The Princeton Area Community Foundation is finalizing its second phase of COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund grantmaking to continue to support the immediate needs of the community and to provide funding to help make nonprofits stronger.

The Community Foundation created the COVID-19 Fund in March in response to the pandemic. In the first round of funding, over $1 million was awarded to more than 50 nonprofits, working to feed families, prevent evictions and provide mental health and social services to those in need in our region. Nonprofits that received Phase 1 funding were also able to apply for Phase II grants.

The COVID-19 Fund received generous support from the late Betty Wold Johnson, George H. and Estelle M. Sands Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Bunbury Fund, The Burke Foundation, Princeton University, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Fund for Women and Girls, NJM Insurance Group, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Janssen, Billtrust, Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Szaferman Lakind, Glenmede, Bryn Mawr Trust, Investors Foundation, and more than 300 individual donors.

Phase II grants will continue to support immediate community needs, such as food, rental assistance and social services. Grants will also be awarded to nonprofits that seek to strengthen operations and service delivery, and to build their capacity.

In Phase II, several grantmaking programs at the Community Foundation will collaborate to supplement the COVID-19 Fund. Applicants can submit a request through one entry point by answering an eligibility quiz. We believe this streamlined process will benefit nonprofits as they work to help our communities during this unprecedented crisis. Phase II funding will be awarded through a collaboration of:

  • the Bunbury Fund;
  • the Community Impact Grants/The Burke Foundation Legacy Grants;
  • the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund; and
  • the Fund for Women and Girls

The application period ended on Nov. 30, and members of our evaluation team are finalizing their review of applications. Grants have been awarded on a rolling-basis over a three-month period in three categories:

  • The Community Foundation will fund small nonprofits, with budgets of less than $50,000 through Neighborhood Needs Grants. These grants will support work in specific neighborhoods of low-income or vulnerable populations.
  • Nonprofits can also apply for Continuing Relief & Unrestricted Operating Support for basic needs stemming from the pandemic or in support of operations. Basic needs grants will be made to support relief efforts, similar to Phase 1, including food insecurity and rental assistance. Nonprofits may also apply for unrestricted operating support for new or existing programs that respond to important community needs.
  • Organizational Capacity-building grants will focus on work aligned with nonprofit recovery and rebuilding. These projects will address new challenges to how nonprofits operate facing decreased revenues, reduced staffing, the need for more collaboration, and new demands on leadership.  For more information about these grants, review the guidance on our Bunbury Fund page.

More detailed information about each of the grants, including eligibility requirements, are available in the Phase II grant guidelines here.

The Community Foundation held a virtual Grant Information Session for nonprofits to review grant guidelines and answer questions. If you missed it, click here to watch the video.

A third phase of funding is expected to be launched soon to focus on long-term resiliency.

The Community Foundation is now hosting a statewide arts fund. Learn more by clicking on the box below.


The Community Foundation welcomes the opportunity to support the needs of the nonprofit community during these challenging times.  The following summary addresses questions that have been frequently asked by community partners considering grant requests for this phase of funding.

We respectfully ask that you read through this information thoroughly before calling Community Foundation staff with your questions.  We hope that answers in this FAQ, in conjunction with our detailed guidelines, will provide you with sufficient information to present an informed and complete application.  This will help us keep our attention focused on getting funds to work in the community as quickly as possible.

General FAQs

Applications must be completed via our online grants portal.  If you have not applied for a grant in the past, you must create a new account following instructions in the portal.  If you are a returning grantee, please log in to the portal utilizing the username and password you created.  If you forgot your password, please click “forgot password” and the system will cue steps for creating a new password.

Once you are in the grants portal, you will be asked to complete an eligibility quiz.  Your responses to the quiz will lead to information about the grant category(s) for which you may be eligible to apply.  After completing the ELIGIBILITY QUIZ, you must click “SUBMIT” in order to move through the application process.  Likewise, when completing your application(s) you must “SUBMIT” your application.  Once your application is completely submitted you should receive an email confirming receipt.

Grants will not be awarded to replace fundraising dollars, but we will consider applications that seek funding to maintain operations.

Neighborhood Needs grant awards will be capped at $5,000.

