The American Rescue Plan: A Letter to Our Local Leaders

Dear Maryland County and Municipal Elected Leaders,

Thank you for your leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit our state with such severity. During these trying times, the nonprofit sector has been a vital lifeline for communities in need. The American Rescue Plan is bringing $6 billion into Maryland, with half of that going to county and local governments. We are reaching out to all county and municipal leaders to encourage their support of local nonprofits and to encourage partnership with your local community foundation.

Nonprofits are on the front lines of providing COVID-19 relief, reaching deeply into their communities with food distribution, rental assistance programs, support for seniors and people with disabilities and more. At the same time, nonprofits are businesses that have lost significant revenue due to COVID and have the same pressures of other businesses of meeting payroll, managing facilities, and putting safety measures in place. In non-crisis times, nonprofits are significant employers and economic drivers, representing more than 12% of Maryland’s private workforce and $59,000,000 in combined revenues and providing communities with lifesaving and life-enhancing services. By allocating a substantial portion of your ARP funding to nonprofit grants, your county or municipal government will maximize its impact and stimulate your local economy in a time of exceptional need.

Your local community foundation is a great asset to the community and could be a potential partner with you in administering such grants. Maryland’s 14 community foundations are permanent sources of local philanthropic investment that specialize in serving their respective regions’ evolving needs. Together, they hold a total of more than $700 million in philanthropic assets and distribute about $128 million in grants each year to nonprofit organizations in their communities, addressing a wide range of issues. Community foundations know the nonprofit sector and are experienced grantmakers, uniquely positioned to accept your investment of ARP dollars for the maximum impact on your constituents.

We know that you may already have a relationship with the leadership at your community foundation. If helpful, a list of the community foundations serving regions throughout Maryland is provided to encourage continued collaboration with the foundation serving your area.

Thank you again for your continued support. We look forward to our continued partnership on our shared policy priorities and building a stronger, more equitable Maryland for all.


Heather Iliff
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Maryland Nonprofits


Elisabeth Hyleck
Acting President
Maryland Philanthropy Network