Compeer Financial, a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative based in the Upper Midwest, is dedicating $667,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts across the organization’s three-state territory of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2021. In a multi-faceted approach, the organization will build on the $830,000 donated in 2020 for a total of nearly $1.5 million over two years.
“This past year, we have seen how working together with our community partners can make a difference,” said John Monson, chief mission and marketing officer at Compeer Financial. “In 2020, our local communities had some pretty immediate needs, and still today, the impacts of COVID-19 persist. We are committed to continuing the efforts we made last year, and exploring new opportunities in 2021.”
The organization’s support includes donations to local and rural community foundations for pandemic response efforts, grants for organizations and emergency response providers, funding for regional foodbanks, donations to rural healthcare facilities and a new rural schools education grant. Funding comes from the Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America, the organization’s corporate giving program.
Compeer’s new Rural Schools Innovation Grant Program is designed to support exemplary programs developed by rural schools during the pandemic. Eligible programs are those that have proven to be successful, been deemed essential and require external funding support to continue. The one-time grant program is in partnership with the Rural Schools Collaborative, and applications will be available starting April 1.
Additionally, the Fund for Rural America will open up two grants in the coming months, where priority will be given to projects and initiatives related to COVID-19 response efforts.
Compeer’s $830,000 in support in 2020 made a direct impact on more than 218,700 people, nearly 1,600 heath care workers, and 1,500 first responders. Additionally, the support helped to provide more than 1.46 million meals to people facing food insecurity.
More than 40 different community and initiative foundations received support in 2020, allowing them to respond to local needs, many working through emergency response funds.
“The greatest impact of this gift was the collaboration and trust Compeer gave to us to be the best stewards of these dollars and get them into the hands of the nonprofits and programs, in the quickest way possible,” said Joshua Gibb, Executive Director of the Galesburg Community Foundation. “The ripple effect of that trust and generosity made it possible for us to serve over 28,000 people in the areas of food insecurity, housing and utility assistance, essential worker support, PPE and remote learning educational support opportunities.”