State's Nonprofits Continue to Feel Effects of the Coronavirus

October 7, 2020 // South Dakota Fund Grants
Heartfelt hands

Many of South Dakota’s nonprofits have had to completely change their normal way of doing business in order to continue providing services for their clients and communities. At the same time, their typical fundraising efforts have had to be cancelled. Through the generosity of their donors, the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) has been able to provide some much-needed support statewide.

Beginning in March, the South Dakota Community Foundation 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. Donations are being accepted. If you would like to lend your support to those who continue to be impacted by this virus, or just learn more, please visit Donations can be made on-line or checks may be directed to SDCF, PO Box 296, Pierre, SD 57501. One hundred percent of donations made to the SDCF Coronavirus Fund go directly to those in need in our state.

Grantmaking processes for SDCF’s South Dakota Fund and Community Innovation grant programs were also re-prioritized. Fifteen grant recipients recently shared $204,500 in grant awards from the South Dakota Community Foundation. The South Dakota nonprofits that benefitted from these efforts include Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Black Hills Film Festival, Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, Inc., Cheyenne River Youth Project, Club for Boys, Ground Works & SD Ag in the Classroom, Lakota Nation Disaster Resiliency, Landmann-Jungman Memorial Hospital, LifeScape, Oyate Concern Christian School, Sanford Underground Research Facility Foundation, Sioux YMCA, The Compass Center and The Lost & Found Association.

“Our state’s nonprofits are committed to providing services for all those that need them”, said Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “The South Dakota Community Foundation pledges to be there for them and provide support anyway we can. Working together with our state’s nonprofits and our generous and compassionate donors, we will get through this.”

Funds were used to support the following initiatives:

Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Mitchell is a 67-bed hospital. A $10,000 grant was awarded to support the purchase of equipment upgrades including personal protective equipment.

Hill City, SD is headquarters for the Black Hills Film Festival. The $5,000 awarded to them will be used to help fund the creation of the Black Hills Film Festival Streaming Channel. This new technology will provide a platform to share South Dakota’s talent, culture, history and stories with the world.

The Career Learning Center, a division of the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, will partner with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of the Black Hills to develop financial literacy courses. Funds will impact a statewide audience and courses will be free for all participants. A $60,000 grant, distributed over a 2- year period, will be used to create five virtual courses focused on preparing and paying for college.

Located in Rapid City, the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc. has been forced to modify procedures to keep their musicians, audience, staff and volunteers as safe as possible. This nonprofit was granted $2,500 to support the purchase of personal protective equipment.

Cheyenne River Youth Project, Eagle Butte provides a safe place where youth can go and receive a hot, nutritious meal and healthy snacks while participating in enrichment programs. COVID-19 has forced the closure of their facilities to most programming. A $15,000 grant will focus on food security including week-day meals and food boxes for families and elders.

Club for Boys, Rapid City is an afterschool and summer program primarily serving at-risk boys, ages 6-18. It closed this spring but has now reopened with a limited schedule and a smaller number of boys. They were awarded $12,000 to assist with supplies necessary to keep individuals safe during the pandemic.

Sioux Falls, SD is headquarters for Ground Works and SD Ag in the Classroom. The $10,000 awarded to them will be used to support adaptions and enhance their existing interactive on-line program, The SD Road Trip, currently geared for our state’s 4th grade students.

Lakota Nation Disaster Resiliency, housed in Pine Ridge, provides disaster relief for the community and people of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. This organization was granted $10,000 for COVID supplies and personal protection equipment.

Scotland is home to the Landmann-Jungman Memorial Hospital. A $10,000 grant will be used to upgrade the hospital’s phone system. These grant dollars will shore up telehealth visits via phone helping meet the demand for such services during this pandemic.

With outpatient centers in both Sioux Falls and Rapid City, LifeScape’s largest and most immediate need for their direct-care program was additional personal protective equipment for their nearly 1200 staff members. This nonprofit was granted $20,000 to support these efforts.

Oyate Concern Christian School, started in 2010 as a preschool and has grown into an alternative PreK-6 school located in Oglala. Due to COVID, they have embarked on an online distance learning project. This organization was granted $10,000 for equipment upgrades.

Located in Lead, Sanford Underground Research Facility Foundation will use a virtual platform to allow more students and teachers in South Dakota to take part in the science happening at Sanford Underground Research Facility. The $10,000 awarded to them will enable Sanford’s Lab Education and Outreach to bring STEM education to students, education specialists and provide professional development workshops for teachers.

Families living on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation have benefitted from the Sioux YMCA’s food delivery program to families. This nonprofit was granted $10,000 to help them address food security issues.

The Compass Center, Sioux Falls provides free crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy to children, adolescents and adults, both male/female, who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and human trafficking/sexual exploitation. This organization was granted $10,000 to update their case management platform with new software.

The Lost & Found Association, Sioux Falls uses a public health lens to examine the problem of suicide among college students. They will assess student needs on five South Dakota campuses (USD, SDSU, DWU, USF and Augustana University) and advise administrators on any needed policies and best practices to care for student’s mental health through the duration of COVID-19. They were awarded $10,000 to support this research.

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.