Corporations Ramp Up Support for COVID-19 Response Efforts (April 1-15, 2020)
As COVID-19 spreads globally and in the United States, corporations and their foundations are stepping up with funding to meet the needs of individuals and vulnerable populations impacted by the virus. The “quick-hit” roundup below captures some of the corporate activity in response to COVID-19 over the last two weeks. (In many cases, larger gifts have been covered separately as part of PND’s daily news feed.) Items are sorted in alpha order by company name.
The Alliance for Education has announced a donation from Amazon of eighty-two hundred laptops, valued at $2 million, so that all Seattle Public School students can participate in online learning during the coronavirus public health emergency. The donation will kickstart the Education Equity Fund, an initiative to provide underserved students with access to needed technology, technical support, and additional learning resources.
As part of its efforts to assist communities during the public health emergency, the Allstate Foundation has pledged $5 million in support of domestic violence victims — who are at greater risk when sheltering in place with their abusers — as well as youth in need and first responders. The commitment includes $2 million to be allocated in communities where Allstate has large numbers of employees (the greater Chicago area and Illinois; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; and Phoenix, Arizona); $1 million in support of first responders; $500,000 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence; $1.4 million to match employee donations on a one-to-one basis; and support for the National Runaway Safeline and Inner Explorer‘s free mindfulness program.
Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance and the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation have announced commitments totaling more than $4 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts. Additional support from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation is expected to push the total to more than $6.8 million. The funding includes $50,000 to the United Way of Dane County/Boys and Girls Club COVID Support Fund, a 2:1 match of employee donations to relief efforts, and a total of $275,000 to COVID-19 relief funds in communities where the American Family Insurance group has offices, including Boston, Denver, Green Bay, Jacksonville (Florida), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Phoenix, St. Joseph (Missouri), and St. Louis.
AppleInsider reports that the software and consumer electronics giant will donate $10 million to the One World: Together at Home benefit, a COVID-19 fundraiser organized by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization in collaboration with Lady Gaga. The event will benefit WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Audible has committed $1 million to launch a free daily meal delivery service for families in need and to keep restaurant workers employed in Newark, New Jersey, where the company is headquartered. In collaboration with José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen and chef Marcus Samuelsson, Newark Working Kitchens will fund a hundred thousand meals at $10 per meal, paid directly to participating restaurants; the initiative also will include a mentorship program with Newark Venture Partners and Invest Newark to provide restaurant owners and other small businesses free guidance on how to access federal, state, and local COVID-19 relief funding. The company also announced that the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival summer season will be produced on the Audible Theater platform, enabling the regional theater company to go ahead with its summer season in a new format, provide continued work for the artists involved, and produce a body of work that will be made available globally to Audible listeners.
BBVA USA has announced commitments totaling more than $3.7 million in support of efforts to address the impacts of COVID-19, including $1 million in rapid response grants to select grantees of the BBVA Foundation working to meet basic needs and support small businesses across the bank’s footprint. In addition, the company will award a total of $2 million to food banks and community development financial institutions supporting low-to-moderate income communities impacted by the public health crisis and is working to procure essential materials and public health support worth $500,000 for nonprofit partners, including gloves, hand sanitizer, and N95 masks.
Private equity and asset management firm Blackstone has announced commitments totaling $15 million in support of coronavirus relief efforts in New York State, including $10 million to the New York State COVID-19 First Responders Fund. The remaining $5 million will support organizations working to meet food and other basic needs of New Yorkers, including City Harvest, World Central Kitchen, Great Performances, and Slice Out Hunger.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has announced commitments totaling $2 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts, including $250,000 to six relief funds across the state and a reallocation of more than $1.75 million in community investments and strategic sponsorships to expedite unrestricted cash awards to help nonprofits meet operational challenges.
The Burns & McDonnell Foundation has announced a $1.5 million gift to the United Way COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund and said it will match individual employee-owner donations to the fund.
In Portland, Oregon, Cambia Health Solutions and the Cambia Health Foundation have announced new investments totaling $500,000 in support of COVID-19 relief and response efforts. Grants include $50,000 to the Oregon Food Bank; up to $100,000 to match employee donations to select food banks; $50,000 to address the immediate needs of healthcare and support-service providers on the front lines of the pandemic; and donations totaling $300,000 to COVID-19 emergency relief funds hosted by community foundations and organizations in Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, including the Seattle Foundation, the Idaho Community Foundation, United Way of Salt Lake, and Philanthropy Northwest.
Property and casualty insurer Chubb has announced a $10 million commitment through the Chubb Charitable Foundation in support of global COVID-19 relief efforts, with a focus on financially vulnerable populations and areas facing acute need.
