La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund Activated

The La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund was created to rapidly deploy resources to charitable organizations at the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak in the La Crosse area. The fund was established by La Crosse Community Foundation and Great Rivers United Way and is sustained through the generous gifts of community members and businesses.


Donation Options

  • Online via credit card by clicking HERE – or the blue DONATE button above through our safe and secure donation portal
  • Via check written to La Crosse Community Foundation or Great Rivers United Way and mailed attn: Emergency Response Fund to:
    • 401 Main Street, Suite 205  La Crosse, WI  54601
    • Great Rivers United Way, 1855 E. Main St., Onalaska, WI  54650
  • Via check or cash using the State Bank Financial drive-thru lanes at the La Crosse and Onalaska locations:
    • 401 Main Street, La Crosse
    • 1836 E Main Street, Onalaska
  • Recommending a gift from your donor advised fund

To make a donation using other assets like stock or mutual funds, or to direct an IRA Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD) to the fund, contact the Foundation’s Executive Director Jamie Schloegel at jamie@laxcommfoundation.com or 608.782.3223 to get directions.

About‌ ‌the‌ ‌La‌ ‌Crosse‌ ‌Area‌ ‌Emergency‌ ‌Response‌ ‌Fund‌ ‌-‌‌ ‌‌Click‌ ‌here‌ ‌for‌ ‌current‌ ‌fund‌ ‌balance‌ and‌ ‌a‌ ‌list‌ ‌of‌ ‌donors‌ 

La Crosse Community Foundation will administer grants in partnership with Great Rivers United Way. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs.

The emergency fund will provide flexible and rapid resources to charitable organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak and its related preventative measures. The fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address the many needs created by the pandemic.

We‌ ‌anticipate‌ ‌two‌ ‌phases‌ ‌of‌ ‌funding:‌ 

Phase‌ ‌1:‌‌ ‌Grants‌ ‌will‌ ‌fuel‌ ‌the‌ ‌work‌ ‌of‌ ‌existing‌ ‌nonprofits‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌demonstrated‌ ‌track‌ record‌ ‌of‌ ‌directly‌ ‌serving‌ ‌those‌ ‌who‌ ‌are‌ ‌most‌ ‌economically‌ ‌or‌ ‌medically‌ ‌affected‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌pandemic‌. These grants are being awarded to charitable organizations working on the front lines of the pandemic and providing direct support to individuals and families suffering the greatest economic impact. These rapid-response grants began in March, and over $750,000 has been awarded since.

What we’re not funding in phase 1:

  • general operating expenses for organizations that have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue because of cancelled events, services, or programs
  • larger public institutions strained by increased demand for services
  • other funders who want to use this grant to make grants to other nonprofit organizations

Phase‌ ‌2:‌ ‌Grants‌ ‌will‌ ‌provide‌ ‌unrestricted‌ ‌funds‌ ‌to‌ ‌nonprofits‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌lost‌ ‌revenue‌ because‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌pandemic‌. Phase‌ ‌2‌ ‌will‌ ‌begin‌ ‌when‌ ‌the‌ ‌need‌ ‌for‌ ‌rapid-response‌ ‌grants‌ ‌diminishes.‌ ‌With‌ ‌so‌ ‌many‌ ‌unknowns‌ ‌about‌ ‌when‌ ‌critical‌ ‌COVID-related‌ ‌needs‌ ‌are‌ ‌met,‌ ‌a‌ ‌release‌ ‌date‌ ‌for‌ ‌phase‌ ‌2‌ ‌is‌ ‌not‌ ‌yet‌ ‌known.‌ 

Contact‌ ‌Us‌ 
General‌ ‌questions‌ ‌and‌ ‌inquiries‌ ‌about‌ ‌making‌ ‌requests‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌fund‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌directed‌ ‌to‌ ‌katie@laxcommfoundation.com‌ ‌or‌ ‌levans@gruw.org‌ 
For‌ ‌interested‌ ‌donors‌ ‌and‌ ‌partners,‌ ‌please‌ ‌contact‌ ‌La‌ ‌Crosse‌ ‌Community‌ ‌Foundation‌ Executive‌ ‌Director‌ ‌Jamie‌ ‌Schloegel‌ ‌at‌ ‌‌jamie@laxcommfoundation.com‌‌ ‌or‌ ‌Mary‌ ‌Kay‌ Wolf,‌ ‌Executive‌ ‌Director‌ ‌Great‌ ‌Rivers‌ ‌United‌ ‌Way,‌ ‌mkwolf@gruw.org.‌

Application Instructions

Please click here to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and responses will be made within 3 business days of submitting the proposal. In order to move resources quickly, the application form is short and easy to complete.

Click here to see a full list of grants awarded!


I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this fund help me?

We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected.

While the fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, we are funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. Check out our list of grantees for a list of organizations that may be able to help you.

My organization is interested in resources from this fund. Can we be considered?

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services as well as other challenges. We are working closely with Great Rivers United Way to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Charitable organizations who serve La Crosse County are eligible to apply.

Please click here to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and responses will be made within 3 business days of submitting the proposal. To move resources quickly, the application form is short and easy to complete.

I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible.

Should I give to this fund instead of making other donations?

This fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it is needed most.

If the La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a donation. However, this is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations who have benefited from your giving in the past, as well as those who’ve had to cancel their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community as we have greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak.

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

We anticipate two phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. In this first round, we are not able to prioritize organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services. We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work to assess and evolve our funding strategies.

Based upon the charitable structure of the La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund, our grants are limited to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501(c)4, 501(c)5, and 501(c)6 organizations.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund will support community-based organizations serving La Crosse County.

Is there a fee to contribute?

With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the fund. 100 percent of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground, except for a credit card fee for online donations, which is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Gifts can also be mailed to La Crosse Community Foundation or dropped off at State Bank drive-thrus in La Crosse and Onalaska. La Crosse Community Foundation and Great Rivers United way will cover the cost of approximately 7 staff leading this effort.

How will the fund shift gears if needed?

The fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience. If funds remain after all short-term and long-term needs are supported, the La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund will be saved for the next crisis that demands a similar rapid response.