Announcement of Latest Round of Grants and an update on the Fund for the Virgin Islands
The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) announces the latest disbursement of grants totaling $2,463,834 from the Fund for the Virgin Islands (FFVI) which was established by the Foundation as an immediate response to the impact of Hurricanes Irma, later followed by Hurricane Maria. The FFVI has grown to be the largest hurricane-related Fund at the Foundation, with the purpose of gathering and distributing monies for critical needs in the U.S. Virgin Islands, both to support short-term relief efforts and to enhance the well-being of future generations. Strategic planning for these efforts is coordinated with input from local government, national experts, and local nonprofits. CFVI has been updating the public and donors through the CFVI website, e-mail listserv, press, and social media on how these funds are being used and distributed.
To date, the Fund for the Virgin Islands has provided a total of $3.3 million in grants to organizations throughout the Territory that are providing a wide range of services to Virgin Islands residents. According to Dee Baecher-Brown, “The Fund for the Virgin Islands was established as soon as the curfew was lifted the day following Hurricane Irma when CFVI Chairman George H.T. Dudley and I met among downed telephone poles, fallen trees, and hurricane debris to create this philanthropic vehicle for generous donors from the islands, the nation and around the world.” Following its establishment, the FFVI was also endorsed by Governor Kenneth E. Mapp as an official fundraising effort for the USVI relief and recovery efforts, and the www.usvirecovery.org website was launched in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies.
This most recent round of grants from the FFVI comes as the Territory enters the 6th month since the September storms. These grants are focused on efforts aimed at supporting the transition to long-term recovery, including wide-scale mold remediation, targeted rebuild efforts, and bolstering the continued development of the long-term recovery groups across the Territory.
Grant awards for these efforts range from $70,000-$375,000, for a total of $2,363,834. The nine (9) recipients of the award are:
- Lutheran Social Services – Disaster Response Initiative
- Croix Long Term Recovery Team
- Love City Strong
- John Long Term Recovery Team
- Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI)
- Thomas Long Term Recovery Team
St. Thomas / St. John:
- All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response
- My Brother’s Workshop
- USVI Hurricane Recovery Task Force
Also included in these most recent awards were five (5) grants to local radio stations whose emergency broadcasting during and after the storms facilitated a critical exchange of emergency information between officials and the public. The awards serve to partially reimburse the stations for the costs they incurred in providing a critical lifeline of communications to isolated and most vulnerable residents. Grant awards ranged from $10,000-$30,000, for a total of $100,000. The five stations that received grants were:
- Caledonia Communications Corporation
- Crucian Educational Non-profit, Inc.
- Ottley Communications Corporation
- Reef Broadcasting, Inc.
$30,000 in Community Service grants were awarded to the following Rotary Clubs:
- Rotary Club of St. Croix
- Rotary Club of St. Thomas
- Rotary Club of St. Thomas- East
$213,000 in Holiday Grants were also given to support the following organizations/initiatives:
- Queen Louise Home for Children
- Governor’s Children’s Holiday Parties (STX,STJ,STT)
The challenges facing the USVI during this period of relief and building forward are complex and multifaceted. In order to maximize effectiveness in this role, CFVI is engaging collaboratively to receive input from community members, local nonprofits, national and local experts, donors, government representatives, and others in order to ensure a comprehensive and strategic approach to applying the funds in a manner that enhances the well-being of both current and future generations. The process for this grant-making has evolved along with the broader recovery process.
The first rounds of grants were made through CFVI leadership proactively selecting organizations based on their commitment to serve the immediate needs of local communities; providing significant tangible current relief efforts; their knowledge and familiarity with community needs; and/or history of effective partnership/collaboration with the Foundation.
In this current phase of grantmaking, CFVI is conducting an ongoing review of proposals. The review process involves multiple elements including a review committee, grant liaisons, content experts and an advisory committee with representatives from the CFVI Board of Directors, the Hurricane Recovery and Resilience Task Force and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Additional grants from the FFVI will be announced in the coming weeks, as will targeted Requests for Proposals (RFP). Charitable organizations who would like to submit projects for future grant consideration should first complete the grant interest form located on the CFVI website <https://cfvi.net/hurricane/grant-programming.php> or contact CFVI Director of Grants and Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CFVI continues to serve as a vehicle for a wide range of hurricane recovery efforts across 18 other vehicles, including donor-advised funds, foundation grants received, and fiscal sponsorships. To date, more than $13 million has been received by the Foundation to build forward from the hurricanes.