DuPage County Partners With DuPage Foundation to Implement $10 Million ARPA Not-For-Profit Grant Program

DuPage County Partners With DuPage Foundation to Implement $10 Million ARPA Not-For-Profit Grant Program

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On January 25, the DuPage County Board voted to solidify a grantmaking partnership with DuPage Foundation, executing an agreement to allocate $10.6 million in federal funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the Foundation to implement and manage a five-year grant program benefitting local not-for-profit social services organizations responding to the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under ARPA statutes, the funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026, to respond to the broader health impacts of COVID-19 and provide services to communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved the final agreement on January 13, 2022.

“DuPage Foundation is DuPage County’s community foundation and philanthropic leader and we are thrilled the County selected us as a partner to administer a grant program of this magnitude,” said DuPage Foundation President & CEO Dave McGowan. “We appreciate the trust in the Foundation as these funds will significantly increase our impact so we can more aptly meet the needs of our community still reeling from the debilitating effects of the pandemic. Raising the quality of life throughout DuPage County has been our vision since the Foundation’s inception in 1986. We are proud to continue advancing our work and share our expertise in grantmaking through this partnership.”

“We look forward to working with the DuPage Foundation and our area non-profit organizations, as together, we help our county residents emerge from the pandemic,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.

The DuPage County ARPA Not-for-Profit Grant Program allows DuPage Foundation to disburse ARPA funds on behalf of the County. ARPA was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, to continue the nation’s efforts in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the relief package, DuPage County was awarded a total of $179,266,585, half of which ($89,633,292.50) was received on May 17, 2021. As part of its community recovery plan, the County sought a strategic partner in DuPage Foundation to augment its efforts to support the not-for-profits working in social services through a grant program to address food insecurity, housing instability, mental health and substance abuse.

After the DuPage County Board approved entering into an agreement to allocate $10.6 million to DuPage Foundation for the program on October 12, 2021, the parties worked together to draft a plan for the funds. The Foundation will receive $600,000 over a five-year period to administer the ARPA grant program.

DuPage Foundation will lead a planning committee to establish the parameters of the grant program, including guidelines and requirements for applicants, and frequency of grant distribution. Guidelines will be available to eligible applicants on the Foundation’s website in spring, 2022.

“All of the not-for-profit organizations who work within social services have been inundated and overwhelmed for nearly two years, and have done everything possible to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency, as we have seen in our Community Needs grant applications,” said Barb Szczepaniak, DuPage Foundation vice president for programs. “The ARPA grant program is a wonderful endeavor for the Foundation as we seek to scale our impact throughout DuPage County and beyond, and it creates an opportunity for us to really make meaningful differences where they are most needed.”

The Foundation’s capacity to work with the County has grown throughout its history. In 2007, the Foundation received a $50,000 pass-through grant from DuPage County to fund its Communityworks initiative that granted funds to area not-for-profits working in early childhood, land use and protection, and workforce development.

In 2020, the Foundation received $431,000 in Federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds from DuPage County. Through Arts DuPage, a DuPage Foundation initiative, the Foundation regranted $300,000 to 24 local arts organizations in December, 2020. The other $131,000 was granted to human services not-for-profits working on the front lines of the pandemic.

Through its Community Needs Grant Program, special initiatives, donor-advised grants and designated grants, the Foundation’s grant distribution in fiscal year 2021 was nearly $9 million.