The COVID-19 Community Response Fund was established in partnership by the Billings Community Foundation and the United Way of Yellowstone County. It is receiving support from individuals, corporations, and foundations throughout our region to provide immediate and coordinated response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. The Fund will provide flexible resources to 501(c)3 organizations in Yellowstone County and surrounding rural communities working with citizens who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this pandemic.
  2. The Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local non-profit capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak pandemic as efficiently as possible.
  3. The Fund’s first priority and focus is to distribute grants to non-profit organizations providing disaster relief efforts and serving economically vulnerable children, families, and seniors impacted by COVID-19.
  4. The Billings Community Foundation and the United Way of Yellowstone County have a long history of efficiently managing and providing quick turnaround to get funds where they are needed most. The Funding Partners are committed to being nimble, adaptive and transparent in all of these efforts.

The Billings Community Foundation and the United Way of Yellowstone County will work in partnership with local organizations and other funders to ensure the Fund has maximum reach and effectiveness.

In addition to offering an opportunity to contribute to the Fund, we also urge donors to look for opportunities to support the critical needs of local non-profits by making general operating support grants directly to the organizations you care about most!

Please see the FAQs at the bottom of this page for more information on the Fund’s purpose and grantmaking.

75% of all contributions into the Fund will be immediately made available to meet growing needs in the following priority categories:

  1. Shelter and housing assistance
  2. Food security for children, families, and seniors
  3. Basic needs to meet increased demand
  4. Maintaining existing services to vulnerable population
  5. Non-profit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.

Yellowstone County Continuum of Care

In an effort to reduce duplicative process and inefficiency, the remaining 25% of the COVID 19 Response Fund will go directly to the Yellowstone County Continuum of Care (CoC) Diversion Fund to meet growing shelter and homelessness needs.

The CoC is an experienced and coordinated group of non-profit leaders best suited to effectively address emergency housing assistance.

*CoC members will access those funds through the existing CoC Diversion Fund procedures.

**CoC members are invited to apply to the COVID-19 Community Response Grant Cycle for needs not currently being met through the CoC Diversion Fund or other CoC mechanisms.

Requests of $2,500 or less may be submitted weekly.

Only 501(c)3 organizations in the following counties are eligible to apply at this time:

  • -Bighorn County
  • -Carbon County
  • -Custer County
  • -Fergus County
  • -Musselshell County
  • -Rosebud County
  • -Stillwater County
  • -Treasure County
  • -Yellowstone County

*Preference is currently being giving to charitable organizations in Yellowstone County meeting the highest needs.

**When needs are equal, weight will be given to those organizations who have not previously received a grant from the Fund.

The Fund will begin accepting applications on Monday, March 30th.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling weekly basis each Thursday.

Award notifications and follow up ACH requests will be submitted on Fridays.

Grant distributions will be processed within three business days of approval.

The Fund grant cycle will remain active until it is depleted.

For interested philanthropic and business partners, please contact the Billings Community Foundation Executive Director, Lauren Wright, at
406-839-3334 or


Please direct general questions and media inquiries to the United Way of Yellowstone County Communications and Campaign Coordinator, Lisa McDaniels at
406-697-2874 or


To make donations by credit card, click on the donate links on this page, or click here. (Please note: Minimum donation is $25.00)


To donate by check, make your check payable to “Billings Community Foundation.” with “Response Fund” in the memo field and mail to:

Billings Community Foundation
PO BOX 1255
Billings, MT 59103


To donate from a Donor Advised Fund, make your donation to the Billings Community Foundation and write for “Response Fund” in the grant purpose.


To inquire about transferring other types of assets, please contact our Executive Director, Lauren Wright, at
406-839-3334 or

* In order to stay responsive to ever changing needs, the guidelines, process, and application herein is also subject to change.


Frequently Asked Questions

My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. How can we be considered?
The Billings Community Foundation and the United Way of Yellowstone County announced the process for requesting funding from the Fund on Wednesday, April 1st. However, it should be noted that this fund is designed to make grants only to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, and groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 organizations.
I am an individual affected by a current emergency situation. Can I apply for assistance from this Fund?
The Fund partners understand the current emergency situation is having and will continue to have a significant impact on individuals and families in Billings and the Greater Yellowstone Valley Region of Montana. On behalf of the Fund partners, the Billings Community Foundation and the United Way of Yellowstone County will work to move resources as quickly as possible to community-based organizations that are directly supporting vulnerable populations that are affected.
We cannot offer direct funds to individuals at this time.
May I target my donation to a specific organization?
To ensure that we can coordinate and share resources as quickly as possible, donors may not restrict their grants to an individual grantee. If you have a specific organization you would like to support, we encourage you to give directly to that organization.
Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?
No. This Fund is not intended to be the only vehicle to give funds to non-profits working at the frontlines of the current emergency. You are encouraged to give directly to organizations you may have supported in the past or non-profits you know are addressing needs in your community. This fund is another vehicle through which those needs will be addressed.
Is there a geographic focus for this fund?
The Fund will prioritize funding for organizations in Yellowstone County and the surrounding counties in the Billings Community Foundation’s designated service region.
When will you announce funding decisions?
Grants from this Fund will be made on a rolling basis, beginning on Friday, April 10th. We will publish the names of grantees and more information on a regular basis.
Why is there a $25 minimum on credit card donations?
Our resources for processing smaller donations are limited, so we require a $25 minimum on credit card donations. To give smaller amounts, you may donate by check or we encourage you to directly donate to community non-profits of your choice.

Up to $2,500