Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund awards $60,000 for the benefit of  Stephenson County Residents

CFNIL and Freeport Community Foundation partner to distribute $60,000 for the benefit of Stephenson County Residents

The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF) recently announced it distributed its fourth and largest round of funding thus far, an additional $6.95 million to 42 nonprofit organizations across the state. The Fund, which was established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations in collaboration with the Office of the Governor, focused this round of funding on serving the state’s most vulnerable populations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ICRF used a data-driven approach to identify specific populations that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) was invited to apply for funds in this 4th round and awarded $60,000 to distribute to nonprofit organizations in Stephenson County for the specific benefit of rural residents living in poverty and African Americans. Since the start of the pandemic, the Freeport Community Foundation (FCF) has been coordinating many of the relief efforts in northwest Illinois. In recognition of this existing and ongoing work, CFNIL has partnered with FCF to manage the grant award process for these funds and has made an additional award of $1,200 to FCF to support the administrative capacity that will be necessary to administer these funds.

“We are grateful to ICRF for recognizing the unique impacts of this pandemic on Illinois’ rural and African American populations and for making another generous distribution to northern Illinois,” stated Sarah Lambert, CFNIL Community Investment Director. “We are also grateful for our partners at the Freeport Community Foundation whose strong relationships with the nonprofits of Stephenson County will ensure these funds are put to the best possible use.”

Due to the tight timeline and reporting requirements of the ICRF process, this round of granting in Stephenson County will be by invitation only.

Since April, the Freeport Community Foundation has already distributed $300,000 in COVID-19-related emergency funding benefiting an array of non-profit organizations throughout Stephenson, Jo Daviess, and Carroll counties. Of those funds, $100,000 came from the Foundation’s Community Needs/Marvin Unrestricted Fund, and the remaining $200,000 was awarded to the FCF via two separate grants from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund.

Learn more about and contribute to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund at