Menomonie, Wisconsin – March 21, 2020 — United Way of Dunn County and the Community Foundation of Dunn County are partnering in response to the impact of Covid-19 on nonprofits and the community we all serve. Although we may both have Dunn in our names, this includes our southern neighbors of Pepin County.

The United Way Disaster Relief Fund

The United Way activated it’s Disaster Relief Fund at the Community Foundation to respond directly and immediately to those nonprofits on the front lines of this emergency. Nonprofits or other community organizations engaging in immediate basic needs relief and need financial support now can email Jennifer Thatcher, Executive Director of the United Way of Dunn County, at jthatcher@uwaydunn.org.

In order to move resources quickly and not further burden these nonprofit organizations there will not be a formal application process. “We request organizations be cognizant of the fact this is for those responding to the immediate basic needs of our families, friends and neighbors and who need financial help now to meet the increased societal needs,” explains Jennifer Thatcher, Executive Director of the United Way.

For the most up-to-date information and helpful resources, nonprofits are directed to visit the United Way of Dunn County’s website at http://uwaydunn.org/covid-19-response/ or its Facebook page at facebook.com/unitedwayofdunncounty.

Suggestions to Donors during this Unprecedented Emergency

It is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations who’ve benefited from local donations in the past, as well as those who have been forced to cancel annual fundraising events and/or depend heavily on public gatherings. The United Way and the Community Foundation would like to reinforce the message that community members should continue their regular support of these organizations, along with those that need additional help at this critical time.

Donors should visit the web pages and social media accounts of the organizations they care about to learn
about their needs and donate directly to them at this time.

The United Way and the Community Foundation will share local nonprofit fundraising efforts on social media
so that we can help nonprofits reach the widest audience possible.

Community members who want to help but do not know-how, can direct donations to the United Way’s Disaster Fund at the Community Foundation of Dunn County, with the assurance it will go immediately to assist organizations engaging in immediate basic needs relief as identified by the United Way.

The Community Foundation and United Way is waiving all credit card and administrative fees for this fund. Visit www.cfdunncounty.org to learn about all the different ways to give, including donating online, utilizing IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions or making stock transfers.

Donors with the means to make a significant investment and who are seeking a coordinated effort to address short-term needs and longer-term recovery across these communities, please contact Georgina Tegart, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Dunn County at gtegart@cfdunncounty.org or 715-232-8019 for further discussion.

What comes next?

United Way and the Community Foundation recognize that many organizations have services and programs they are in the process of developing, innovating and deploying to respond to the crisis and that they may need future financial support. Many organizations have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or are being strained by increased demand for services but are not yet at a crisis point.

In addition, both organizations are aware that many nonprofits provide services and programs that are core to our identity as a community will also be in need of financial support.

Georgina Tegart, Executive Director explains, “They are suffering and need our help too. Where would we be without the arts, without taking care of animals in need, without a mechanism to help our schools or other organizations that inspire and lift up our children? The nonprofits that are part of the fabric of our lives are not immune from the effects of the crisis.”

Many United Ways and Community Foundations are coming together during this emergency to establish COVID-19 Community Response Funds. These funds support local nonprofit and other community organizations engaging in immediate basic needs relief and subsequently offer a short-term response to a broader group of nonprofits and assist with longer-term recovery in counties impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Jennifer Thatcher feels a cohesive and collaborative response makes sense during a pandemic. She explains “That is why we are providing immediate relief today, while planning and preparing for a long term response.” Georgina Tegart adds “There are many models being developed around our State and nation. There is no right or wrong way, rather we want to find the best model that will work in our local community right here in Dunn and Pepin Counties.”

Both organizations are asking for input from nonprofits as they prepare a broader response. They are asking nonprofit leaders in Pepin and Dunn Counties to take the time to respond to a quick survey they have developed. The survey should take less than ten minutes and can be found here: https://forms.gle/zA3iaBwxhtdrPxXv9

In addition, Nonprofit leaders are asked to consider signing up for one of their listening sessions. They are offering various days and times to accommodate various schedules and are limiting attendance within each session for a robust discussion. Visit www.cfdunncounty.org to register for a listening session.

In Closing

Both Jennifer Thatcher and Georgina Tegart want their community and nonprofit partners to know that crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience and that we can do both.

About the Community Foundation of Dunn County

The Community Foundation of Dunn County (formerly Greater Menomonie Area Community Foundation) was established in 1995 by a group of concerned citizens that saw a need for a community of donors to enhance the quality of life in the Dunn County Area. We work to improve our community and solve problems, by identifying situations in need of community attention, engaging key stakeholders together to work collaboratively toward solutions on tough issues and longstanding community problems, by making key connections, starting meaningful dialogues, and mobilizing resources and ideas for real and lasting results in Dunn County. We are the local leader in nonprofit advocacy, education, information and networking. Visit cfdunncounty.org.

About United Way of Dunn County

United Way of Dunn County has been working to make a difference in Dunn County since 1965. By focusing on impact in the areas of health, education and financial stability, United Way mobilizes the caring power of the community to create sustainable change. United Way offers three pillar opportunities for the community to get involved: giving financial resources for impact investments, advocating for important key issues in our area and volunteering time and talents to enrich lives. By working together toward a common goal, we are building a stronger community together.

 

Press Contacts

Jennifer Thatcher

Executive Director

United Way of Dunn County

715-235-3800

jthatcher@uwaydunn.org

Georgina Tegart

Executive Director

The Community Foundation of Dunn County

715-232-8019

gtegart@cfdunncounty.org