There is no maximum for grants that will be awarded in the Continuing Relief and Unrestricted Operating Support category, but we ask that you be reasonable in the amount that your request.

The maximum request for Capacity Building grants is $100,000, but we want to help as many nonprofits as possible, so please be discerning about the amount you request.

When you begin your application, you will start with an eligibility quiz. The results of that quiz will indicate the grants for which your nonprofit is eligible.

Nonprofits with operating revenues of less than $50,000 may only apply for Neighborhood Needs grants.

If quiz results indicate you are eligible for both the Continuing Relief and Unrestricted Operating Support category, and the Capacity Building category, you may apply for both.

We are working to make the application process as seamless and easy as possible. The applications are very similar, and you will be able to copy and paste some of your responses. But there are some additional questions about capacity building that the Bunbury Advisors would like you to answer.

No, we are not requiring that you have or that you submit a strategic plan.

Yes, but you must submit a progress report about your Phase 1 grant.  We want to make the process as easy as possible for you.  After you complete your eligibility quiz, you will be able to begin applying for one or two appropriate categories of funding.  In your application(s), you will encounter a question that asks if your organization received Phase I funding. When you answer yes, it will trigger several other questions for you to answer. It’s that simple.

A more traditional progress report on Phase I activities will be requested soon.  Details for reporting will be emailed directly to Phase I grantees.

Our grants portal will remain open and grants will be awarded on a rolling basis over the next three months.  Our goal is to respond as quickly as possible.  You can expect a response in two to six weeks depending on the category and whether you applied in one or two categories.  We may reach out to request additional information in the process of reviewing your application.

Though we will fund based on funding available, we will be very strategic about awarding grants.  We believe it is much better to receive a thoughtful proposal than one that was assembled quickly.  Take your time to submit a request that reflects your true needs at the time most appropriate for your organization.

For disaster relief, we’ve seen many organizations asking for 3 to 4 months of funding. We ask that you are realistic in your request.

For programmatic funding, we believe a year’s worth of funding is reasonable. We will likely ask for a 6-month progress report.

For Capacity Building grants, the horizon is 6 to 12 months.

The timeline for any grant request should be consistent with your narrative and project plan.

Neighborhood Needs Grants

Nonprofits with operating revenues of less than $50,000 may apply for grants in this category. These grants generally support charitable work in specific neighborhoods with low-income, vulnerable populations.

Continuing Relief and Unrestricted Operating Support

Yes, but you must have a plan that shows how you plan to engage the people you are serving. We want to hear about your strategies for reaching your target audience and how you will know that your outreach efforts were successful. You should be prepared to explain why converting the program to a virtual format will work for the intended audience. Educational programs supporting school-based learning should describe how the programming is in alignment with schools or educational districts serving the population your organization is reaching.

We will consider health interventions that are related to the pandemic and are not eligible for reimbursement from other funding sources, such as Medicare or Medicaid.

We are open to applications for services in other areas.  You should pay particular attention to your statement of need and how that need is impacted by the pandemic.

Yes, but we ask that you make your request strategic, and make a strong case for support.  You should delineate the roles of both organizations, including the role of the lead or coordinating agency and be clear about which will be the fiscal agent.  Be mindful not to be duplicative in your programming request.  For nonprofits considering collaborative activities that may require a second application, you must create a new profile in the grants portal naming your collaborations as:  Lead Agency/partnering entity and utilize the lead agency’s tax identification for this new profile.

Bunbury/Capacity Building

We’re considering immediate projects that will move your nonprofit through recovery to a robust and flourishing future.

The previously announced Bunbury grant application deadline (announced before the pandemic) is no longer applicable. Applications will be considered once a month from September to November, and decisions will be announced at the end of each of those months.

Grants awarded in this phase of funding will be one-time awards. There will be no planning or multi-year Bunbury grants for the remainder of 2020.

Grants will only be awarded in the categories described in the five funding priorities on page 2 of the Bunbury/COVID-19 Phase II grant guidelines.

Final Thoughts

We ask that you keep in touch with us. Contact us when you encounter changes and challenges in your work. Let us know about major developments in your work. We ask that you think of the Community Foundation not just as funders, but as your partners, as we work together to help our communities thrive.