New Sun Rising (NSR) is providing up to $5,000 to small businesses and nonprofits who demonstrated critical economic needs due to the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to $100,000 in seed funding from the Hillman Foundation.
Successful applicants are receiving immediate funding and technical assistance taken as a loan repayment (0% interest, 3 year term, 6 month no payments) or Vibrancy Corps option, which provides full loan forgiveness. The Vibrancy Corps requires organizations to make a one to three month commitment to use funds to implement projects that address urgent community needs.
“We know how hard people work in our nonprofit and small business community. While COVID-19 has pushed many of us to our limits, it is inspiring to see how hard people are willing to fight to sustain their organization and community. The goal of the Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund is to help as many leaders as possible to endure this crisis, and mobilize them to build vibrant communities together,” said Scott Wolovich, Executive Director of New Sun Rising.
Although similar funds have been launched in Pittsburgh, there are several things that make NSR’s Crisis Mitigation Fund unique. Due to an innovative loan structure, nonprofits, small businesses, social enterprises, and cooperatives in Allegheny and Beaver County all were eligible to apply. In order to prioritize inclusion and data-informed decisions, the Fund Committee used information from NSR’s Vibrancy Index Dashboard to evaluate community impact, aligned values, and financial need.
New Sun Rising recognizes that complex problems require complex solutions, therefore funding decisions also considered a Crisis Response Priority score and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The wide range of supported organizations is a reflection of NSR’s triple bottom line community development methodology based on culture, sustainability, and opportunity.
The majority of organizations are receiving funds to help meet basic human needs by providing food, shelter, and mental health support, mitigating further losses for vulnerable populations such as immigrants and youth, and ensuring an equitable response to the pandemic. A total of 24 extraordinary organizations received funds, including: Barrels to Beethoven, Coraopolis Youth Creations, Hello Neighbor, Hill District Consensus Group, Kitchen of Grace, Inside Our Minds, Latino Community Center, Love Rocks Cafe, Protohaven, Revival Relief, Zellous Hope Project, Triboro Ecodistrict Food Relief projects in Millvale, Etna, and Sharpsburg, and more. A full list of awardees along with information on the organization’s Vibrancy Index Dashboard and Crisis Response Priority score can be found on the New Sun Rising website.
Neashia Johnson of the Hill District Consensus Group notes that “as existing food insecurity challenges are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, having the support of NSR’s Crisis Relief Fund is invaluable as we respond to the direct needs of our community.”
New Sun Rising will continue to support projects addressing community challenges on the front lines, but is not currently accepting new applications due to depletion of funds. If you are interested in partnering to financially support the Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit newsunrising.org/ways-to-give.
About New Sun Rising
New Sun Rising supports nonprofits and small businesses to build vibrant communities through culture, sustainability, and opportunity. NSR believes that all people and communities hold the knowledge and power to make positive change. We envision a future where regenerative community development practices create the conditions for true social, environmental, and economic justice.