There are many needs right now. They are likely to continue for some time. By supporting local nonprofit organizations, community members can help meet some of those needs for individuals and families who are experiencing loss of income caused by COVID-19.


Food pantries and human services organizations that provide help with utilities and other necessities will see community needs increase in the weeks ahead. Donations to those organizations will ease the burdens faced by many who are unable to work due to necessary social distancing.


In response to this situation, the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM) has created the Urgent Needs Fund. This new fund has been established with an initial $40,000 of CFNEM’s unrestricted funding and an additional $40,000 commitment from DTE Foundation, bringing the fund’s starting total to $80,000. The first round of grants will immediately put $25,000 into our communities where needed, with additional funds to be released soon after.


CFNEM’s service area includes Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle Counties, as well as its three affiliate foundations serving Cheboygan (Straits Area Community Foundation), Crawford, Ogemaw and Oscoda (North Central Michigan Community Foundation), and Iosco (Iosco County Community Foundation). All nine counties will be supported through the Urgent Needs Fund.


“Our goal is to gather resources for our entire region, and make them available to our local nonprofits who will work to address needs of those affected by this crisis,” said Patrick Heraghty, CFNEM Executive Director. “We hope that through this fund, we can get funding where it needs to go swiftly and efficiently.”


To provide resources to nonprofits over the next weeks and months, and to help ensure funding will be available in the longer term, CFNEM encourages community members who want to help to donate to the Urgent Needs Fund on the Foundation’s website at


 “We recognize that the needs in northeast Michigan are, and will continue to be, substantial,” said Heraghty. “Along with providing support, this fund provides donors with an avenue to support northeast Michigan’s communities through this incredibly trying time.”


To learn more about the Urgent Needs Fund and CFNEM’s COVID-19 response, visit

Urgent Needs Fund

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