© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

WNC Foundations Collaborate On Emergency COVID-19 Fund For Nonprofits

Lilly Knoepp
This fund will be open to nonprofits across the 18-county region that are in health services, those impacted by COVID-19 and those offering emergency relief.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina(CFWNC) has announced an Emergency and Disaster Response Fund to help nonprofit’s addressing issues impacted by COVID-19, as well as, relief efforts across the 18-county region. 

“While this fund is hosted at CFWHC, it is a collaborative effort by several funders to quickly provide flexible resources to nonprofits on the front lines,” says CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas in a press release. “We are working together to expand regional capacity to address the immediate effects of the pandemic and to raise funds to address needs as they change over time.”

This fund is a collaboration of more than seven other organizations such as Dogwood Health Trust and legacy foundations like the AMY Wellness Foundation and Pisgah Health Foundation. This is the first crisis since these foundations were created by the sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare last year. 

“It’s certainly good for the response that there are other funders in the region that can help muster the resources that are going to be needed,” says CRWNC spokesperson Lindsay Hearn, adding the organization is excited to be able to collaborate with the other foundations.   

CRWNC was founded in 1978 and has given out more than more than $254 million during that time.  Hearn says that the foundation hopes to distribute funds weekly. 

“This is the role that community foundations play for the regions that they serve. We were able to respond when Western North Carolina had floods, we were able to step in during the recession and now we are able to help with the pandemic as we can,” says Hearn. 

AMY Wellness Foundation, the legacy foundation that serves Avery, Mitchell, Yancey county, gave $50,000 to the fund.

“The best thing we can do right now is to provide support to those who need it. By partnering with other funders who have capacity and experience in emergency response funding we know we are making the best collective impact possible,”says Dr. Randy Ellis, Board Chair, AMY Wellness Foundation in a press release.

Nonprofits can find the application online at the foundation website. 

Here’s the full list of organizations involved: CFWNC, Dogwood Health Trust, WNC Bridge Foundation, AMY Wellness Foundation, Pisgah Health Foundation, Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund, Ramble Charitable Fund and Wells Fargo Foundation contributed to the Fund. Donations have also been received from individuals and CFWNC fundholders. 


Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
Related Content