Resources for Nonprofits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The shutdown of communal life to slow the spread of COVID-19 has created challenges for society that few of us have ever faced. Nonprofits are being affected in many different ways.

MCF continues to work to provide support for the organizations in our community, and will provide $4 million in endowment distributions to Fundholders by the end of March. We are also supporting the health and human services needs our community faces through the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund, which is being administered by the United Way of Dane County (UWDC). And finally, to meet the needs of nonprofits not covered by UWDC's effort, MCF has created the MCF COVID-19 Priority Fund to help support the unanticipated needs of many organizations, including those operating in the arts, environment, and other fields.

Record Volunteer Hours

Public Health Madison & Dane County is asking all nonprofits working on the response to COVID-19 to track volunteer hours. These hours can be used as a local match for FEMA reimbursement funds. While the structure of the reimbursement system is not yet known, the documentation will be important and cannot be created retroactively. You can use this form or create your own system. We'll provide more information as it becomes available.

Here are some resources to help nonprofits weather this crisis. We will add to this list as we learn about new resources.

CARES Act Information and Analysis

Paycheck Protection Program Toolkit

FMA has put together a toolkit to help nonprofits navigate the Paycheck Protection Program. The toolkit includes FAQs, a webinar, and a fillable application form, along with many other resources.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

This site has information about the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act. It includes an eligibility checklist.

CARES Act and Nonprofits

Nonprofit Quarterly has provided an analysis of the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for nonprofit organizations. They followed up their initial analysis with a more detailed look at the "fine print" to help organizations understand what help they may qualify for.

National Resources

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has put together a special report, "Help for Nonprofits During the Coronavirus and Uncertain Economic Times," for nonprofit organizations with information to help nonprofits plan and prepare for the impact of the coronavirus on their operations.


Bloomerang, a donor-management software company, has put together a page of resources that includes a section of case studies and examples of fundraising and emergency appeals, and a number of on-demand webinars for nonprofits.


BoardSource has made it's members-only "Ask the Expert" service available to the entire nonprofit community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State and County Resources

Wisconsin Humanities Council

The Wisconsin Humanities Council recently announced that a portion of the $75 million set aside as part of the CARES Act for the National Endowment for the Humanities will be distributed to state humanities councils to respond to needs in their states. Visit their page for updates and to learn more.

Dane County Extension Community Development

The Dane County Extension Division has put together a resource page for nonprofit organizations that includes helpful information about sustainability, conducting effective online meetings, and resources for arts organizations.

Otto Bremer Trust Emergency Fund

In response to COVID-19, the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) has established a $50 million emergency fund through its Community Benefit Financial Company (CBFC) subsidiary to provide financial support to Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana nonprofits and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the pandemic.

Resources for Arts Organizations

The Wisconsin Arts Board

The Wisconsin Arts Board's COVID-19 and the arts in Wisconsin page contains resources for arts organizations, including information about their advocacy efforts.

Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts is a national advocacy group for the arts. They are gathering stories of impact and advocating for supporting arts organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get regular updates from MCF staff. Read our blog.