COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 is having an impact on our community that changes daily, even hourly. COVID-19 is affecting everyone. We are here to help our donors, professional advisors, and Allen County nonprofits digest the information that is constantly changing and impacting their ability to serve our community.

The Allen County Health Department has resources to help keep our community safe and informed.

The City of Fort Wayne is committed to doing everything possible to help the community stay informed and to cope with the COVID-19 emergency situation. They have gathered information to make it easier for you to find what you need to know as quickly as possible.

COVID 19 CDC 2020

The CDC has resources about how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Resources for Our Donors and Professional Advisors

Fort Wayne Artist Relief Fund

Hundreds of arts and culture events have been cancelled across Allen County due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, causing devastating losses, affecting thousands of artists, arts administrators and affiliated workers who make up Fort Wayne’s creative economy.

In partnership with Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, along with local artists and through a generous gift from the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has established the Fort Wayne Artist Relief Fund. The fund will currently provide around 200 rapid response grants to bridge the severe lost wages that make many members of our creative community vulnerable, ensuring that Fort Wayne’s momentum of talent growth and retention continues into the future.

While this fund has an initial seed of $100,000, more funding will be needed to ensure that this fund can serve as many people as possible. If you are interested in donating to this fund, please contact Alison Gerardot. 

You can visit  or for more information.

The Hospitality Relief Fund
We have received many questions about how to support the hospitality industry and their workers. There is now The Hospitality Relief Fund that was created by Indiana Hospitality and Tourism Foundation, Inc. to give back to employees of the hospitality industry who are reeling in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have a fund with the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, you can give directly from your fund!

Charitable Deductions
Up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for married couples) in annual charitable contributions can be made in 2020 for people who take the standard deduction and do not itemize. This is an “above the line” adjustment to income that will reduce a donor’s AGI and thereby reduce taxable income. Donations must be made to a public charity – typically a 501c3.  Contributions to Donor Advised Funds do not qualify for this new deduction.  However, donations to any other type of funds held at the Community Foundation including  scholarship, designated and nonprofit endowments to name a few do qualify.  Additionally, gifts directly to the Community Foundation or grantmaking funds qualify as the Community Foundation is a 501c3 entity.

As part of the CARES act, individuals and corporations that do itemize can deduct much greater amounts of their contributions. Individuals can elect to deduct up to 100% of their 2020 AGI (previously 60%). Corporations may deduct up to 25% of taxable income (previously 10%) on gifts made to a public charity. The old deduction rules continue to apply to private foundations. Like the new rules for non-itemizers, these new deductions do not apply to donations to Donor Advised Funds.

Both of these new deductions apply only to cash gifts and do not apply to gifts of appreciated stock.

Required Minimum Distributions Waived
A recent way to give has been through utilizing Individual Retirement Account’s Required Minimum Distribution.   Required minimum distributions (RMD) are waived for 2020. This waiver includes:

  • Any account owner who turned 72 or older in 2020;
  • Any account owner who turned 70 ½ in 2019, did not take his or her RMDs in 2019 and planned to take his or her delayed RMDs by April 1, 2020; and,
  • All beneficiaries of inherited IRAs for decedents who died prior to 2020.

This also includes distributions from defined benefit pension plans and 457 plans. The suspension of the RMD may deter the incentive for a donor who makes a gift from their IRA to avoid taxable income and may have an effect on charitable giving for 2020.

Recommendations for Local Impact
At the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, we encourage all of our fund holders, in times of crisis or not, to be creative! Think outside of the box when it comes to your charitable giving and look at where you can make the biggest impact with your dollars.

We would encourage you to talk to your clients about how to make their giving more impactful, not just for others, but for themselves as well. If your clients are struggling with where to make meaningful gifts here are some guiding criteria that they can ask themselves:

  1. Is the work that the nonprofit I want to give to doing relevant, necessary and ‘just in time’?
  2. Can the nonprofit I want to give to scale up based on the size of my gift?
  3. Can the nonprofit I want to give to do what they say they will?
  4. Do you as a donor have a certain number of people in mind that you want to help with your gift?
  5. Can the organization you want to donate to help post COVID-19 with recovery efforts?
  6. Are you as a donor willing to shift your giving priorities (operating vs programs)?
  7. Are you as a donor willing to shift the population you support (ie: rather than homeless looking at the needs of homeless children)

Resources for Nonprofits

Local Funding Opportunities for Nonprofits:

Fort Wayne Artist Relief Fund
The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne have established an Artist Relief Fund to help Artists who have lost income due to COVID-19.  or

United Way Emergency Relief Fund
Initial funding focuses on 1. food distribution, 2. food support for seniors and those with disabilities, 3. emergency housing and shelter support, 4. Medical support services such as translation and transportation

AWS Foundation
Funding for emergency needs

St. Joe Community Health Foundation
COVID-19 response for specific programs or direct support of a vulnerable population

Foellinger Foundation
Innovative Rapid Grant or Emergency Response Rapid Grant

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund to provide funds to support the needs of families: Food, Rent, Utilities, Childcare (Level II childcare provider or higher), Transportation (gas cards, bus passes), Communication (cell phone #, internet) for families with a child under the age of 18 in residence. The requesting agency/organization must be a 501c3. 

If you have an organization or cause that needs help, Sweetwater is happy to consider your request. 

City of Fort Wayne
The 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Public Services and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding opportunities have been reopened. Interested non-profit agencies should look through the revised application, and are encouraged to attend a voluntary Technical Assistance session on May 18th  at 3:00 PM hosted by GoToMeeting. You can find information on how to join the meeting here: Completed applications are due on May 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm and must be sent via email to

Crosswinds Counseling
Free online counseling sessions with Crosswinds Counseling are available to select groups. You will be able to meet face-to-face with a counselor from the comfort of your home on your computer, tablet or phone.

The number one question we’ve heard fundraisers asking themselves right now in this era of COVID-19 is “Should I still ask my donors for money?” You can find out the answer on our new blog post! 

We will have more blogs coming soon about fundraising and communications in the time of COVID-19.


Quick Access Documents:


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