Community Response Fund FAQ

  • Why was a disaster fund created?

    When a disaster happens, our community wants to help. The Community Response Fund of Cass Clay Counties was created by the FM Area Foundation to provide a collaborative option for donors to help address both immediate and long-term needs that arise during times of disaster. The intention is to provide a flexible, philanthropic fund for the Fargo-Moorhead region in the face of uncertainty caused by a community crisis or disaster.

  • Who created the fund?

    The Community Response Fund of Cass and Clay Counties was created by the FM Area Foundation in 2017. This fund offers donors a trusted disaster response fund to give to in the event of a local community crisis or disaster. The FM Area Foundation has been providing philanthropic services to the Fargo-Moorhead area for 60 years. Many community foundations across the country have similar disaster funds for their communities.

  • What is the purpose of the fund?

    The Community Response Fund of Cass and Clay Counties provides support to nonprofit organizations during and after a community crisis or disaster. Each disaster is unique and unanticipated needs will arise. Grants awarded will supplement, not replace, other resources including government support and relief efforts in cases of local disaster. Grants will fill gaps in services and needs that are not being met by existing local, state and federal resources and programs. We are currently working to deploy grant dollars to nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis and those directly serving vulnerable populations in our community.

  • Is there a geographic focus for this fund?

    Yes. Grants from this fund will be directed to nonprofit organizations serving Cass County, North Dakota, and Clay County, Minnesota.

  • How is money going to be given away?

    Grants will be provided to community-based organizations/service providers in the Cass-Clay area affected by the COVID-19 crisis and serving vulnerable populations. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis as the grants committee for the Community Response Fund continues to assess needs created by the coronavirus pandemic. We will share the list of grants awarded on our website.

  • How will you decide which organizations receive funding?

    Every disaster is different, with different impacts, needs and resources available for support. The FM Area Foundation’s grants committee, made up of community leaders, will work together to identify recipients with deep roots in the community and experience to deliver support and services to vulnerable populations at moments of crisis. There will be a brief grant application on our website for nonprofits to fill out. As we begin to award grants, we will post them on our website. You can see the list of grant recipients here.

  • How do nonprofits apply for a grant from the Community Response Fund?

    Nonprofits located in Cass County, North Dakota, or Clay County, Minnesota, can apply for a grant by filling out an application on our website. Learn more about the Community Response Fund grant guidelines and eligibility requirements here

  • Can individuals access money from the fund?

    We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and will continue to be affected. The FM Area Foundation is working to distribute resources to community-based organizations directly supporting people in our communities facing emerging economic, social and health impacts.

    Individuals are encouraged to call 2-1-1 to connect with community resources.

  • How can I donate to the fund?

    Community members can give to the Community Response Fund of Cass and Clay Counties to help provide relief for nonprofits affected by COVID-19 by visiting Donors can also send checks to the Foundation’s address below with "Community Response Fund” noted in the memo line of the check.

    FM Area Foundation
    409 7th St. S
    Fargo, ND 58103

    The FM Area Foundation has committed $250,000 to the Community Response Fund to be used as a challenge grant to encourage more people in our community to give!

    Please note, the FM Area Foundation is unable to accept supply donations.

  • Is there a fee?

    With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee. The FM Area Foundation is covering the cost of approximately seven staff members leading this effort. A standard credit card fee for online donations will apply.

  • Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

    In order to deploy resources as efficiently as possible, we are not considering donations with restrictions at this time. The Community Response Fund of Cass and Clay Counties was created to collect and distribute funds in the most efficient way possible, allowing the grants committee to determine the greatest needs in the community, both immediately and in the long-term, as an event unfolds.

  • How can I learn more about the fund?

    Visit or contact the FM Area Foundation at 701.234.0756 or toll free at 844-305-8375.