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Private Foundations Step Up Funding for COVID-19 Response Efforts (March 15-31, 2020)

April 01, 2020

Coronavirus covid 19 shutterstock_1656821971As COVID-19 spreads globally and in the United States, private foundations are stepping up with funding to meet the immediate needs of individuals and vulnerable populations impacted by the virus. The "quick-hit" roundup below captures some of the foundation activity in response to COVID-19 over the last two weeks. Items are sorted in alpha order, by state and, within states, by foundation name. 

For more coverage, check out PND's COVID-19 page and Candid's COVID-19 popup page.


Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Phoenix, AZ | $6.3 Million

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has announced emergency grants totaling $6.3 million to science, human services, and arts and culture nonprofits in Maricopa County. The foundation awarded a $2 million grant to Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute to expand automated, rapid diagnostic testing aimed at mitigating the spread and potential reoccurrence of COVID-19; grants totaling more than $2 million to twenty-eight human services providers facing a significant increase in demand for their services; and grants totaling $2.2 million to forty-four arts and cultural nonprofits facing significant losses of revenue from event cancellations and a drop off in donations.


California Wellness Foundation, Los Angeles, CA | $4 Million

The California Wellness Foundation has announced grants totaling nearly $3 million in support of vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19 — including frontline health workers, economically disadvantaged individuals and groups, immigrants, seniors, and Asian Americans experiencing race-based harassment and assaults — as well as select grantees who are experiencing significant disruptions to their work. Cal Wellness also said it will commit another $1 million in support of community clinics and the associations that advocate for them.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Redwood City, CA | $5 Million

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has announced commitments totaling $5 million to nonprofits and public health agencies responding to the spread of COVID-19 in San Mateo County, where CZI is based, and the wider Bay Area. Commitments include $1 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's COVID-19 Regional Response Fund in support of organizations providing critical services such as emergency rental and food assistance; support for a partnership between the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation and Contra Costa Health Services focused on establishing a mobile testing site for first responders and healthcare workers and expanding mobile testing and screening more broadly; a donation of eight hundred WiFi hotspots to the Redwood City and Ravenswood City school districts in support of at-home learning; and creation of a regional COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide local community-based organizations with timely, flexible funding in support of their efforts to address emerging needs in the region.

William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, Laguna Beach, CA | $1.5 Million

The William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.5 million to organizations working to address the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern California communities. The foundation awarded grants of $250,000 to the OC Food Bank and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and grants of $200,000 to the National Domestic Workers Alliance's Coronavirus Care FundWorld Central Kitchen, the Recording Academy's MusiCares safety-net program, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and the Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation.

Hellman, Crankstart, Stupski Foundations, San Francisco, CA| $2 Million

The Hellman Foundation has contributed $1 million and the Crankstart Foundation and Stupski Foundation have given $500,000 each to San Francisco's Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. The fund, which also received donations from Ann and Gordon Getty ($1 million), Mark Pincus ($100,000), Tom and Theresa Preston-Werner ($250,000), Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan ($100,000), Salesforce ($1.5 million), and Wells Fargo ($150,000), will provide assistance in three priority areas: food security; access to housing; and security for workers and small businesses.

Milner Foundation, Silicon Valley, CA | $3 Million

The Milner Foundation has awarded grants totaling $3 million to three Israeli institutions in support of COVID-19 response and research efforts. The recipients are Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency medical response organization, in support of efforts to reduce the number of people coming to clinics; Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, in support of research aimed at developing treatments for coronavirus; and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center – Ichilov Hospital, in support of the intensive care unit caring for COVID-19 patients.


Morgridge Family Foundation, Denver, CO | $1 Million

The Morgridge Family Foundation has announced emergency grants totaling $1 million in support of COVID-19 response efforts. Unrestricted grants were awarded to forty-six nonprofits, including grants of $100,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida; the Boys and Girls Club of St. Lucie County; and Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Thornton, Colorado. The foundation also announced that it is underwriting the administrative costs of donations to the Colorado COVID-19 Relief Fund.


Longwood Foundation, Wilmington, DE | $4 Million

The Longwood Foundation has announced an initial contribution of $1 million to the Delaware Community Foundation's Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund and said it will consider additional contributions as emerging needs become clearer.


Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Sarasota, FL | $1.5 Million

With the goal of supporting health, human services, and safety-net organizations facing increased demand for services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation in Sarasota and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation in Venice have launched the Gulf Coast COVID-19 Response Joint Initiative with commitments totaling $1.5 million.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami, FL | $10.25 Million

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced emergency funding totaling $10.25 million in support of grantees working to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, including $3.6 million to relief and recovery funds in the eight cities where Knight has offices; they are the Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund ($500,000); the COVID-19 Response Fund in Charlotte, North Carolina ($500,000); the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan's COVID-19 Relief Fund ($500,000); the Central Georgia COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ($500,000); the United Way Miami Pandemic Response Fund 9$450,000) and the Miami Foundation Community Recovery Fund ($250,000); the Small Business Relief Fund ($250,000) and PHL COVID-19 Relief Fund ($250,000) in Philadelphia; the Silicon Valley Strong Fund ($500,000); and the St. Paul Bridge Fund ($400,000) in Minnesota. The foundation also announced grants totaling $6.65 million to community foundations in eighteen other communities where it works.


Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Decatur, IL | $290,000

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has announced a $290,000 commitment to help address coronavirus-related food insecurity in Macon County. Recipients include Meals on Wheels ($30,000) in support of an expansion of its services; Baby TALK ($50,000), to help vulnerable families obtain formula, baby food, and other necessities; and United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois ($110,000), which will use the funds to restock food pantries and help the Good Samaritan Inn provide meals to residents in need. The foundation also will provide up to $100,000 in meal vouchers to first responders from the Macon County Sheriff's Office and Decatur police and fire departments and ambulance service. Buffett is a former Macon County sheriff and currently serves as undersheriff.


Foellinger Foundation, Fort Wayne, IN | $1.35 Million

The Foellinger Foundation has announced a $1.35 million commitment in support of Allen County nonprofits working to address the impacts of COVID-19 on local communities. The funding includes $1.1 million in additional support to the foundation's current grantees; $100,000 for Emergency Response Rapid Grants of up to $25,000 each; $100,000 for Innovative Rapid Grants of up to $25,000; and $50,000 to the United Way of Allen County's Emergency Relief Fund, matching a donation by the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.


Iowa West Foundation, Council Bluffs, IA | $500,000

The Iowa West Foundation has committed up to $500,000 to the Southwest Iowa COVID-19 Response Fund, which it launched in partnership with the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation and Council Bluffs Schools Foundation. The fund will provide emergency assistance for vulnerable populations, support the expansion of public health infrastructure, and assist nonprofits and public health organizations facing challenges related to COVID-19.


Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Baltimore, MD | $4 Million

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has announced $4 million in emergency grants in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including $2.57 million to fifty-five nonprofits operating in the foundation's priority communities in the United States and Israel, and $1.5 million for emergency needs to be identified in the coming weeks and months. The foundation also is accelerating payment of several previously approved grants to ensure that organizations have use of those funds as quickly as possible.


Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Flint, MI | $500,000

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has awarded $500,000 to the Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund, which was established by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint in partnership with United Way of Genesee County, to address immediate and future direct service needs and gaps in the region, enable nonprofits on the front lines of the pandemic to maintain and/or expand their operations and infrastructure, and support costs associated with increasing volunteer capacity. Other foundations contributing to the fund include the Hagerman Foundation and Ruth Mott Foundation.


McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, MN | $100,000

The McKnight Foundation has committed $100,000 to the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund, which is administered by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, to be distributed to the Minnesota Initiative Foundations to address immediate needs of individuals, families, and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.


Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, MO| $2.8 Million

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has announced a series of commitments in support of grantees, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and educational institutions in the Kansas City region. Awards include $500,000 for general support grants through the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund; $500,000 to the KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in Kansas City; up to $1.2 million in support of charter and district schools as well as nonprofit education support organizations; up to $600,000 for current KC Civic grantees who need additional assistance to address COVID-related challenges; and six-to-one matches for donations of up to $500 (per associate) in support of 501(c)(3) public charities working to address the impacts of COVID-19.


Thornburg Foundation, Santa Fe, NM | $1 Million

The Thornburg Foundation has announced that it is accelerating its annual grantmaking and will double each grant with a one-time increase totaling $240,000 in support of nonprofits serving food-insecure children, families, and seniors and the homeless in Santa Fe and Albuquerque affected by COVID-19. Recipients include Food Depot ($20,000), Interfaith Community Shelter ($30,000), La Familia Medical Center ($20,000), Kitchen Angels ($20,000), Communities in Schools ($20,000), Esperanza Shelter ($20,000), St. Elizabeth's Shelter ($20,000), Youth Shelter ($20,000), Adelante program ($10,000), Family Independence Initiative ($10,000), Roadrunner Food Bank ($20,000), Heading Home ($20,000), and the Santa Fe Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund ($10,000).


