PHOENIX — The Office of Governor Doug Ducey today announced that more than $8.2 million has been donated to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund to support COVID-19 relief efforts. The fund was established as part of the Arizona Together Initiative, supporting Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak and connecting individuals and businesses to needed resources.
More than $175,000 of the total donation amount is from private citizens. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education have received in-kind donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and computer equipment, totaling more than $258,000.
How will these dollars support Coronavirus relief efforts?
In April, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation donated $5 million to support the purchase of PPE including 1.1 million N-95 masks. As the equipment is received, the Arizona Department of Health Services will distribute it to county health departments across the state.
In addition, a first round of grant funding was approved to nonprofit organizations totaling nearly $1,500,000. Grant announcements will be made as disbursements are finalized. The first round of funding will focus on the following efforts:
Keeping students safe and on-track with learning, with a special emphasis on children of essential workers, first responders, families with limited income, foster children and children with special needs;
Preventing hunger and ensuring access to meals and adequate nutrition through food banks and local food pantries statewide;
And providing services and care for senior citizens and other adults who need extended care at home, especially those with limited incomes, to ensure that Arizona residents with special needs and their caregivers have continuity of care and support.
How are these dollars being allocated?
A five-member committee was selected shortly after the fund was announced in March. The AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund committee members are:
Nicole Bidwill, Owner/Executive, Arizona Cardinals
Tina Marie Tentori, Executive Director, APS Foundation
Eileen Klein, former Arizona State Treasurer and former President, Arizona Board of Regents
Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority
Dan Mahoney, Partner, Snell & Wilmer
Over the past month, the committee has conducted detailed due diligence on hundreds of requests for funding. Opportunities for the fund to provide support have been evaluated on the basis of how an organization and its constituents have been impacted by COVID-19, numbers of the vulnerable population served and more. Nonprofit organizations receiving funding must use the funds for direct services and may not use funds for operational overhead or management salaries.
Additionally, the committee has coordinated with the philanthropic community in Arizona including the Arizona Grantmakers and the Arizona Community Foundation to understand community needs. The committee discusses each funding opportunity until a unanimous agreement has been reached by all five members.
The AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund is managed administratively by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). All dollars donated to the fund are going to causes and organizations in need; the ACA is receiving no additional funding to provide administrative support. Donations to the fund are fully tax-deductible as they are used solely for charitable purposes.
Contributions to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund include a $5 million gift from the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation; $1 million from Michael Bidwill, Chairman and President of the Arizona Cardinals; $1 million from Jerry Simms, owner of Turf Paradise Race Course; and contributions from Arizona Public Service (APS), Southwest Gas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Waymo, VanTrust Real Estate and Valley Toyota Dealers.
Individuals and organizations interested in supporting the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund can learn more about how to contribute at ArizonaTogether.org.