Disaster Recovery Fund

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Cwik.


Elizabeth Cwik
Senior Program Officer

The Disaster Recovery Fund was established following the devastating derecho on August 10, 2020, to address the immediate and long-term recovery needs of the derecho and future disasters. The Community Foundation has been a leader in distributing funds following our area’s most destructive and impactful disaster events. Knowing that recovery is a lengthy and costly process, funds raised by the Community Foundation are granted based on identified funding gaps in recovery needs following the disaster. Disaster response and recovery efforts are always difficult. The Community Foundation has addressed recovery following the historic 2008 flood, the 2016 flood, the 2020 pandemic, and the 2020 derecho, among others.

501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and governmental entities serving Linn County, Iowa.

Current Grant Opportunities

Human Needs Recovery Grants

  • Human Needs Recovery Grants supports unmet human needs resulting from the derecho storm including coordination of assistance to individuals and families as well as direct provision of programs and services related to recovery. Examples include: basic needs (food, shelter, medical, other supplies, etc.), mental health services, legal services, long-term recovery support staff and rebuilding needs. Applicant organizations are encouraged to consider the equity impact of the storm, including communities with fewer resources that were already vulnerable prior to the disaster or those with cultural needs for disaster response.
  • The fund priorities align with the coordination efforts addressed at regular meetings of the Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster and the Derecho Long Term Recovery Committee. Priority is given to organizations that are working cooperatively with other organizations to ensure that assistance helps address needs that were not covered by FEMA individual assistance or other governmental programs.

Applications will be reviewed by a fund committee and scored on the following criteria, with five points possible for each item:

  • Proposal addresses important community needs that are aligned with the fund priorities.
  • Proposal is likely to achieve the desired goals as stated in the application.
  • Organization is connected to a system of care. (This could mean that the organization is participating in the Linn Area Partner Active in Disaster phone calls, is part of the Continuum of Care, or otherwise communicating/cooperating with other organizations providing interrelated services.)
  • Organization has the capacity to complete the proposal as intended.
  • Proposal addresses equity impact.

Maximum Request Amount and Duration of Grant
The derecho storm has created vast need. For that reason, the Community Foundation will typically focus on smaller, targeted grants from the Disaster Recovery Fund. For larger collaborative projects that address unmet needs, email disaster@gcrcf.org for guidance. While there is no maximum request amount assigned to this fund, it may be helpful to review the grants that have been awarded to date here.

Frequency of Application
Organizations may submit applications as needed for projects that meet the above guidelines. If awarded funds are nearly expended and the need continues, an additional application may be submitted.

This fund accepts applications at any time. Applications will be reviewed frequently by the committee.

To apply, please submit a short letter (1-2 pages) explaining the request, including a budget listing the component costs of the request.

How to Submit
Applications should be emailed to disaster@gcrcf.org.

Other Grants from this Fund 

  • System Grants (ongoing)
    • The Community Foundation continues to work with other local funders to identify areas where philanthropy can support systems to help the community recover.
  • Nonprofit Recovery Grants (more information coming soon)
    • Nonprofit Recovery Grants could become available based on available funding. The grants would support the long-term recovery needs from the derecho storm. Funding would include grants to support nonprofit funding gaps crucial to mission fulfillment. Funding guidelines and priorities will be identified following further understanding of nonprofit damage and funding gaps.

Contact Elizabeth Cwik at Elizabeth.cwik@gcrcf.org.

For more information about the Disaster Recovery Fund, click here.

To view a list of grants made from the fund, click here.