Dane County COVID Recovery Grants

Funding available for Dane County nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dane County has been allocated federal grant funds under the State and Local Government Assistance Program included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Among the program’s stated purposes is to allow state and local governments to help nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nonprofits have faced reduced revenue and increased expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dane County has selected Madison Community Foundation to help address this by developing a $5 million grant program for local nonprofits who have experienced a financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. With 3,000 potential applicants in Dane County, grants are anticipated to range from $2,500 to $50,000.


  • The deadline for applications was July 19.
  • Review will take place in August.
  • The grants will be announced and checks distributed in September.


  • Organizations must be a federally designated 501(c)(3) public charity headquartered and operating within Dane County.
  • Organization finances must have been adversely affected by the pandemic, resulting in an annual deficit for 2020. Examples of adverse impacts include reduced fundraising success compared to prior years, increased program expenses or extraordinary expenses related to COVID-19 safety, technology, programming or virtual working environment needs.
  • The program is open to nonprofits of all sizes and focus areas.
  • Special consideration will be given to nonprofits that did not receive funding under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Preference will be given to organizations that provide direct services (as opposed to fundraising agencies like PTOs).
  • Organizations that are primarily engaged in lobbying or for religious activities are not eligible to apply.


    • You can download an FAQ sheet here.
    • We held a webinar for applicants on June 30 at 10am. Here is the replay if you weren't able to attend, or if you'd like to rewatch it.

Grant Criteria

The program will attempt to sustain local nonprofits that experienced an annual operating deficit due to the pandemic by comparing calendar-year revenues and expenses between 2019 and 2020. (We need calendar-year data, so please adjust your data accordingly if you use a different fiscal year date.)

An applicant agency must demonstrate through the application one or more of the following:

  • That it had revenue loss in 2020 due to canceled programming, events, and other revenue-producing activities.
  • That program-related expenses increased due to COVID.
  • That it had extraordinary expenses due to COVID, such as information technology equipment and software to support telework, modifications to office space or other spaces to enhance social distancing, and software necessary to allow remote meetings or client connections.

The application form is short and consists primarily of financial information. A short budget narrative allows applicants to describe any COVID-related financial changes.