Portage Foundation News

The Portage Foundation Rapid Response Fund

A Rapid Response Fund and grant application has been created to support emerging needs in our community. The Rapid Response Fund will provide much-needed resources to organizations in Portage County affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Learn more below about the Foundation’s response to COVID-19:

About the Rapid Response Fund

The Portage Foundation is responding to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic by creating a Rapid Response Fund. Funds raised will be distributed through a special grant process. Rapid Response Fund grant requests should specifically identify emerging needs in Portage County as related to the pandemic. As donations continue to be secured, grant requests will be considered and funding will be provided to non-profit organizations or public agencies.

The Portage Foundation is not able to award grants directly to individuals from the Rapid Response Fund, it will however, fund community-based organizations that have the experience and history of providing vital services and support to local residents.

Funding Priorities

The Rapid Response Fund will support area nonprofit organizations that are meeting the basic needs of individuals directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is meant as a one-time investment for nonprofits to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities for everyday survival.

Given the dynamic nature of this moment, the Rapid Response Fund will provide grants on a rolling basis to ensure dollars are deployed in the community quickly and responsively. Active fundraising is underway, and to date, the Foundation has raised more than $9,000 in individual gifts.

The Portage Foundation and our family of fundholders recognize the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. To that end, the Portage Foundation’s Board of Directors is actively engaged and committed with 100% of its members making a personal gift to the Fund.

The pandemic is likely to overwhelm communities already facing health and economic disparities, which will perpetuate the inequities that persist in our community. Dollars raised through our Rapid Response Fund will go to those organizations that have a direct impact on those set back by this crisis.

Examples of potential grants include but are not limited to:

  • Critical operational support…
  • Immediate basic needs of vulnerable citizens…
  • Emergency shelter for domestic violence victims…
  • Supplies for health clinics or community-based organizations…
  • Mental health services…
  • Rent and utility assistance…

Grantmaking Process & Distribution

Grant Applications for the Rapid Response Fund will be accepted continuously and will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Applicants can expect an initial response from the Foundation within 2 weeks of submission. Grant requests will be approved, declined, or a request for additional information will be made within that time period.

The Portage Foundation will provide grants to the most impacted organizations. It is our intention to ensure that both the scope of the Rapid Response Fund and the grants awarded are meeting the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

At this time, we are not able to prioritize organizations that have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services.

The review of grant requests will ensure resources reach organizations already facing persistent health and economic disparities. COVID-19 is exacerbating those inequities, which are likely to grow as this crisis unfolds.

To address this challenge, the Portage Foundation will target the urgent health and economic needs of disproportionately impacted organizations by leveraging existing relationships with trusted leaders and providers in affected communities.

Nonprofits who meet the criteria can apply now at: https://portagefoundation.org/rapid-response-fund/

Make a Donation

The Portage Foundation’s Rapid Response Fund is active and positioned to provide much-needed resources to organizations experiencing unexpected financial challenges. Please consider a gift to the Rapid Response Fund today.

  • Make a gift online with your credit or debit card by going to https://portagefoundation.org/rapid-response-fund/
  • Write a check payable to: The Portage Foundation (memo: Rapid Response Fund). Mail checks to Portage Foundation, 138 E. Main Street, Suite 201-C, Kent, Ohio 44240
  • Donate stock by calling the Foundation at: (330) 474-0480

Have Questions?

In an act of social distancing, we are maintaining limited office hours. However, we are committed to providing our donors and the communities we serve with leadership services during this time while we work remotely.

Follow our social media channels (Facebook) for additional updates. If you have questions, please reach me directly at (330) 671-8487.

Lindsey H. Loftus

Executive Director


At the Portage Foundation, we care deeply about the medical professionals, first responders and local businesses working diligently to help those in our communities overcome this crisis. We are also grateful to our donors who support the work of the Foundation and other non-profit organizations during this crisis. Thank you.