CFMT Deploys 2nd Round of First Responder Grants for Tornado Relief

$1.225M from Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund Impacts 39 Nonprofits; Advisory Board Set

Nashville, Tenn. — The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has announced a second round of initial grants from the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund, with eight additional nonprofits receiving grants for tornado relief efforts throughout affected communities.

A total of $6,522,864.91 has been collected from at least 20,178 donors, with $2,228,556.46 pledged but not yet arrived as of 3 pm Monday, March 16.

Grants from the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund total $1.225 million to 39 organizations and nonprofits serving Davidson, Wilson and Putnam counties, among the most affected by the tornadoes. Additional grants continue to be deployed from existing charitable funds at The Foundation.

The Fund was established just hours after deadly tornadoes ripped through Nashville and Middle Tennessee on March 3, leaving 25 dead and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed or damaged.

Funding will be available for both immediate relief and ongoing recovery efforts as issues are identified. During this initial relief phase (through April 15), priority for grants will be given to organizations providing services and resources to meet the most immediate needs.

Grants will be reviewed and deployed weekly in a “fast track” process to get financial resources out into the community quickly, which was a priority identified by the advisory committee. Grants will also be available for emerging and long-term needs as the affected communities stabilize and begin recovery. Currently, the focus is on these areas:

  • Shelter and Housing
  • Basic Necessities (food, clothing, utilities, hygiene needs)
  • Short-term Financial Assistance
  • Transportation
  • Clean-up and Debris Removal

Application for nonprofits to apply for funding via the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund is online at

The Community Foundation emphasizes that this is the initial sets of grants made between March 9 and 14. There are many more to come as pledged commitments come to The Foundation as cash, allowing us to review and approve grants for other organizations that assist those who have been impacted by the tornadoes.

Members of CFMT’s Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund advisory committee includes city and civic leaders from communities throughout Nashville and areas of Middle Tennessee affected by the tornadoes. Initial grantmaking has included input from both committee and The Community Foundation board members.

Those attending the Advisory Committee’s initial meeting were: Hannah Davis, Affordable Housing Program Manager, Metro Nashville Mayor’s Office; Karl Dean, former Nashville Mayor; Brenda Haywood, Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement, Metro Nashville Mayor’s Office; Sam Hatcher, board member, The Community Foundation of Wilson County; The Rev. Chris Jackson, Pleasant Green Baptist Church and Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship; Lonnell Matthews, Juvenile Court Clerk of Metro Nashville; Jay Servais, District Chief, Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management; Ron Samuels, Vice Chairman, Pinnacle Financial Partners; Jerry Williams, Community Volunteer and retired, Leadership Nashville; and Brenda Wynn, Davidson County Clerk.

A few additional members are in the process of being added to bring further neighborhood and geographic representation and perspective to the committee.

Staff and philanthropic support to the Advisory Committee are: Ellen Lehman, president, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; Amy Fair, Vice President of Donor Services, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; and Pete Bird, President and CEO, The Frist Foundation.

Donations to the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund are fully tax-deductible. During times of disaster response, The Community Foundation donates its time and resources, and no administrative fees are deducted from donations to the Fund. Proceeds go to nonprofits providing for the short-term and long-term needs of victims of the tornadoes and their aftermath. To give to the Fund, go to

About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call 615-321-4939.