The Community COVID-19 Fund

How we’re helping our communities

United Way of Greater Newark’s (UWGN) mission is to disrupt the cycle of poverty by convening, collaborating and investing in strategies to improve outcomes for children and Families. UWGN has a long history of convening disaster funds in the community. After 9/11, UWEWH established the 9/11 fund, the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and most recently, the Newark Water Fund. To that end, in order to support the community and our non-profit partners during the COVID-19 crisis, we have established the Community COVID-19 Fund. This is a regional fund serving our 13-municipality footprint including Newark, Irvington, East Orange, West Orange, South Orange, Orange, Belleville, Nutley, Maplewood, Kearny, Harrison, East Newark and North Arlington.

If you are a funder and wish to make a larger donation, please contact Catherine Wilson President and CEO directly at

Capacity and Need

United Way of Greater Newark has the technical capacity to run a disaster fund for the community of this scale. UWGN has convened conversations with partners in our collaboratives as well as partners who provide social service relief to vulnerable populations. UWGN also follows the guidelines established by FEMA (the Four Phases of Emergency Management) and sets up the fund to respond to the four phases:



Planning, training, drills


Taking action to prevent or reduce the cause, impact, and consequences of disasters


The response occurs in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. During the response phase, businesses and other operations do not function normally. Personal safety and well-being depend on the level of preparedness


Restoration efforts occur concurrently along with regular operations and activities. This period can be prolonged

 To that end, the Community COVID-19 Fund would have funds that address the 4 phases of the disaster. Additionally, UWGN has established four categories of funding:

Individual Relief

  • Mortgage/rental assistance
  • Medicine for individuals
  • Utility payments
  • Food purchase and
  • Basic needs (soap, sanitary needs, diapers, baby wipes, etc.)

Public Health Needs

  • Space for Quarantine
  • Supplies and Equipment
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Auxiliary medical services as needed
  • Mental health services

Non-Profit/Social Service Relief

  • Operating funds to support staff overtime as needed
  • Funds to support the mitigation and stop the spread in the homeless population
  • Funds to support programs unique to COVID-19 ( i.e., supporting NPS food distribution, funds to support the community food back, etc.)
  • Funds to cover budget gaps based on unanticipated needs: i.e., cost to hire company to deep clean buildings serving public, etc.

Long-term Recovery

  • Continued individual relief
  • Continued public health needs (auxiliary services, mental health services, etc.)
  • TBD

Based on these needs, we anticipate applying funds in the following ways:

  • Preparedness
  • Mitigation
  • Response
  • Recovery
  • TBD?
  • Individual Relief
    Public Health Needs
    Social Service Relief
  • Individual Relief
    Public Health Needs
    Social Service Relief
  • Individual Relief, Public Health Needs, Social Services Relief and Long-term Recovery Needs as determined

UWGN will utilize the technical expertise of its staff and partners in public health to review funding requests. These funds will not be required to be reviewed through a strict granting process, rather we anticipate creating a streamlined rubric that establishes criteria for unmet needs in any of the phases and funding needs outlined above. As always, donations can be restricted to a specific phase, need or population.


As we move through mitigation towards long-term recovery, UWGN remains a vigilant partner to the community in supporting the needs of residents, social services and public health sectors. We will continue to apply funds are available and needed. UWGN will also keep an open communication loop, reporting back to donors and funders about the impact made as a result of the support received.