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Foundation Deploys $300,000 in COVID-19 Response Fund Grants to 21 DuPage Not-for-Profits in First Round of Aid

Foundation Deploys $300,000 in COVID-19 Response Fund Grants to 21 DuPage Not-for-Profits in First Round of Aid

The DuPage Foundation is thrilled to announce the first round of grant recipients from its COVID-19 Response Fund. Grants totaling $300,000 have been awarded to 21 DuPage County not-for-profits.

“In reviewing the grant applications, the needs are incredible," said Barb Szczepaniak, Foundation Vice President for Programs. "There are so many people whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of this pandemic and our local not-for-profits are doing yeoman’s work to support them. To date we have received 69 applications totaling more than $1.3 million which really reflects the need in our community. The Foundation will continue to do our part by securing financial resources and deploying them to the organizations that are directly assisting our DuPage neighbors.”

COVID-19 Response Fund Grant Recipients, Round 1

Food and Emergency Financial Assistance: $102,500

Mental Health Services: $68,000

Access to Healthcare: $55,000

Housing: $35,000

Technology to Support Virtual Health and Education: $29,500

Childcare for Essential Workers: $10,000

“This emergency funding comes at a critical time,” said Kara Murphy, executive director of DuPage Health Coalition. “The DuPage Foundation’s ability to respond so quickly in this crisis is precisely what makes community foundations so special, a vital link in our local safety net. We will use these funds to help people get the healthcare they need right away.”

The DuPage Health Coalition’s gratitude was echoed by Karen Kuhn, executive director of the College of DuPage Foundation, whose grant will provide assistance to students, most of whom are now unemployed, with education-related costs. “The number of assistance applications I receive goes up every day,” said Kuhn. “Receiving this grant from the Foundation has warmed my heart and given me hope.”

Continued deployment of grants from the Fund will remain flexible to ensure support of current needs as well as those that emerge. Grants will be distributed on a rolling basis as needs and gaps are identified and as additional dollars become available to support awards. DuPage not-for-profits can apply for funding at

The Foundation is also sharing the applications it receives with its donor-advised fund representatives and other area funders, upon request, in an effort to help channel as much support as possible to our area not-for-profits that are addressing this crisis on the front line.

To date the Foundation has raised more than $625,000 for its COVID-19 Response Fund thanks to the support of generous lead partners including the Birck Family of Hinsdale and Naperville, the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, two area private foundations wishing to remain anonymous, and grants from the Gustafson Family Foundation and Snodgrass Family Funds of the DuPage Foundation, along with scores of contributions from other individuals, businesses, and foundations.

However, help is still needed. The Foundation encourages donors to continue giving directly to their favorite charities and, for those who are interested and able, to contribute to our COVID-19 Response Fund to help do a world of good, right here in our own back yard, and be part of a powerful, collaborative response to this crisis for our community.

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