Dunkin’ Donuts has awarded $1.25 million in emergency grants through the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to community-based health and hunger-relief organizations across the United States providing critical services to families in need, including those in shelters. The foundation also is funding Dunkin’ product deliveries to medical staff in hospitals and at emergency sites.
Estée Lauder has announced that its MAC Cosmetics brand’s VIVA GLAM Fund will distribute $10 million to two hundred and fifty organizations around the world that are working to meet the critical needs of and provide services to people at risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Horizon Foundation in Memphis has announced commitments totaling $2.5 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts across First Horizon Bank’s footprint. The funding will be distributed to nonprofits that provide food, educational, and emergency assistance relief in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Chicago-based First Midwest Bank has announced grants totaling $2.5 million to nonprofits mobilizing emergency responses to the spread of COVID-19. Awarded through the First Midwest Charitable Foundation, the funds include $750,000 to be distributed to United Way chapters across the bank’s markets and $1.75 million in general funds to nonprofits in the communities the bank serves, including organizations that support small businesses and work with individuals and families to secure affordable housing and achieve financial sustainability.
Pittsburgh-based health insurer Highmark has announced grants totaling $2 million to nonprofits helping people in need across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware during the coronavirus emergency. Grants include $575,000 to food banks, $525,000 to human service agencies through COVID-19 relief funds, $700,000 to safety-net providers through the Highmark Foundation, and $200,000 for relief efforts in Delaware.
Kia Motors America has announced donations totaling $1 million to nonprofits working to provide homeless youth across the United States with shelter and care. Recipients include Covenant House, StandUp for Kids, and Family Promise.
KPMG U.S.and the KPMG U.S. Foundation have announced commitments totaling $2 million in support of nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Pledges include $1 million from the foundation and $500,000 from the firm in support of the KPMG Disaster Relief Fund COVID-19 campaign; $400,000 in KPMG U.S. Foundation Community Impact Grants to charities supported by employees; and $130,000 in COVID-19 Relief Grants to a range of national nonprofit partners.
Marriott International has announced a commitment to provide hotel stays worth $10 million to healthcare professionals leading the fight against COVID-19 in the United States. In collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians and Emergency Nurses Association, the Rooms for Responders program will provide free rooms in several areas that have been hard hit, including New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.
Mars, Inc. has pledged $20 million for COVID-19 relief efforts globally and in the communities where it operates. The commitment includes initial donations of $5 million to CARE in support of its work with vulnerable populations in countries least prepared for an outbreak of the virus; $2 million to the United Nations World Food Programme for logistical support of emergency deliveries of food and lifesaving equipment to hospitals in COVID-impacted areas; and $1 million to the Humane Society International in support of its efforts to rescue pets whose owners are ill or no longer able to care for them. The remaining $12 million in cash and in-kind donations will include contributions from the Mars Wrigley, Banfield, Pedigree, and Tasty Bite foundations.
As SARS-CoV-2 spreads globally, the Merck Foundation has announced a $3 million commitment through Merck for Mothers, the company’s global initiative focused on preventing maternal deaths, to help health systems better meet the needs of pregnant women before, during, and following delivery. The funding will support efforts in the United States and other countries impacted by the virus; proposals will be considered on an invitation-only basis.
Morgan Stanley has announced a $250,000 grant to the Child Mind Institute as part of a $10 million commitment for coronavirus relief efforts. The grant will support the institute’s efforts to provide digital mental health resources for children, adolescents, and young adults during the global health crisis — including Facebook Live video chats with expert clinicians, remote evaluations and telemedicine sessions, phone consultations for follow up, and daily parenting tips via email, with a focus on vulnerable communities.
Newmont Corporation has announced the launch of a $20 million fund aimed at helping local governments, medical institutions, charities, and NGOs address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Newmont Global Community Support Fund will direct funding to the greatest needs, with a focus on employee and community health, food security, and long-term local economic resilience.
Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation have established a US COVID-19 Community Response Fund to provide cash and in-kind donations totaling $5 million for immediate response and recovery efforts. Initial grants include $250,000 to the Commons Project for development of COVIDcheck, a free public digital health service, and grants of $125,000 each to Americares and Direct Relief in support of safety-net clinics. The foundation also will award grants in support of efforts to bolster local and national healthcare infrastructure, enhance new community health programs specific to the COVID-19 response, and establish digital platforms for related data collection, remote healthcare delivery, and dissemination of public health information.
