Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund Established to Rapidly Deploy Resources to Local Nonprofit Organizations Serving Most Vulnerable Residents

Response Fund Led by The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago in Partnership with the City of Chicago

The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago today announced they are establishing the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. In partnership with the City of Chicago, Chicago philanthropy, business leaders, and generous donors, the fund will rapidly deploy resources to local nonprofit organizations serving our most vulnerable residents in the Chicago region as a result of the public health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19.

“While this is a time of great uncertainty for our city and country, I am seeing residents already step up to ask what more they can do to ensure the well-being of our neighbors and the stability of our communities,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Chicago’s resilient spirit is rooted in our civic community and their commitment to looking out for the most vulnerable among us. This is a much-needed platform to quickly deploy assistance, funded by the generosity of
residents, and get it to many front-line organizations that are doing critical work to complement existing City resources.”

The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to local nonprofit organizations across metropolitan Chicago to supply essential resources to the individuals and households who are most impacted by the epidemic. Those resources currently include access to emergency food and basic supplies, rent and mortgage assistance and utility assistance. The fund will be designed to be flexible so it can deploy resources to address possible additional areas of community need as they develop.

“While the full health, social and economic impact of COVID-19 is not yet known, we can be certain the effects will be far-reaching particularly for the most vulnerable in our region,” said Dr. Helene Gayle President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, who is an expert in disease control and emergency response. “In this city of broad shoulders, we are asking anyone who can to step up and look out for their neighbors in need.”

At this time, the situation is fluid and the prioritization of needs will change as time goes by. The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago will strategically coordinate with the City of Chicago and local nonprofit organizations to provide grants to meet both immediate and long-term needs related to the impact of the virus in the Chicago region. “This is an unprecedented time,” said Sean Garrett, CEO and President of United Way of Metro Chicago, “We have to double down on our commitment to organizations, agencies and institutions in our neighborhoods that provide essential resources to the community. Through the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, all Chicagoans can join United Way, the City of Chicago and The Chicago Community Trust to support our neighbors.”

The Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, ComEd, Crown Family Philanthropies, Exelon, JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation, Lavin Family Supporting Foundation, Loop Capital, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Northern Trust, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, Michael Ferro
Foundation, Michael Reese Health Trust and many other donors already have committed to the Fund.

“Northern Trust is pleased to provide additional assistance to support the health and well-being of Chicago residents most impacted by COVID-19,” said Michael O’Grady, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Northern Trust Corporation. “We are proud to join Mayor Lightfoot and the other businesses, foundations and civic leaders to ensure Chicago’s nonprofit organizations can quickly address the growing and complex need for critical services.”

Contributions to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund can be made by visiting

About The Chicago Community Trust
The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to strengthening the Chicago region and improving the lives of the people who call it home. For more than 100 years, the Trust has served as a trusted philanthropic partner, connecting the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to nonprofit organizations working to create lasting change. Following the creation of a new strategic plan in 2019, the Trust stands
committed to addressing Chicago’s legacy of systemic inequity and closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap, while continuing to respond to the critical needs of our most vulnerable residents. The Trust administers more than $360 million in annual grant making as part of its commitment to equity, opportunity and prosperity for the Chicago region. To learn more, visit

About United Way of Metro Chicago
United Way of Metro Chicago brings together businesses, government, nonprofits, and community leaders to deliver funding, resources, and expertise to nonprofit organizations across greater Chicago. We are working alongside our partners at the neighborhood level to tackle the systemic issues that have plagued our region, creating communities where children and families can thrive. United Way’s Neighborhood Network Initiative supports and coordinates investment and programming in 10 city and suburban communities to address community challenges and improve the lives of residents. United, we’re building stronger neighborhoods for a stronger Chicago region. For more information, visit