• Disaster and Crisis Response

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.

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

Read our 2020 COVID-19 Fill the Gap Response Fund Impact Report.

Applications are currently closed.


Fund Purpose

The Fill the Gap Response Fund was formed to support North Carolina’s people and places disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  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.

Applications should be 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 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.)
  2. 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

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

  • Led by person(s) from underrepresented groups
  • Demonstrate a commitment to racial equity both internally and through their programs
  • Are addressing domestic violence and/or trauma
  • Support Native American, American Indian, or Tribal communities
  • Experience difficulty accessing available federal and state resources
  • Are currently embedded in rural services and networks, as applicable

A total of up to $1.5 million will be granted in Round Two. Grants will range from $25,000 to $150,000 for individual organizations and up to $250,000 for collaborative applications. The Fill the Gap Response Fund Advisory Committee expects to recommend funding 10-15 grants during the second cycle of funding.

Fund Eligibility

Based upon the charitable structure of the COVID-19 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 non-profit designation

We are not able to fund:

  • Individuals
  • For-profit businesses
  • Labor unions or
  • 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5) and 501(c)(6) organizationsPlease note, it is not required that you partner with a healthcare organization in order to be eligible to receive grants from the Fill the Gap Response Fund.
Program and Grants Advisory Committee

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 

Fund Distributions to Date

Second round grant recipients include: 

Eastern North Carolina  

  • New Bern – Peletah Ministries – Funding will support initiatives that include healthy living education and medical financial assistance. 
  • Southport – J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation, Inc. – Funding will support hospital employees facing financial hardship, health services in impoverished rural communities of color, and utilizing churches to share health information. 

Piedmont Triad  

  • Greensboro – University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG) – Funding will support a project to provide direct services to underserved populations, especially immigrants, refugees, and communities of color.  
  • Mt. Airy – Surry Medical Ministries Foundation, Inc. – Funding will help improve patient outcomes for low income/uninsured populations by expanding access using an integrated medical model, improved audio-visual capabilities, and patient care coordination between existing area healthcare related services and organizations.    

Central North Carolina – Triangle Region, Fayetteville and Lumberton  

  • Dunn – Episcopal Farmworker Ministry – Funding will support dissemination of culturally relevant and accurate information, mental health services, financial aid, and distribution of essential supplies.   
  • Durham – Lincoln Community Health Center, Inc. – Funding will support a targeted outreach and case management program to address the critical needs of children in immigrant and refugee limited English-proficiency families during COVID-19.  
  • Durham – North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Funding will support a peer health program in Black and indigenous communities in Robeson County  
  • Raleigh – Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina – Funding will help address underserved young black and indigenous people of color in North Carolina who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  
  • Raleigh – Curamericas Global – Funding will support partnership with AME Zion Baptist churches in Eastern North Carolina to help parishioners access medical and social services during the pandemic.  
  • Raleigh – YCMA of the Triangle Area, Inc. – Funding will help provide services in Southeast Raleigh, including safe housing, wellness efforts to reduce risk factors that intensify the impact of COVID-19and access to technology to ameliorate learning loss due to COVID-19.  

Western North Carolina  

  • Asheville – Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation – Funding will support the WCMSF’s Interpreter Network (WIN), upgrade WINs technology to accommodate video remote interpretation, and support confidential therapy services for frontline medical workers.   
  • Asheville – Institute for Preventative Healthcare and Advocacy – Funding will support workshops and direct services to underserved populations.  
  • Candler – Jordan Peer Recovery, Inc. – Funding will support workforce development training and support for citizens in Buncombe County.  
  • Crossnore – Crossnore School & Children’s Home – Funding will help the organization transition from in-person mental health services to telehealth – initiating new and creative ways to re-establish connections and to maintain trust with the children and families it serves 
  • Hendersonville – Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County – Funding will support youth development programs, as well as rural and underserved populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with an emphasis on social emotional learning and behavioral health. 

Read the press release here.

First round grant recipients include: 

Eastern North Carolina 

  • Atkinson – Black River Health Services and Manos Unidas – The COVID-19 Farmworker Resilience Project aims to expand capacity to serve migrant farmworkers during the pandemicGrant funds will be used to disseminate culturally sensitive educational information, critical first aid and hygienic suppliesso farmworkers can take steps to protect their health and understand how to self-monitor any symptoms and protect themselves, their families, and communities. 
  • Edenton – Boys & Girls Club of the Albemarle – Funds will be used to expand a program called Youth Connect, in which a licensed clinical social worker provides counseling and clinical case management services to young people to address stress and isolation related to COVID-19. 
  • Elizabeth City – Elizabeth City State University – Through and Beyond COVID-19 (T-ABC) is a community outreach program designed to reduce disparate impacts of COVID-19 on AfricanAmericans through health promotionefforts in 21 rural counties. AfricanAmericans and individuals in rural communities are more affected by COVID-19 morbidity and mortality than other groups. 

