COVID-19 Fill the Gap Response Fund

The North Carolina Healthcare Foundation (NCHF) has formed the COVID-19 Fill the Gap Response Fund to partner with private philanthropy, corporate partners, and major gift donors to rapidly meet critical needs of organizations across North Carolina as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The fund will deploy resources to organizations working on the frontlines of the crisis to address emerging, acute, and long-term needs. The fund is designed to bolster and support the efforts of government and public health officials responding to all aspects of the outbreak in North Carolina.


The initial phase of proactive and responsive grants will focus on healthcare entities, and their community partners, responding to the crisis across the state.


The application period for Round 1 funding is now closed.

The Fill the Gap Response Fund was formed to support North Carolina’s people and places disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Early evidence suggests the pandemic is spreading more rapidly, and leading to poorer health outcomes, among vulnerable communities. The Fill the Gap Response Fund will support efforts to intentionally address health disparities worsened by the COVID-19 crisis.


Priority will be given to those applications that are consistent with the mission of the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation: “to foster and accelerate the collective impact of hospitals, health systems and community partners to improve the health of North Carolinians.” Additional priority will be given to applications that focus on one or both of the following areas:

  1. Supporting essential frontline workers: Activities addressing the social and behavioral health needs of healthcare and other frontline workers (e.g., administrative, food service, security, facilities maintenance, cleaning, and other services to hospital or non-hospital entities) as result of COVID-19
  2. Supporting underserved populations: Services for rural and/or underserved populations that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (e.g., uninsured, communities of color, immigrant populations, etc.)


We encourage organizations that meet one or more of the following criteria to apply:

  • Led by person(s) from underrepresented groups
  • Experience difficulty accessing available federal and state resources
  • Reflect an orientation toward post-COVID-19 recovery and renewal, beyond initial emergency needs
  • Are currently embedded in rural services and networks, as applicable


A total of up to $1.5 million will be granted in Round One. Grants will range from $25,000 to $150,000. The Fill the Gap Response Fund Advisory Committee expects to recommend funding 15-25 grants during the first cycle of funding. 

Based upon the charitable structure of the Fill the Gap Response Fund, grants are limited to: 

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations 
  • Groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization  
  • Public sector agencies serving rural North Carolina counties 
  • Religious organizations with or without a nonprofit designation 

We are not able to fund: 

  • Individuals 
  • Forprofit businesses  
  • Labor unions or 
  • 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations 

The application period for Round 1 funds has ended. Please submit all questions to

Organizations must complete the Fill the Gap Response Fund web application (now closed) and attach all required documents. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please read the following:

Application must include:

  1. Proposal Narrative
  2. Proposal Budget
  3. Fiscal Year 2020-to-date Operating Budget
  4. IRS Form 990 (2018 or later)

Allen Smart | Consultant | Rural Philanthropy | Ex-Officio 

Juan Austin | Senior Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations | Wells Fargo 

Ret Boney | Executive Director | North Carolina Network of Grantmakers 

Nicole Dozier | Director, Health Advocacy Project | North Carolina Justice Center 

Erika Ferguson | Director, Healthy Opportunities | North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services 

Jeffrey Simms | Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management | Gillings School of Global Public Health 

Julia Wacker | Senior Vice President | North Carolina Healthcare Foundation 

Announcements about the first round of grants will be made at the end of May 

All documents available in Spanish upon request. Estos documentos están disponibles a petición del interesado.

COVID-19 Fill the Gap Response Funders

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