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Nearly 200 Dane Co. nonprofits to receive pandemic relief grant

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 11:42 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Dance County, in partnership with the Madison Community Foundation, is awarding $5 million in grants to 183 local nonprofits.

According to Tim Linfield, Vice President of Community Impact for the Madison Community Foundation, many nonprofits received funding during the pandemic through the Paycheck Protection Program, but not all; some lacked the resources and relationships with financial institutions.

MCF and the county hope these new funds from the American Rescue Plan Act will bridge the gap.

“I it’s that passion, that wanting to help, that really forms incredible neighborhoods, and makes this a community where we are cared for by a population of 3,000 nonprofits,” said Linfield. “They’re not in it for the pay, that’s for sure. And they just kept working and working and working.”

One of the nonprofits receiving a grant is the Madison Reading Project. Founded by Executive Director Rowan Childs, the organization aims to deliver high-quality literacy learning to underserved kids.

Childs says the pandemic challenged the nonprofit in new ways. The small staff and volunteers continued to provide essential services to kids, families and educators, but were forced to pivot how they got books into hands; utilizing their bus to deliver books and partnering with school districts, food pantries and other nonprofits to further their mission.

“It was definitely really difficult when the world gets turned upside down – how do we survive as humans but also as an organization?” Childs said. “We could see so much how our services were needed. We’re not food and shelter but we’re sort of right after that as far as keeping kids safe at home, having materials for them to use.”

Like other grant recipients, Childs says the funds will be reinvested into the nonprofit’s work so they can continue to serve kids in Dane County.

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