COVID-19 Fund Grants

The Worcester Together: Central Mass COVID-19 Fund has been established by the Foundation, the United Way of Central Massachusetts (UWCM), the City of Worcester and a coalition of generous donors to rapidly deploy flexible resources. The Fund aims to support organizations in Worcester County that are working with communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Granting Focus - Phase One: Rapid Response

Grants will be awarded to: 

  • Provide resources for nonprofit organizations that are authentically connected and providing coronavirus related relief to Worcester County’s most vulnerable populations including seniors, children, residents without access to paid sick days, healthcare and gig economy workers, communities of color, immigrants and people with disabilities.
  • Provide operating support for crisis operations that are meeting community needs resulting from COVID-19.

Grants will aim to complement the work of public health officials by expanding local capacity to address the outbreak’s social, health and economic impacts in the short and long term.

Please Note: As this situation is continuously evolving, our granting will follow suit. For now, our focus is on rapid response for those on the “front lines” of the crisis. Over the coming months, we expect there will be a crucial need for funds to aid in the recovery efforts, and our granting will align depending on availability of funds. We will continue to update and evolve this structure and purpose to respond to what we are hearing and learning from our community.


Grant Program Details

  • Grant Size: $5,000 to $50,000
  • At present, the application deadline is ongoing.
  • Organizations will only be eligible for one Phase One: Rapid Response Grant
  • 501(c)(3) organizations and programs with a fiscal sponsor are eligible. 
  • The program will not fund individuals or businesses.

Application Process

To Apply:

Please complete an online application by clicking here to log in or create an account. In your application you will be asked to address: 

  • The needs of your organization
  • The needs of the individuals and groups you serve in relation to the coronavirus pandemic
  • How you will use the funds you are requesting

Organizations who are not current grantees of either GWCF or UWCM will need to submit an operational budget and audited financial statements.

Apply Now

Decision Process

An Oversight Committee has been formed with representatives from GWCF and UWCM to review grant applications in real time. This Committee will guide all decision making and the grant disbursement process.

Our goal is to provide a response within 5 days of receiving a completed application.

Questions?  We're Here to Help.

Below are some frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you're looking for here, you may contact a GWCF Program Officer at

FAQs for Nonprofits:

My organization is interested in resources from the Fund. Are we eligible at this time?

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue and other challenges. Phase one of our granting is focused on deploying resources to nonprofits that are providing coronavirus related relief to Worcester County’s most vulnerable populations including seniors, children, residents without access to paid sick days, healthcare and gig economy workers, communities of color, immigrants and people with disabilities. 

Additional grant opportunities, resources and tools are being compiled daily. Those to explore include:

Please note, only 501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored projects are eligible for grants. If you are a small business, visit the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce for additional resources.

I am an individual who has been affected by COVID-19. Can the Fund help me?

Regrettably, the Fund is not able to award grants to individuals. We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak and more will continue to be affected. We are working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic and social impacts. 

As we begin to award grants to community-based organizations, we will post them on our website, so please check back for a list of organizations that may be able to assist you.

Resources to consider:

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The Worcester Together: Central Mass COVID-19 Fund will prioritize community-based organizations serving Worcester County cities and towns.

We encourage organizations serving the northern part of Worcester County to first inquire with the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts about the availability of funds. 

Our geographic footprint includes: Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Fitchburg, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough, Westminster, Winchendon, Worcester.

When will you share who you fund?

We anticipate making grant decisions within 5 days from the time an application is submitted. We hope to publish the list of grantees, along with short descriptions of the services and support they are providing, on our website on an ongoing basis. We hope that this will help the community navigate available resources.

How will the Fund change over time?

We anticipate the Fund will evolve as our community adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience. 

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