GAR will update this page periodically. Scroll down for frequently asked questions. Please continue to check back.

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Updates From GAR Foundation

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Is GAR accepting requests for emergency relief grants?

GAR is not accepting requests for emergency grants at this time. We know that many of our grantees have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. For that reason, GAR awarded unsolicited awards to categories of organizations that have been longtime grantees of the Foundation and have been immediately impacted by the pandemic either through increased demand such as frontline basic needs organizations, or decreased revenue such as performing arts and cultural organizations. This funding follows GAR’s initial $150,000 emergency response grant to the Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund, which is focused on critical basic needs like food, shelter, and medical care and supplies for our community’s most vulnerable people.

Will GAR Foundation remove restrictions to existing grants?

The majority of grants GAR makes are for general operating. As such, there are not many restrictions that we can remove to support organizations at this time.

That said, if you are an organization that has a restricted grant from GAR (such as a project-specific grant), you may reach out to your program officer and request that we consider removing restrictions. There are some cases where changing the grant terms is not the best course of action, but there are others in which we can accommodate a change.

If you want to ask about a change in grant terms, but you’re not sure who your program officer is, out to Rob Lehr, rlehr@garfdn.org and he can help to direct you.

Who should I contact at GAR Foundation if plans and events related to my existing grant have been impacted by the pandemic?

We understand that many organizations must postpone or adjust programmatic plans. When you are able, please notify your program officer with any major modifications or updates. Not sure who your program officer is? Contact Rob Lehr at rlehr@garfdn.org and he will direct you.

I have a Grantee Outcomes Report due on April 15, 2020. Can I get an extension?

We are extending the Grantee Outcome Reports deadline from April 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. If you would like to submit your report by April 15, you can certainly still do so. If you have questions about your Grantee Outcomes Report, please reach out to our Grants & Evaluation Associate, Jessica Cherok, jcherok@garfdn.org.

How should my nonprofit communicate with donors and stakeholders at this time?

We encourage you to be transparent and to communicate directly with donors, volunteers, clients, and anyone else that may be impacted by your work. This blog from Hennes Communications is a great resource for crisis communications.

Has the pandemic impacted GAR’s major initiatives such as Essential Experiences, STARS, and Elevate Akron?

The Foundation’s Systemic Solutions initiatives occur in collaboration with community partners. Due to the current pandemic and to protect the health of those involved, Essential Experiences, a partnership with Akron Public Schools and six host providers, has been paused for the duration of the school year. These experiential field studies will continue in the fall.

The STARS program has also been paused as childcare centers respond to the official Stay at Home Order. We continue to work closely with the Early Childhood Resource Center and update our website with resources for early childhood centers.

The Elevate Greater Akron partners have been working collaboratively to connect businesses and employees with the most current information and resources related to the COVID-19 crisis. Some other elements of Elevate Greater Akron work are on hold given the stay-at-home order.

Will GAR adjust upcoming application deadlines?

At this time, we have not adjusted upcoming application deadlines. Please keep an eye on our website and future e-mails from us for updates. However, we have paused our Letter of Inquiry process and will not be accepting requests for new projects or programs at this time as we evaluate where funding is needed most.

My nonprofit requires immediate financial assistance. Where can we go for help?

Akron Community Foundation has established the Community Response Fund to help address emergency needs that arise in Summit and Medina counties related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Organizations can apply to that fund for grants of $5,000 or less to help offset the impact of COVID-19.

We also encourage you to visit the Candid COVID-19 page for a list of national emergency funding opportunities.

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