The Ballarat Foundation's biggest annual fundraiser, the Run For A Cause fun run, has been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus.
The Foundation's chief executive, Andrew Eales, said looking after participants, volunteers, and staff would have been too much of a concern.
"We don't know what it's going to look like in November (but) we thought it wasn't the responsible thing to do to run the event," he said.
"What is most disappointing is that a lot of the funds that are raised through Run For A Cause are distributed to charity partners we engage as part of that event."
Last year, more than 2000 runners and walkers raised more than $40,000 for a range of Ballarat charities, and included a half-marathon.
Mr Eales is confident another fundraising event will take its place.
"We are exploring some opportunities where we'll hope to engage with the community around some fundraising events - either online or alternatives," he said.
"We're working through some of the possibilities in regard to that at the moment, and hopefully we'll have some announcements in the coming months."
The Foundation's recent online fundraising, including the Feed Ballarat Virtual Challenge, has been successful despite the pandemic.
However, there is some good news - applications for a range of the Foundation's grants programs have now opened.
These include The Courier Charity Fund, which will support up to two projects to the value of $15,000, Community Impact Grants of up to $10,000, and the Wendouree-Delacombe Fund for projects in those two suburbs.
The focus is on the areas of childhood and youth success, food security, and housing security.
There's also the Peter Amor Sports Participation Fund, seeking applications from community sporting clubs and groups hosting projects to aid disadvantaged young sportspeople.
Mr Eales said more than $100,000 will be available to community groups and not-for-profit organisations.
"We're hopeful that will go some way to easing the burden in what is a really difficult time," he said.
"On the food relief side, we've had great support through the Feed Ballarat appeal, and we think there's going to be a great number of applications in that space to continue programs really aimed at easing or supporting those people in need.
"It's one of those things where it's difficult for people under duress to reach out."
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The community sporting grants will also be important this year, as some groups may struggle to survive with leagues cancelled and parents under financial pressure.
"It has massive flow-on effects," he said.
"We recognise they're so important, and it's never been so important as it is this year."
The grants are funded through donations to the Ballarat Foundation sub-funds and through appeals such as Feed Ballarat.
Applications open close Friday, July 24
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