NRG Energy in Princeton, New Jersey, has announced $2 million in cash and in-kind contributions, including donations of personal protective equipment, protective apparel, and air-purifying respirators for healthcare workers and first responders; contributions to community and small business relief funds in areas where the company operates; and financial support for public teachers’ DonorsChoose.org fundraising campaigns.
Identity security provider Okta has announced a three-year, $10 million initiative to help nonprofits move their operations to the cloud during the COVID-19 public health emergency, reach beneficiaries and stakeholders digitally at scale, protect critical data and identities, and strengthen collaborations in support of nonprofit tech. The company also will advocate for new ways to support nonprofits with technology. Grant recipients include ;NetHope, NTEN, and TechSoup.
The Open COVID Pledge, an international coalition of scientists and lawyers calling on organizations to make their intellectual property available for free as a way to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced that Intel and Mozilla have joined a number of other pledge signatories, including Creative Commons, the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital, and programs at Stanford and other universities.
PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, in partnership with No Kid Hungry, have announced the launch of Give Meals, Give Hope, a fundraising campaign aimed at ensuring that children who rely on school lunch programs have access to meals while schools are closed. As part of PepsiCo’s $45 million commitment in support of COVID-19 response efforts, the company will match $1 million in donations made at NoKidHungry.org/PepsiCoGives through the end of April.
The Rite Aid Foundation has announced a $5 million commitment in support of efforts to assist healthcare providers and first responders as well as children, families, employees, and communities impacted by COVID-19. The foundation awarded $1.5 million to organizations working to address the needs of frontline workers, $1.5 million to regional emergency response funds in COVID-19 hotspots, $1 million to Feeding America and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and $1 million to the Rite Aid Foundation Associate Relief Fund.
Sony has announced the launch of a $100 million Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19 in support of communities around the world impacted by the spread of the coronavirus. The relief effort will focus on three main areas: assistance for those engaged in frontline medical and first-responder efforts to fight the virus; technology to help children and educators who are connecting remotely; and support for members of the creative community in the entertainment industry. The company also committed a total of $10 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Médecins Sans Frontières, UNICEF, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Starbucks Foundation has announced commitments totaling more than $3 million in support of global COVID-19 response efforts. Contributions include $1 million to the United Nations Foundation‘s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund; $1 million to Give2Asia to fund efforts in China to bolster training for frontline medical workers and capacity building for grassroots organizations; $250,000 to nonprofits assisting unsheltered and vulnerable families in Seattle and another $250,000 for efforts in New York City; $250,000 to United Way Worldwide‘s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund; and contributions to United Way and hospital foundations in Canada.
And with the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national emergency, Foundation Source notes that corporate foundations can now provide disaster relief to their employees. While self-dealing regulations typically prohibit corporate foundations from making grants directly to employees, they are permitted to do so without pre-approval from the Internal Revenue Service in the case of a “qualified” disaster (i.e., one that is federally declared by the president). Provided all IRS requirements are met, Foundation Source further notes that employee disaster relief assistance should not result in taxable compensation to employees and will be counted as a charitable distribution toward the foundation’s 5 percent payout requirement.
“Amazon Donates 8,200 Laptops to Seattle Public School Elementary Families, Helping to Close the ‘Continuous Learning’ Gap for All Students Amid Covid-19 Pandemic.” Alliance for Education Press Release 04/06/2020.
“The Allstate Foundation Contributes $5 Million to Help Domestic Violence Victims, Youth in Need and First Responders.” Allstate Foundation Press Release 04/07/2020.
“American Family Insurance, Foundations Pledge Support to COVID-19 Relief.” American Family Insurance Press Release 04/02/2020.
“Audible Launches Newark Working Kitchens to Provide Free Meals.” Audible Press Release 04/10/2020.
“Blackstone Contributes $15 Million to COVID-19 Relief Efforts in New York.” Blackstone Press Release 04/06/2020.
“BBVA USA Commits More Than $3.7 Million in Community Support, Offers Special Employee Benefits Amid COVID-19.” BBVA USA Press Release 04/06/2020.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts Commits $2M to COVID-19 Community Relief.” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Press Release 04/06/2020.
“Burns & McDonnell Bolsters Support of Communities, Clients and Employee-Owners During Coronavirus Pandemic.” Burns & McDonnell Press Release 04/08/2020.
“Cambia and Cambia Health Foundation Commit to Combat the Impact of COVID-19 on Local Communities.” Cambia Health Solutions Press Release 04/02/2020.
“Chubb Commits $10 Million to Pandemic Relief Efforts Globally; Company Pledges No COVID-19 Layoffs.” Chubb Press Release 04/05/2020.