Bloomberg Philanthropies, New York, NY | $3 Million

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a commitment of $3 million in support of a $4 million public-private partnership with Johns Hopkins University and the state of Maryland to fund research into potential therapeutic uses of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors. A team led by Arturo Casadevall, an infectious disease expert and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, has established a network of hospitals and blood banks that will collect, isolate, and process COVID-19 convalescent plasma with the aim of testing its effectiveness and safety in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients and boosting the immune systems of healthcare providers and first responders.

Louis R. Cappelli Foundation, White Plains, NY | $200,000

The Louis R. Cappelli Foundation has contributed $200,000 to the RXR Building Community Fund at the Westchester Community Foundation in support of COVID-19 relief efforts in New Rochelle.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY | $1.25 Million

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded emergency grants of $1 million to Citymeals on Wheels and $250,000 to God's Love We Deliver, which are experiencing overwhelming demand for their services, to help feed and support elderly and health-compromised New Yorkers who are required to stay in and limit visits from others to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.

Multiple Foundations, Western New York State | $4 Million

The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has announced the launch of the Western New York (WNY) COVID-19 Community Response Fund with commitments from nearly twenty funders — including BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York's Blue Fund, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, M&T Bank, and the Bank of America Charitable, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, East Hill, Grigg Lewis, James H. Cummings, Key Bank and First Niagara, Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower, Patrick P. Lee, Pinto Family, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Baird, John R. Oishei, Margaret L. Wendt, and Western New York foundations. The fund has raised at least $4 million to date to meet health, human services, food, and childcare needs in the region and support frontline responders.


Dogwood Health Trust, Asheville, North Carolina | $10 Million

Created out of the $1.5 billion sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare, the Dogwood Health Trust has announced a $10 million commitment in support of efforts to address the public health crisis in western North Carolina. Support will be focused on three areas — flattening the curve, preparing the region for virus spread, and mitigating impacts of COVID-19, including supporting local companies as they work to increase production of face shields and hand sanitizer, ordering more COVID-19 tests, and working with partners to create spaces where patients can be quarantined. The trust is a funding partner of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina's COVID-19 Pandemic Response fund.

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Winston-Salem, NC | $1.5 Million

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has announced $1.5 million in flexible funding for COVID-19 response efforts in North Carolina, including a grant of $500,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County in support of immediate, emerging, and long-term needs of nonprofits serving disproportionately impacted communities; and a $1 million grant to the North Carolina Healthcare Association Foundation in support of hospitals ($500,000), free and charitable clinics ($250,000), and the North Carolina Community Health Center Association ($250,000) for medical supplies, personal protective equipment, test kits, and telehealth solutions.


William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA | $3 Million

The board of directors of the William Penn Foundation has approved a lead grant of $3 million to support the PHL COVID-19 Fund. The fund will provide grants to organizations in the greater Philadelphia region with a successful track record of serving at-risk populations — including the elderly, disabled, homeless, and economically disadvantaged enhancing community safety nets, and fostering preparedness and protection.

William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA | $11.6 Million

The William Penn Foundation has announced commitments totaling $11.6 million in support of COVID-19 response efforts, including $5 million to establish, in partnership with Vanguard, the Philadelphia Emergency Fund for Stabilization of Early Education. In order to be flexible and responsive to the widespread disruptions in the cultural sector caused by the spread of COVID-19, the foundation also is fast-tracking $6.6 million in annual general operating support grants to arts and cultural groups in the region.


Houston Endowment, Houston, TX | $2 Million

The Houston Endowment has announced commitments totaling $2 million to the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund to assist residents of the region with immediate basic needs. In addition to ;a lead gift of $1 million, the endowment has pledged $1 million to match contributions to the fund on a 1:4 basis. Companies that have pledged donations to the fund include JPMorgan Chase ($100,000), the Houston Texans Foundation ($100,000), and the Wells Fargo Foundation ($150,000).


Quantitative Foundation, Charlottesville, VA | $1 Million

The University of Virginia in Charlottesville has announced a $1 million gift from the Quantitative Foundation to expand UVA Health's capacity to test for COVID-19. The funding is expected to boost the number of tests produced daily from the current two hundred to more than five hundred, with a portion of the tests being made available for inpatients at other Virginia hospitals as well as clinical providers and first responders with symptoms.


Marguerite Casey Foundation, Seattle, WA | Nearly $3 Million

The Marguerite Casey Foundation has announced grants totaling nearly $3 million in supplemental support to fifty-six current grantees to assist them with their work-from-home transitions in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The foundation also has seeded an emergency income relief fund launched by the Workers Lab to help families buy groceries and basic supplies, with an initial focus on gig and undocumented workers.


Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment, Milwaukee, WI | $5 Million

Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment — a statewide health philanthropy established at the Medical College of Wisconsin with a portion of the proceeds from the 2004 conversion of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin — has announced a $5 million rapid-response grant program for Wisconsin-based nonprofits, government agencies, and MCW faculty working on COVID-19 prevention, risk reduction, or to minimize virus transmission.

Have an announcement you'd like to share with the PND community? Drop us a note at matt.sinclair@candid.org or kyoko.uchida@candid.org.


"Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Awards Nonprofits $6.3 Million in Coronavirus Emergency Grants." Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Press Release 03/30/2020.

"Cal Wellness Commits $4 Million to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic." California Wellness Foundation Press Release 03/25/2020.

"Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Commits $5 Million to Bay Area COVID-19 Relief Efforts." Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Press Release >03/27/2020.

"The William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation Donates $1.5 Million to Support Southern California Coronavirus Relief Efforts." William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation Press Release 03/24/2020.

"Mayor London Breed Announces Major Contributions to Give2SF Fund, Priority Areas for Supporting San Franciscans." Office of the Mayor of San Francisco 03/23/2020.

"Milner Foundation Donates $3 Million to Magen David Adom, TAU and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov)." American Friends of Tel Aviv University Press Release 03/24/2020.

"The Morgridge Family Foundation Pledges $1M for Immediate COVID-19 Emergency Relief." Morgridge Family Foundation Press Release 03/31/2020.

"Longwood Foundation's Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic." Longwood Foundation Press Release 03/19/2020.

"Gulf Coast, Barancik Foundation Launch Covid-19 Response Initiative." Gulf Coast Community Foundation 03/24/2020.

Scott Perry. "Buffett Foundation commits $290,000 to feed those in need, first responders in Macon County." Herald & Review 03/24/2020.

"Foellinger Foundation Announces Critical Grant Response to COVID-19." Foellinger Foundation Press Release 03/24/2020.

"Local Foundations Join Forces in Response to COVID-19 Needs." Iowa West Foundation Press Release 03/21/2020.

"Weinberg Foundation Announces $4 Million in Emergency Grants to Nonprofits as Part of COVID-19 Response." Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Press Release 03/27/2020.

"Community Foundation of Greater Flint Announces Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund to Support Local Nonprofits."  Community Foundation of Greater Flint 03/18/2020.

"Mott Foundation Allocates $500K to Coronavirus ‘Urgent Relief Fund’." East Village Magazine 03/23/2020.

"McKnight's Response to the Coronavirus." McKnight Foundation Press Release 03/23/2020.

"The Kauffman Foundation Commits $2.8 Million for COVID-19 Public Response and Coordinated Effort for Kansas City Region." Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Press Release 03/31/2020.

"Thornburg Foundation Announces $240,000 in Grants to New Mexico Non-Profits Responding to Coronavirus." Thornburg Foundation Press Release 03/24/2020.

"Bloomberg Philanthropies, State of Maryland to Fund Johns Hopkins University-led COVID-19 Treatment Research." Bloomberg Philanthropies Press Release 03/30/2020.

"The Louis R. Cappelli Foundation Pledges $200,000 to RXR's COVID Relief Efforts in New Rochelle." 03/30/2020.

"Mellon Foundation  Awards $1.25 Million to Organizations Feeding New York City's Elderly and At-Risk Homebound Populations in Response to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic." Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Press Release 03/26/2020.

"WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund." United Way of Buffalo & Erie County Webpage 03/24/2020.

Brian Gordon. "Dogwood Health Trust Leader Details 3-Pronged, $10 Million Coronavirus Response." Asheville Citizen Times 03/26/2020.

"Dogwood Health Trust Commits $10 Million to Fight COVID-19." Blue Ridge Public Radio 03/25/2020.

"Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Announces $1.5 Million in Immediate, Flexible Funding to Respond to COVID-19 in N.C." Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Press Release 03/19/2020.

"William Penn Foundation Announces $3 Million for PHL COVID-19 Fund." William Penn Foundation Announcement 03/19/2020.

"William Penn Foundation Announces Another $11.6 Million for COVID Emergency Action." William Penn Foundation Press Release 03/30/2020.

"United Way of Greater Houston and Greater Houston Community Foundation Launch Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund." Houston Endowment Press Release 03/26/2020.

"Timely $1 Million Grant to UVA Health Boosts Ability to Produce COVID Tests." University of Virginia Press Release 03/26/2020.

Luz Vega-Marquis"Marguerite Casey Foundation Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic." Marguerite Casey Foundation Blog Post 03/25/2020.

"AHW Announces Up to $5 Million in Funding Available to Support Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Response." Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment Press Release 03/20/2020.

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