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Helena Area Emergency Fund for COVID-19 created to help nonprofits

Posted at 5:26 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 20:10:13-04

HELENA — Many nonprofits in the greater Helena area are feeling financial stress right now due to COVID-19.

The United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area (UWLCA) and the Helena Area Community Foundation (HACF) have partnered to provide support to those organizations.

The Helena Area Emergency Fund for COVID-19 is designed to quickly provide grant resources to nonprofits responding to COVID-19, all in one place.

“We don’t want to be competing against anybody for fundraising efforts,” explained Emily McVey, UWLCA executive director. “Making sure this was a common fundraiser was the best way to go, that way we were funding people quickly that needed it the most.”

The fund opened up grant applications last week and has already seen a big need from organizations. Right now, getting the technology for telehealth to support clients is a common ask.

HACF Executive Director Emily Flemming says while the fund is currently for immediate need support, she recognizes there will be waves of need in the coming months.

COVID-19 economic stress will last even after everything opens back up and they plan on helping non profits get through it.

“Right now we’re focused on what do people need right this second and getting it out to them,” said Flemming. “But we expect we’re going to have continuing needs. There’s been a huge amount of nonprofit fundraising events that have had to be canceled and that’s going to impact the longevity and sustainability of a lot of nonprofits. Once things start to change we want to make sure we still have our conservation groups and museums.”

In Montana, nonprofits often fill roles and services that are crucial to the community.

More information about the Helena Area Emergency Fund for COVID-19, including how to make a donation, can be found here.