COVID-19 Response Fund – Phase 3 Criteria



Through the first two phases of the COVID-19 Response Fund, we have supported community-based organizations (CBOs) with deep roots and relationships among workers and families most impacted by the pandemic, especially Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and undocumented individuals. We have prioritized these communities because while everyone has been impacted by the pandemic, not all have felt those impacts equally. Black, Indigenous and people of color have been the hardest hit by this virus and are disproportionately feeling the impacts. Black residents represent 6.4% of the population in King County and 12.8% of COVID cases. Similarly, Latinx residents are 10% of the population, 27.3% of the cases while Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander residents are 0.8% of the population and 2.5% of the cases. The disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 are also playing out economically. Roughly, 95% of Black-owned businesses were left out of the federal Paycheck Protection Program and the number of Black-owned businesses nationwide has decreased 41% since February, as compared to 17% of white-owned businesses.

As the impact of the COVID-19 continued to unfold, the Response Fund has evolved to meet the changing conditions on the ground. Nine months into the pandemic, the community-based organizations best positioned to support those most impacted face an immense strain on their resources. These invaluable organizations are navigating increased need for services, working longer hours, and being asked to do more with less funding. To help address these compounding challenges, Phase 3 of the Response Fund will provide general operating support resources to sustain and strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations addressing a broad set of COVID-19 related needs within Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

While many organizations are mobilizing to provide additional support, CBOs deeply rooted in the target populations are best positioned to understand and address the unique needs of their communities. These CBOs are often overlooked in traditional funding processes and are overwhelmed by demand for their support. To continue to support these CBOs, the COVID-19 Response Fund will accept requests for additional funding from Phase 2 grantees while also opening an application for organizations serving Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities that were not funded in Phase 2. 

  • Organizations that were funded individually through any of the Phase 2 programs (Emergency Financial Assistance, Mental and Behavioral Health, and Childcare) are eligible to request an additional $25,000 in general operating support.
  • Coalitions that were funded in Phase 2 are also eligible to request additional funding based on a percentage of their previous award amount.
  • Organizations addressing COVID-19 related impacts in BIPOC communities that were not funded in Phase 2 can apply for $25,000 in general operating support.

Descriptions of the priorities and criteria for Phase 3 of COVID-19 Response Fund are listed below.


Through Phase 3 of the COVID-19 Response Fund, we will provide $10,000,000 in grants to CBOs that build upon their relationships with workers and families in disproportionately impacted communities. These organizations are ensuring individuals and families have access to a variety of essential services such as food, housing, childcare, and mental health.

Past grantees requesting additional fund and new grants are prioritizing funding for the following target populations experiencing disproportionate need:

  • People who will be missed by public funding opportunities, including undocumented immigrants and refugees
  • People who are essential workers without health supports, childcare, and other necessary services
  • People of color who are experiencing disparate health impacts

We encourage applications from groups led by and serving these populations.

The Phase 3 of the COVID-19 Response Fund is giving special consideration for funding to:

  • Smaller nonprofits and grassroots organizations
  • Organizations who have received limited or no other COVID funding

For additional questions, please contact


  1. Approach: The Phase 3 of the COVID-19 Response Fund will deploy resources to CBOs addressing the urgent needs of disproportionately impacted communities.
    • Grants will be general operating support, but will target organizations addressing COVID-19 related needs through direst support, financial assistance, advocacy or other approaches.
    • Grantees will prioritize approaches that are tailored to the specific cultural, historic, and language needs of the disproportionately impacted target population.
  2. Target Population: Impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are likely to overwhelmingly affect communities already facing health and economic disparities, which will perpetuate the historic inequities that persist in our community.
    • Work of the organization is focused on impacted and/or historically marginalized communities in our region likely to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, such as:
      • People who will be missed by public funding opportunities, including undocumented immigrants and refugees 
      • People who are essential workers without health supports, childcare, and other necessary services
      • People of color who are experiencing disparate health impacts
  3. Community Trust and Relationship: We will provide grants that leverage relationships with community, trusted leaders, and providers in disproportionately impacted communities, such as the following:
    • Organization is community-based and led by people representing the target populations or other disproportionately impacted communities.
    • Organization has a demonstrated track record and level of trust working with the target population.
    • Disproportionately impacted communities are turning to the organization for COVID-19 related supports and services.
    • Grants to new organizations will be limited to organizations led by and serving BIPOC communities.
  4. Experience and Readiness: To combat the urgent needs of this crisis, we seek to support organizations able to deploy resources quickly to meet community need, such as the following:
    • Organization currently providing COVID-19 support or relief to BIPOC communities.
    • Organization has expertise in addressing the immediate needs of the target population and staff/volunteers/board are representative of the communities they are working with.
    • Organization’s mission and existing activities are related to the target population and their emerging needs in this time of crisis.


  • All recipients must have 501(c)3, nonprofit status or have a fiscal sponsor that qualifies as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.
  • All recipients must be based within the state of Washington and doing work in King County.
  • Organizations that are led by and for the community in which the proposed work takes place.
  • Organizations that center racial and economic equity in their work and approach.
  • Organizations with strong relationships and trust in the community.


Grants will be one-time, general operating investments. Award for individual organizations will be $25,000. Coalition are eligible to be refunded at an amount relative to their previous grant.


Seattle Foundation will administer the grants on behalf of the COVID-19 Response Fund. The Fund will work in close collaboration with the COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Group to ensure that both the scope of the Fund and the grants awarded meet the criteria and support communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.


  • The portal to apply for funding or request additional funding will be posted on Dec 4.
  • Friday, December 18 – Final day to submit a request for additional fund for past grantees.
  • Friday, Jan 8th – Deadline for applications for new grantees.
  • Seattle Foundation staff will review grant applications and work with a sub-group of the COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Group to identify potential grant recipients aligned with the criteria.
  • The proposed docket of grant recipients will be reviewed by the COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Group to identify potential gaps and ensure consistency with the Fund principles, priorities and criteria. Their feedback on the overall docket will inform the final recommendations.

For organizations that were not awarded a grant in Phase 2 of the Response Fund, please click this link to apply. If you received funding in Phase 2 and would like to request additional resources, please email Aaron Robertson at to access the application portal.