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Cottage Grove, Monona non-profits awarded COVID-19 relief grants

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One City, Aldo Leopold, CG Fire

Many Dane County nonprofit organizations that faced financial strain in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic just received some welcome assistance from the county.

Last week, Madison Community Foundation (MCF) and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Dane County COVID Relief Grant recipients.

Grants ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 were awarded to 183 organizations working in the county.

One City Schools and the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, as well as the Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department, were among those 183 non-profits.

The grants help offset the losses and increased expenses these organizations faced because of the pandemic. The program was funded by the county with an allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Many Dane County nonprofits were part of the front line response to the pandemic and served our community in unprecedented ways,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “We are excited to get this funding out the door and into our community. These grants will help local nonprofits recover from the impacts of the pandemic and reinvest in their work. Congratulations to the recipients, and many thanks to Madison Community Foundation for partnering with us on this effort.”

“We saw such a range of organizations apply for grants through this program,” said Tom Linfield, vice president of community impact at MCF. “From providing support to children and youth to working in the arts, offering health and human services or fulfilling basic needs, providing sports and recreation to protecting the environment, these organizations are working to provide opportunities and support for the people of Dane County.”

The economic toll on the nonprofits that applied for grants varied greatly: two-thirds of the groups saw their budgets shrink in 2020, and 34% were forced to furlough staff at some point.

Nearly half of the organizations ended 2020 with deficits up to $2.3 million. And while many of Dane County’s nonprofit organizations were able to receive funding last year through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), nearly a third of these grant recipients did not.

“Many nonprofits were ineligible to receive Paycheck Protection Program resources because they did not have relationships with financial institutions,” said Bob Sorge, president and CEO of MCF. “By prioritizing those organizations with the American Rescue Plan resources, we were able to bridge an important gap and support a wide range of programs and nonprofits.”

Organizations provided information about additional costs incurred in dealing with the pandemic, including safety equipment, technology for virtual programming, and home office costs.

Reviewers also considered deficits, furloughed staff, emergency loans and federal funding in making award decisions. Preference was given to those organizations that had not yet received federal funding.

The complete list of grant recipients can be found at the following link: file:///Users/administrator/Downloads/Dane%20County%20COVID%20Relief%20grant%20announcement-1.pdf

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