As I type this letter, our local situation with COVID-19 is ever evolving.   We are all feeling the roller-coaster ride of highs and lows – those with, those without, those working more hours than ever or those not working at all.  At the OCF, we have received gifts from donors who have been more generous than ever before.  We have also heard the fear in voices of some of our most faithful donors overwhelmed by the changes in the market.  From our nonprofit partners we are hearing three things:

  1. An increase in clients –  For example on March 23, the Otsego County Food Pantry DOUBLED their biggest day in history
  2. An increase in costs to provide services –  For example the Women’s Resources Center, along with several other organizations, has had to purchase devices and subscriptions to be able to provide telecounseling.
  3. A decrease in revenue as major fund-raising events are cancelled or postponed and grants and corporate sponsorships are also being reduced – For example the OWLS banquet was cancelled and Huron Pines DNR grant has been suspended.  Additionally, staff time is being consumed with serving clients leaving little time for exploring alternative fundraising possibilities.

On March 16, the Otsego Community Foundation established the COVID-19 Response Fund anticipating that there would be an increase in need and our nonprofit partners would depend on the OCF more than ever.  The purpose of the fund is to support local organizations that provide services vital to the well-being of our community including food, safety, mental and physical health, local economy and unknown future needs.  As of May 5, $68,892 has been awarded.  Partnerships have been formed, gaps have been filled, spirits have been lifted, and lives have been touched.  To learn more about how the monies raised have been used scan the QR code below or visit  

The weeks and months ahead look extremely challenging for our nonprofits whose services are greatly needed.  We are writing today to share with you three opportunities to help:

  • MAKE A GIFT-Consider making a donation to the COVID-19 Response Fund.
  • SPREAD THE WORD-Pass this letter along to a friend or share an OCF Facebook post.  Word of mouth means so much.
  • SHARE YOUR IDEAS-Contact us and let us know of a need in the community or a way we can help.

While so much is uncertain during this time let’s focus on what we know to be true, “Together we can do more for the community we love!”

With great appreciation for your partnership,

Dana Bensinger
Executive Director