Central North Carolina – Greater Charlotte and Statesville 

  • Belmont – House of Mercy – This project supports essential frontline workers and underserved populations, including people living with HIV who are uninsured, lack access to healthcare, and are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 
  • Charlotte – Camino Community Development Corp. – Camino is a bilingual, multicultural center serving uninsured Latino families through a health clinic, mental health clinic, food pantry, and other services. During COVID-19, many patients either cancelled or did not attend appointments due to loss of income. Funds will support staff and provide scholarships to help patients pay for their clinic visits. 
  • Salisbury – Lutheran Services Carolinas – The Feeding LSC Heroes Project will provide food and household basics to frontline workers caring for older adults living in LSC’s senior care communities. These workers are under stress as they juggle caring for vulnerable seniors at work, homeschooling children, contending with financial strain, and feeling anxious about contracting or spreading the virus. This project will help eliminate some of the financial burdensthey face. 
  • Statesville – Iredell Memorial Hospital Iredell Physician Network  Grant funds will support video visits and remote monitoring of patients in rural areaswho have one or more comorbidity and who are at increased of complications if they contract COVID-19.  

Central North Carolina – Triangle Region, Fayetteville and Lumberton  

  • Benson – NC Farmworkers Project – An existing medical mobile unit will be outfitted as a mobile hotspot for farmworker housing sites. This will ensure better access to telehealth appointments, since many farmworkers lack internet access or good cell phone service. 
  • Benson – Benson Health Farmworker Outreach Funding will help the outreach program transition from a clinic-based healthcare model to a mobile model of providing primary care and COVID-19 testing to seasonal farmworkers. 
  • Carrboro – Refugee Community Partnership  RCP will assist non-English speaking refugee and immigrant communities in Orange, Durham, Chatham, and Alamance Counties with COVID-19 related health and safety information and provide individuals with help  accessing services. 
  • Fayetteville – Cape Fear Valley Health System – Funds will be used for aprogram to help essential frontline workers in five counties with behavioral health services. The program will also provide behavioral health services to patients using telehealth. The project will also assist underserved patients being discharged from hospitals with medication, medical equipment, and transportation. 
  • Lumberton – Southeastern Health – Robeson County had the highest increase in positive COVID-19 patients in the state in April. Local communities have traditionally faced healthcare challenges that include limited income, lack of transportation, and low literacy levels. A mobile care model will use audiovisual technology to connect patients to specialty care and patient education. 
  • Oxford – Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina – The club will provide hot, healthy dinners to youth ages 5 to18 at club locations in Oxford, Henderson, and Roanoke Rapids during weekdays at no cost to the families served. 
  • Siler City – Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County – Funds will help allow for opening a satellite office in Lee County and expand advocacy, community education, and outreach efforts to protect the rights of poultry processing workers and ensure the community has access to emergency assistance. Funds will also offset some expenses related to the Chatham Solidarity Fund, which distributes money to families who do not qualify for stimulus checks due to their immigration status. 

Western North Carolina 

  • Asheville – Pisgah Legal Services – Pisgah Legal Services will provide free civil legal services and advocacy to low-income people in Western North Carolina affected by COVID-19, with a focus on rural and underserved communities. Through medical-legal partnerships and referrals from NC Cares 360, the organization will help resolve barriers to health for at least 100 patients (250 people in the household) who identify as being impacted by COVID-19 between June 2020 and May 2021. These patients will be low-income people from under-served rural communities or from communities of color. 
  • Brevard – Neighbors in Ministry/Rise & Shine – Rise & Shine After-Schooland Sharing House have created a neighborhood popup market of fresh fruits and vegetables for the historic Rosenwald Community in Brevard, a mostly African-American, economically disadvantaged area in Transylvania County. Funds will feed 75 to 125 multi-generational families weekly for up to six months. 
  • Hayesville – Clay County NC Emergency Medical Services – Funding will allow the county to educate, equip, and enhance the paramedic response team, allowing for greater access to health care for vulnerable, underserved and uninsured populations, while reducing long-term EMS call volume and undue burden on local Emergency Departments. This project will add a layer of protection for those experiencing trauma, interpersonal violence, or behavioral health needs. 
  • Hayesville – Hinton Rural Life Center  Using existing trusting relationshipsvolunteers will equip vulnerable neighbors with resources to help their physical and mental wellbeing. 
  • Hendersonville – Heartwood Refuge – Funding will support existing agencies that serve migrant workers with providing basic needs such as beds, linen, food, medicine, and urgent health care (transportation, costs and medicine). The grant will also help enable children of undocumented seasonal workerswho do not enroll their elementary-aged children in public school due to fear of deportation, to be home-schooled with qualified academic support. 

Read the press release here.

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

NCHA Staff Contact