Berkeley Relief Fund

Community coming together to support small businesses, arts nonprofits, and residential tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.


How do I donate by check?

Please make checks payable to: “Berkeley Relief Fund” and mail to:
East Bay Community Foundation; Attn: Berkeley Relief Fund; 200 Frank Ogawa Plaza; Oakland CA 94612

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes, your donation is tax-deductible.  The fiduciary for the fund is the East Bay Community Foundation a 501c3. The City of Berkeley will administer the program for arts nonprofits, small businesses, and residential tenants.

Who will manage the donations?

East Bay Community Foundation is collecting the online and check donations, for a very small management fee of 1%.  Fiscal agent fees can run as high as 15% with other entities.

What is the East Bay Community Foundation's Tax ID?

East Bay Community Foundation Tax ID: 94-6070996

Why is the City managing the grant making process?

The City of Berkeley is already managing the $3 million in relief funds that the City Council authorized on March 17, 2020. Moreover, the City has the experience in expertise in managing other grantmaking and loan programs. Some grants may be paid through the East Bay Community Foundation.  Grantees will be advised of grant source once the grant is made.

Will the funds be restricted in use?

Donations will be 100% restricted to pandemic relief for arts nonprofits, small businesses and residential tenants, and will be not in not be comingled or used in any way by the Berkeley General Fund.

Will there be any overhead charged?

No other overhead will be charged by the City or any other entity, other than the 1% fiscal agent fee charged by the East Bay Community Foundation.

How and when will the grants be allocated?

This City is working now on a grant application and grant making process for allocation of the $3 million already authorized by the City Council.  It is expected that the City will follow a similar process for managing funds collected by the Berkeley Relief Fund.

When can I apply for a grant?

The City is working long and hard hours to set up a fair and equitable grant application process. They understand the urgency of getting relief fund out to grantees as soon as possible. If you are interested in receiving a grant, please leave your email at on the APPLY page and you will be notified when the application process is LIVE.

Who will qualify for grants?

You will need to be a Berkeley-based arts nonprofit, small business, or resident to qualify.  Other criteria are also under development by the City.

How much can I expect to receive if I apply for a grant?

We do not know. It depends on how much we are able to fundraise and how many arts nonprofits, small businesses, and residential tenants apply.  We realize that it may only offer a small amount of temporary relief but want to get capital flowing in our community as quickly as possible.

How will this Fund make a difference?

We recognize that $3 to 6 million  will be just a beginning to address what will be needed during this unprecedented global, national and local emergency is having on our community. However, it is a start to providing gap relief for our many of our arts organizations, nonprofits, small businesses, and workers that have had to close or are hanging on by a thread. We hope to continue to raise funding in the months ahead, and that our gap relief can be augmented by federal and state relief programs, as well as other sources.  Please see the City of Berkeley and Berkeley Chamber website for list of additional resources.

What do I if I do not qualify for Berkeley Relief Fund?

If you do not qualify please visit the Berkeley Chamber website for a list of other resources.

Who is behind the Berkeley Relief Fund?

The Berkeley Relief Fund was initiated by Mayor Jesse Arreguín and was quickly joined by Councilmembers Susan Wengraf, Lori Droste and Ben Bartlett, and then unanimously approved by all other Councilmembers Kate Harrison, Sophie Hahn, Cheryl Davalia, Rashi Kesarwani and Rigel Robinson.  Then several business and civic community leaders then joined the project to make the launch of this fundraising effort possible: Berkeley Community Media, Berkeleyside, Berkeley Chamber, Berkeley Merchants United, Visit Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley Association, Telegraph Business Improvement District, Freight and Salvage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The David Brower Center, Berkeley Public Schools Fund, Berkeley Property Owners Association, UC Berkeley, and many others. The program will be overseen by the City of Berkeley Office of Economic Development (OED). We are so very grateful to everyone who worked quickly and tirelessly to get this community-focused effort launched.