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COVID-19 Response

Since the start of the pandemic, Sunlight Giving has focused on supporting grantee partners as they continued serving their communities during the public health and economic crisis created by COVID-19. Through July 2021, we have granted over $32 million in additional funding for COVID response.

Urgent Response

March - June 2020

As shelter-in-place orders took effect in March 2020, we deployed grants to pooled funds housed at local community foundations and United Ways within our 10-county geography. These funds allowed local partners to distribute resources to meet the most urgent needs in the community.

We also issued a request for proposals (RFP) and distributed $4.3M in responsive grants to our partners during the early months of the pandemic. The intention of this funding was to ensure that families continued to have access to trusted community-based organizations and to alleviate the financial pressures direct service organizations faced in delivering services. The majority of funding supported organizations that experienced significant increases in demand or adapted service delivery to respond to community need. Grants went to food banks, multiservice agencies, shelters and other housing providers, community health clinics and childcare providers.

Meeting the Needs of Families

July 2020 – June 2021

Following our initial RFP, we began distributing quarterly grants to organizations providing food, essential supplies, cash and rental assistance, or legal aid to families. As of June 2021, we have issued four rounds of grants to our partners doing this work.

Supporting Families and Organizations in the Reopening

July 2021 – December 2021

In light of California’s reopening on June 15, we made flexible grants focused on supporting both families and our partners with the transition through the end of the year. This dual focus acknowledges that families will continue to seek support and that organizations have various short-and long-term organizational needs.

One-Time Funding Opportunities


We have also responded to aligned funding opportunities, including:

  • The California Immigrant Resilience Fund, which provides direct cash assistance to families who are ineligible for COVID-19 federal and state safety net and relief programs. 
  • Capacity grants to our partners managing Undocufunds in acknowledgement of associated administrative expenses. 
  • The Together Toward Health initiative, which funds local community-based organizations that provide education, awareness, and outreach to populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Capacity grants to our partners participating in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in acknowledgement of the additional capacity required to enroll clients.

Learn More

Explore our responsive grants


COVID-19 Response