Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A fundraising drive is being launched to help local non-profit organizations weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rochester Area Foundation, the Mayo Clinic, and the United Way of Olmsted County have created the TOGETHER: Greater Rochester Area COVID 19 Community Support Fund. The money raised will be used to award grants to non-profit groups facing unforeseen challenges due to the crisis.

“The entire community is faced with significant challenges as we battle COVID -19. This community has a history of coming together in times of great challenge and uncertainty to help those who need it most," says Halena Gazelka, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic Public Affairs.

The three founding organizations have already been joined by several community partners, including Think Bank, IBM, Pepsi Co., Lasker Jewelers, and Rochester Sand and Gravel to raise over a half-million dollars toward the goal of at least one million dollars. Donations are being accepted at the Rochester Area Foundation’s website at RochesterArea.org/together or the United Way website https://donate.onecause.com/united-we-fight-coronavirus. The organizers are stressing there are no administrative fees and 100-percent of the money donated will go to the fund.

The Rochester Area Foundation will administer the fund and award the grants. The news release announcing the program says a simple application process will be available during the first week of April. Local nonprofits may submit funding requests to support project-based opportunities, direct services, or general operating support. 100-percent of the fund will be dispersed through the grant program by the end of the year.

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