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July 30, 2020
This paid piece is sponsored by the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.
In an average year, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation awards roughly 50 grants to local nonprofits through its Community Fund, an endowment supported by unrestricted gifts.
That’s in an average year. But the year 2020? Well, so far, we know it’s anything but average.
Thanks to support from visionary donors, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation was able to award more than 30 emergency grants to front-line nonprofits impacted by COVID-19, providing critical support when our community needed it the most.
These are some of the community’s hardest-hit, front-line nonprofits that are playing a critical role as the Sioux Falls area begins rebuilding sectors of its economy ruptured by the coronavirus pandemic.
As the effects of COVID-19 began unfolding throughout the Sioux Falls community, the Community Foundation made the decision to pivot from its traditional grant making to focus solely on emergency needs related to the pandemic.
The Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Grants were designed to provide critical financial relief to community-based nonprofits that have seen an extraordinary increase in the demand for services or who need emergency operating support — supporting needs for everything from emergency services for victims of family violence and care for school-age kids to emergency meals for seniors and iPads to connect disabled adults in residential care centers with their families.
Volunteers from Feeding South Dakota load food into a car during an Emergency Food Distribution in Sioux Falls earlier this summer. Feeding South Dakota is one of more than 30 local nonprofits who are recipients of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Grants. Photo courtesy of Feeding South Dakota.
While the pandemic has impacted nearly every sector of society, nonprofits have been hit especially hard, Foundation leaders said.
“Since the start of the pandemic, nonprofits have stepped up in unparalleled ways to help our neighbors in need. As our community works to move forward, we know that many nonprofits will continue to face challenges as they adapt to new and changing demands for their services,” said Patrick Gale, vice president for community investment.
Local kids practice the art of gardening earlier this summer through EmBe’s daycare program. Like all local nonprofits, area daycares are working to adapt following the onset of the pandemic. EmBe is one of more than 30 local nonprofits who are recipients of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Grants. Photo courtesy of EmBe.
The COVID-19 Response Grants are made possible thanks to donors who have made unrestricted gifts to the Community Fund, the Foundation’s most visionary endowment.
By giving to the Community Fund, donors entrust the Foundation to award grants to community-based nonprofits who are working to address emerging, changing and pressing needs throughout the area — donors such as Steve and Kris Egger, whose endowment held at the Foundation provides unrestricted support for the Community Fund.
For the Eggers, the decision to provide unrestricted support comes from their own desire to give back, as well as their trust in the Foundation’s knowledge and understanding of the community’s needs.
“My father believed in giving back, and he instilled that in me. I was reviewing his checkbook when he passed away at age 91. Other than an occasional check to a utility or two, line after line in his checkbook ledger were donations to local organizations,” Steve Egger said.
“Over the years, I’ve become more and more impressed with the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation — how it operates and the strong leadership of its board and staff. I know the Foundation will direct funds to where they are needed the most.”
The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Grants were made possible thanks to donors who have made unrestricted gifts to the Community Fund, the Foundation’s most visionary endowment. Photo by Emily Spartz Weerheim.
When Walt and Martha Carlson created their legacy fund at the Foundation, they chose to designate a portion of their endowment for the Community Fund, ensuring future support for the Foundation’s grant-making initiatives.
After serving on the Foundation’s grants committee as well as its board of directors, Martha Carlson developed a greater understanding of the needs that exist throughout the Sioux Falls area, she said. She also witnessed how the Foundation works to address those needs.
“I once heard Jerry Sweetman say, ‘If you live here, you give here,’ ” Carlson said. “That hit home for me. Over the years, I developed such trust in the Foundation because it truly does have a pulse on what the needs and opportunities are throughout Sioux Falls,” she said. “As a donor, I could see that dollars go so much further when you figure out where the greatest needs are. That led us to want to leave our family legacy gifts to the Foundation, so we know one day those funds will do ‘good, forever’ as the motto goes.”
Donors like the Eggers and the Carlsons and so many others who offer their support through unrestricted giving have enabled the Foundation to adapt and respond to the community’s changing needs, Gale said.
“We are beyond grateful to the thousands of individuals and families who choose to invest in and give back to our community, and we are humbled by those who believe in the mission of the Foundation and entrust us to maximize and amplify the impact of their charitable donations through unrestricted giving,” he said.
Nonprofits have been hit especially hard during the pandemic — while their services are historically critical. Here’s how one fund is helping fill the gap.