How the Foundation has responded to the pandemic

The Foundation is nearly 40 years old, but its mission to fill unmet Eden Prairie needs has probably never been tested more than now.

Nearly everyone in our community is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And, in some cases, impacted more than you think. Eden Prairie is deceptive in that way: more diverse, economically and in other ways, than the stereotype.

So, even as the Foundation, beginning in March, acted to comply with stay-at-home and social-distancing orders and guidelines, it was also pivoting to help with growing social-service needs in Eden Prairie.

Here’s a fuller, more transparent list of actions taken by the Foundation over the past two months:

  • On March 16 it created an emergency fund called the COVID-19 Response Fund so that donations from generous residents, corporations, and others could be turned into quick-response grants. This was done to help ensure that basic social services – food, for example – continue to be provided to residents-in-need during the pandemic.
  • It shifted operations from the Foundation office to home, nothing too difficult when you have one staff member, and moved committee and board meetings to an online-only format.
  • It postponed its May 2 fundraising event, the annual EP Gives, to Oct. 24.
  • It secured a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for $14,500 to help cover payroll and rent, since a substantial amount of operational revenue from EP Gives would not be available.
  • It redoubled its communications with partner nonprofits in Eden Prairie to become better informed about the pandemic’s effect, both on organizations and services.

The Foundation is going to be just fine. The important point on that list is that we are rallying community resources during this emergency. To date, more than $50,000 has been secured for the COVID-19 Response Fund, and three quick-response grants totaling $16,000 have been issued, with more to come.

This means your generosity is being channeled to help neighbors with food insecurity, mental-health or grief issues, unemployment concerns, and more.

The fund will continue through the pandemic and recovery. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to the COVID-19 Response Fund, you may do so on this website.

If you are concerned about the Foundation’s ability to continue programs and operations, you are invited to contribute to the annual, mid-year Century Giving fundraising appeal that the Foundation kicked off this month. You can donate operational dollars here.

If you’d like to donate to either of these areas with a check, mail it to: Eden Prairie Community Foundation, 8080 Mitchell Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. Any check for the emergency fund should have “COVID-19 Fund” in the memo line.

Plenty has changed at the Foundation, but not our commitment to make this a great community for all. Thanks for your support, Eden Prairie. Together, we’ll get through this.

Categories: Feature, Foundation News

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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Eden Prairie Community Foundation

OUR MISSION: Enriching our community through philanthropy, collaboration and leadership.

OUR VISION: Enhancing the quality of life for all who live and work in our community.

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8080 Mitchell Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

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