the funds available and anticipated current and future needs of the nonprofit community.

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

The fund partners understand the COVID-19 pandemic is having—and will continue to have—a significant impact on individuals and families in Columbia County. On behalf of the fund partners, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation will work to move resources as quickly as possible to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local families and residents who are most affected. But unfortunately, we cannot offer direct funds to individuals at this time.

Is there a geographic focus for the fund?

The fund will prioritize funding for organizations that are based in Columbia County. Donors seeking to support organizations outside of that geographic area are encouraged to view Berkshire Taconic's COVID-19 response in Berkshire, northeast Dutchess and north Litchfield counties. Donors may also make direct gifts or reach out to an area's community foundation for assistance in getting resources targeted to that region.