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$1m challenge goal for ECRR fund surpassed

June 3, 2020 | ECF Press Release

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) announced that it has met the $1M Challenge for the Evanston Community Rapid Response Fund (ECRR) in just under 2 months and well ahead of the Challenge’s December deadline. The Fund, announced in March, has raised over $2.5M to date.

ECF created the ECRR Fund within days of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 crisis arriving in Evanston in order to support vulnerable individuals and organizations in our community.

fund focus

Since March 23, ECF has already invested more than $1.2M back into the community and continues to offer new rounds of grant opportunities. The initial focus of the ECRR Fund has been on providing immediate relief in the community in the areas of housing, food insecurity, education access, basic needs, and lost wages and supporting nonprofit operations.

“The impact of the virus has been staggering, and the challenges here in Evanston are complex. In this initial phase, we have focused on relief. In coming months, as the immediate crisis lessens, we will shift first to recovery, supporting vulnerable individuals and families and nonprofits in getting back on their feet and then on rebuilding,” said Rebecca Cacayuran, Vice President for Community Investment. “This crisis has highlighted once again the inequities in our community and encouraged deep partnerships among nonprofits, business, and government to address those. Our work for Evanston to rebuild as a better community is important, and we will continue to need support from our generous neighbors.” 

near term efforts

In the near term, the ECRR Fund will continue to be applied to support basic needs and operating grants for nonprofits. Additionally, ECF is working with a variety of partners to create collective and enduring initiatives to improve communication and access to services for individuals and nonprofits. For example, the recently launched Evanston Care Network, a collaboration among Evanston Public Library, the City of Evanston 911, and ECF, is an online platform that helps connect people to the services and support they need. A new partner in the effort, Amita Health/St. Francis will be supporting a 24-hour crisis line. 

ECF remains informed about community needs during this specific time through a myriad of task forces and ad hoc committees, ranging from food insecurity to early childhood to immigrant and mixed status communities.  The comprehensive list of ways the Fund is addressing the needs of the community is updated as funds are allocated. 

President and CEO Monique B. Jones said, “The outpouring of support from the community astounds me. Every dollar counts as Evanston looks to release restrictions on interacting with each other. We anticipate remaining in the Relieve phase of our response and want to continue to be nimble and swift with grantmaking. We’ll work together to gather what we have learned in the crisis and work to rebuild a more equitable community for our future.”

about the foundation

Founded in 1986, the Evanston Community Foundation helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, equitable and inclusive Evanston, where every member of our community can thrive. Through grants, training, and making connections, we enable Evanston nonprofits and community organizations to deliver their mission more effectively. We leverage the generosity of our donors, so their charitable giving can have the greatest impact on our community. We are invested in Evanston now, forever and for everyone.