Coalition of Charitable, Business and Government Partners Forge Alliance to Establish Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund, Set $10M Goal

Hall Family Foundation and Sunderland Foundation partner on $5M Challenge Grant; Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, United Way of Greater Kansas City, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and LISC Greater Kansas City Unite to Respond to Pandemic Critical Needs



Kansas City, MO:   A group of foundations, corporations, organizations and individuals has joined together to respond to the urgent needs of Greater Kansas Citians in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The establishment of the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund will focus on urgent health and human service needs, where the community needs are highest.  The Fund’s coordinating organizations, led by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, United Way of Greater Kansas City, LISC Greater Kansas City (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and MARC (Mid-America Regional Council) have set an initial goal of $10M, hoping to exceed that as community needs require. Fund leaders say they may expand their scope as community needs are met, even as new needs surface.

Additionally, the Hall Family Foundation and the Sunderland Foundation have partnered on a challenge grant to match donations to the Fund up to $5 million. The coordinating organizations hope the potential grant will be a catalyst for the community to give, and strongly encourage everyone who has the means to donate to the Fund.

Founding Funders include: Black & Veatch, Bukaty Companies, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, George K. Baum Family Foundation, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation,

H & R Block Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, Health Forward Foundation, JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Southern, Mallouk Family Foundation, Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, Mazuma Credit Union, Menorah Heritage Foundation, Mike and Linda Lyon, Patterson Family Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation, Richard and Annette Bloch Family Foundation, Sherman Family Foundation, Sosland Foundation of Kansas City, Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, Sunderland Foundation, UMB Bank, United Way of Greater Kansas City, and William T. Kemper Foundation.

“As we work to meet the challenge grant, generous givers throughout the Kansas City region will play a vital role in addressing unprecedented needs in our community,” explained Debbie Wilkerson, President & CEO, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, which will host the Fund.  “The Community Foundation is prepared to lead the philanthropic response alongside United Way of Greater Kansas City,” she continued, “and asks donors of all levels to give what they can to help our community’s most vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19.”  Wilkerson noted the Foundation will support quick deployment of grants awarded.

Geographic Area, Eligibility and Funding Use

The fund will support relief efforts in the Greater Kansas City area, including Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri; and Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Miami counties in Kansas.  Grants will be made to 501(c)(3) public charities and public organizations.   

The Fund expects to deploy an initial round of grants as soon as possible to support operations and services with a focus on critical needs, including, but not limited to 1) Housing support (rent, mortgage, utilities), 2) Food insecurity, 3) Access to health care, and 4) Other critical human services. It will support charitable organizations to both maintain their operations and services and increase their capacity to serve those impacted by COVID-19, including addressing the economic impacts on individuals and their families due to job interruption and reduction in income and benefits.

“We all are fortunate to live in a community that has consistently proven its generosity to those in need,” said United Way of Greater Kansas City President & CEO Brent Stewart.  “At United Way of Greater Kansas City, we call this ‘Kansas City taking care of its own.’ That need for caring for our people – our community – has never been more acute than as a result of this pandemic. We reach out to all in this community to give so that those in need and affected by COVID-19 are provided for during this very difficult time.”

Advisory Board to Oversee Fund

A diverse, 15-member Advisory Board comprised of foundation and civic leaders and community representatives will be established to oversee the Fund and quickly approve grants. In the spirit of promoting trust, accountability and transparency, the Advisory Board will release reports to both donors and to the community as its work goes forward.

“Our region is pulling together in an extraordinary way,” explained David Warm, MARC Executive Director. “This fund is a powerful tool to combine philanthropic generosity, the capacity of vital community service providers and the goodwill of the public at large to help everyone in Kansas City endure this challenge.”        

During these extraordinary times, our community’s generosity and tendency for the greater good -- to assist those most in need -- has never been more evident,“ said Geoff Jolley, Executive Director of LISC Greater Kansas City.  “LISC is proud to partner with our fellow coordinating organizations to promote equity and inclusion in our community’s response and recovery efforts. We know that our most vulnerable populations will be disproportionately impacted by this current health crisis and will benefit by this intentional and coordinated response.”

Questions? Who to Contact:

Institutional Funders Who Want to Participate:
Denise St. Omer, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

Individuals Who Want to Donate:  Donate here

Nonprofits in Need:
Complete this form

Individuals in Need: Contact United Way 211 by dialing 211 to reach trained, caring professionals seven days a week, 24 hours a day, or visit



About the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation helps donors make the world a better place. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in Greater Kansas City by increasing charitable giving, educating and connecting donors to community needs they care about, and leading on critical community issues.

About United Way of Greater Kansas City

United Way of Greater Kansas City has played a unique leading role in the philanthropic community for more than 100 years. United Way’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing Greater Kansas City’s collective generosity for the greatest good. To achieve that goal, United Way uses its experience and expertise to assemble the most promising and results-driven service agencies and programs and the most generous volunteers and donors to provide the farthest-reaching network of support for those in need in the greater Kansas City area. We are Kansas City taking care of its own.

About the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)  

Mid-America Regional Council serves as the nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region. Governed by a board of 33 local elected officials, MARC provides a forum for the region to work together to advance social, economic and environmental progress throughout the region.

About LISC Greater Kansas City (Local Initiatives Support Corporation)

One of our country’s oldest and largest community development financial institutions, LISC works together with residents and partners to forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity – great places to live, work, visit, do business, and raise families. LISC Greater Kansas City supports projects on the ground throughout our entire region that grow community pride and revitalize neighborhoods into healthy, sustainable communities.  By responding to the visions of neighborhood partners, LISC focuses on addressing affordable housing, financial stability, and economic development through a lens of racial equity.