SDCF Provides Support Statewide

June 17, 2020 // South Dakota Fund Grants
COVID sign

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) made a commitment when the Coronavirus struck. We wanted to respond to our state’s nonprofits in a timely manner and get dollars out the door as quickly as possible. Our grant process was streamlined, we set aside many of our traditional Grantmaking Guidelines and shortened the approval process. As a statewide community foundation, we are one of a handful of options that many of our state’s nonprofits can look to for support. Twelve grants were recently awarded to organizations around South Dakota to address various needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants totaling $85,000 will address basic food and shelter needs produced by the Coronavirus as well as material support for healthcare workers and first responders.

In response to the pandemic, SDCF’s Board of Directors established the Coronavirus Response Fund to directly support the needs of communities and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. This fund addresses immediate needs including access to food, shortage of volunteers, healthcare sector support and human services sector support.

Three organizations received a grant from the Coronavirus Response Fund:

  • Pierre Area Referral Service (PARS) Pierre, SD received $4,500 to provide support for their food pantry program, emergency fund, backpack program and school supplies. Pierre Area Referral Service (PARS) began as a legal aid program in 1974. Since then it has expanded to include information and referral services to callers from Hughes and Stanley Counties and across the state.
  • Pine Ridge Girls School located in Porcupine, SD features an academically rigorous program grounded in Lakota culture and language. A grant in the amount of $2,000 will help provide meals for students.
  • The Community Outreach in Sioux Falls was awarded $20,000. Dollars will support families in financial crisis due to unemployment necessitated by the Coronavirus. The Community Outreach assists residents of Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha and Turner counties who are struggling financially.

In addition, the Board reprioritized SDCF’s grantmaking so that the South Dakota Fund and Community Innovation Grants programs both focus solely on COVID-19 related needs. Under normal circumstances, South Dakota Fund grants focus on culture, economic development, education, health and human services programs, and Community Innovation Grants support community problem-solving projects.

Nine organizations received grants from the repurposed South Dakota Fund:

  • Located in Rapid City, Catholic Social Services was the recipient of a $10,000 grant. Catholic Social Services provides outpatient therapy, behavioral health programs, adoption services and other professional social services to individuals and families of all faiths in 22 counties of western South Dakota. The grant will provide emergency funds to help individuals and families meet basic needs if they have suffered a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Fork Real Community Café, Rapid City, received $2,500 to help fight food insecurity. Fork Real uses a unique approach to combat hunger by using a “pay-what-you can” café concept. They were forced to adjust from serving the general public as a “dine-in” operation during the pandemic and have gifted many meals to the community including families with children front-line workers and people that did not have the option to stay home.
  • The Hand County Memorial Hospital in Miller was granted $2,000 for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to cover revenue loss due to forced closure of services. Hand County Memorial Hospital is a community-based organization that provides health, education and promotes healthy lifestyles in Hand and Hyde counties.
  • Serving a 14-county area based around Yankton, South Dakota, Heartland Humane Society’s animal shelter provides housing for approximately 700 animals per year plus offers multiple community programs. This organization was the recipient of a $2,000 grant to be used to support animal care.
  • The Huron Regional Medical Center Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Huron Regional Medical Center. A $20,000 grant will assist with the expansion of their telemedicine program to better serve their patients during this pandemic.
  • LifeQuest, in Mitchell, was awarded a $5,000 grant to offset expenses related to COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts. LifeQuest helps people with disabilities in Mitchell and its surrounding area.
  • Located in Pine Ridge, SD, the Red Cloud Indian School was granted $5,000 to support continued on-line learning. Established in 1888, Red Cloud now includes three schools serving nearly 600 students, reservation-wide pastoral services and The Heritage Center.
  • St. Francis House in Sioux Falls is an ecumenical ministry to the homeless in their community. This nonprofit was awarded a $7,000 grant to support their food, shelter and mental health needs.
  • An award in the amount of $5,000 was presented to Youth & Family Services, Inc. located in Rapid City. Youth & Family Services reaches approximately 14,000 families through youth development, counseling Head Start, childcare, nutrition, relationship, case management and prevention programs. Dollars will support nutrition programs for vulnerable children.

“The COVID-19 virus and the ramifications resulting from it are not going away soon. As a statewide community foundation, we work to serve and strengthen communities across South Dakota every day,” said Stephanie Judson, SDCF President & CEO. “We are committed to continue working with communities and nonprofits as they deal with the myriad of issues posed by this virus. None of this would be possible without the support of our generous donors and we send a huge thank you to them. Working together we can continue to build a stronger South Dakota.”

If you would like to ensure that people impacted by the coronavirus can receive the help they need, consider a gift to the Coronavirus Response Fund at SDCF. One hundred percent of the funds collected go directly towards addressing coronavirus concerns in our state. Donations can be made on-line at or by sending a check to SDCF, PO Box 296, Pierre, SD 57501.

Thank You! We are all in this together.

About the SDCF

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers over 980 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2019 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.