In response to COVID-19’s impact on regional nonprofits, the Greater Mankato Area United Way (GMAUW) and Mankato Area Foundation (MAF) have come together to create a Community Response Fund to assist in their joint efforts to address emerging needs in the communities they serve.

The initial goal of the Community Response Fund is to address short-term emergency nonprofit needs throughout this region. MAF will administer grants from this fund in partnership with GMAUW. 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 in subsequent funding phases.

“Through this collaboration with Mankato Area Foundation, we are creating a powerful, united front to ensure a balanced response to keep our region strong,” said Barb Kaus, CEO of GMAUW. “The emerging needs are broad … In addition to financial resources, volunteering and in-kind donations are incredibly important at this time. United Way is continuing to update a centralized list of how people can get involved in those capacities.”

Mayo Clinic Health System Southwest donated $100,000 to Greater Mankato Area United Way to the fund Monday.

“We are grateful to help support this important initiative as our community bands together to address COVID-19,” said Terry Brandt, Chair of Administration for Mayo Clinic Health System Southwest Minnesota.

One hundred percent of donations to this fund will go to charitable organizations helping those impacted by the health crisis throughout the Greater Mankato area. If you would like to learn more or donate to the Community Response Fund, visit

For organizations interested in applying for funds, contact Sarah Beiswanger at, or fill out our simplified online application. For an ongoing list of volunteer and item needs, visit

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