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Pandemic Response Fund FAQ's

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to a number of questions we have heard from applicants. Please review and, if your question is not here, please contact us.. We will continue to update this section throughout the call.

How much funding should I be requesting?

Phase 3 of the Pandemic Response Fund contains two categories of support each with a maximum of $10,000. Please see the question below for more details.

We anticipate a large number of requests, which may exceed our current resources. Despite their merit, not all projects will be funded and projects may not receive the full requested amount.

My fundraising gala was cancelled due to the pandemic. I am also facing increased costs related to the return to my physical worksite. Can I apply in both categories?

Yes. For example, you could apply for $10,000 to replace revenue from your cancelled gala AND $5,000 for personal protective equipment for your staff and program participants. Your total request would then be $15,000.

When do grants need to be spent by?

A firm deadline has not been established; please include your best estimate on your application form.

Can I apply for a grant if my organization expects to receive funding from other sources?

This grant application should not duplicate funding provided by other sources. Please list all other sources of funding (anticipated or confirmed) in your budget.

Can anyone apply for a Pandemic Response Fund grant?

Grants from Hamilton Community Foundation are limited to registered charities or non-profits with a charitable partner (fiscal sponsorship). Information on fiscal sponsorships is available here.

Our focus is on supporting communities most affected by COVID-19. As a result, Phase 3 of the PRF is exclusive to organizations with operating budgets under $5 million. We also recognize that racialized groups are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that systemic issues faced by BIPOC communities are exacerbated by the current crisis; thus, requests from BIPOC-focused organizations are being prioritizedin this call.

How is “BIPOC-focused” being defined?

BIPOC-focused organizations include those led by Black, Indigenous and people of colour, and/or organizations with services/programs that focus on BIPOC communities.

Why is this fund limited to organizations with operating budgets under $5 million?

We recognize that all charitable organizations have suffered with a combination of increased demand and decreased revenue. However, small- to mid-sized organizations have been particularly hard hit. This criteria recognizes the reduced capacity of small- to mid-sized organizations to recover during the pandemic.

My organization is not a registered charity and I need a fiscal sponsor to apply for this fund. My fiscal sponsor has an operating budget over $5 million. Can I still apply through this fiscal sponsor?

Yes. For additional information about the role of fiscal sponsors can be found here or email us at

I have already received a Foundation grant and/or a grant from the Emergency Community Support Fund to address emergency pandemic needs. May I also apply to Phase 3 of the Pandemic Response Fund?

Yes. Although, we anticipate a large number of requests and will aim to fund a range of organizations to maximize the impact of this fund on the community.

What is the deadline for my application to be considered?

October 5, 2020. Applications will not be considered after this deadline.

When will I receive a decision about my grant application?

We anticipate that decisions will be made and organizations will be notified by the end of October.

Will funds be made available to meet emergency needs in the event of a second wave of the pandemic?

HCF recognizes that organizations’ response to COVID-19 is continually changing as events unfold and it is difficult to predict the resources or supports that may be needed in the coming weeks or months. We commit to being responsive to our community’s changing needs. We will announce any changes on our website and through social media.

I have questions regarding the application process and/or the status of my application to HCF’s Pandemic Response Fund. Whom should I contact?

In response to COVID-19, HCF staff team is working remotely until further notice. Please read through these frequently asked questions and if your question has not been answered here, please email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Email is the most efficient way of reaching us.