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Foundations Step Up Funding for COVID-19 Response Efforts (April 14-26, 2020)

COVID-19As COVID-19 continues to spread 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. Here’s a roundup of grants from the last few days:


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Redwood City, CA | $6.3 Million

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has announced $5 million in COVID-19 response grants, with a focus on increasing access to broadband and high-quality learning opportunities for all children and supporting professional development for educators as well as the social, emotional, and mental health of teachers and families. Grant recipients include the Alliance for Excellent Education ($125,000), Education Trust ($200,000), and Education Leaders of Color ($250,000).

Earlier, CZI announced grants totaling $300,000 to help students in underserved communities transition to distance learning as schools are forced to close by the virus. A grant of $200,000 to EducationSuperHighway will support the Digital Bridge project’s efforts to provide connectivity to thousands of students, while a grant of $100,000 to Fugees Academy — a network of tuition-free independent schools in Georgia and Ohio — will fund efforts to foster the safety and well-being of students and ensure the continuity of their education. The LLC also pledged $1 million for COVID-19 relief efforts on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. Grant recipients there include Wilcox Medical Center, the Hawaii Community Foundation, and ‘Aina Ho’okupu O Kīlauea.

Fiske Family Foundation, San Diego, CA | $10,000

The Fiske Family Foundation has announced a donation of $10,000 to the North County Food Bank, an affiliate of the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. The funds will be used to provide fifty thousand meals to families impacted by the economic fallout from COVID-19. In addition, the foundation donated $50,000 to the Poway Unified School District Foundation to support immediate and unforeseen nutrition and distance-learning needs, which may include continued meal service and resources for distance education such as Internet-accessible laptops.

Open Hearts Foundation, Los Angeles, CA | $100,000

Co-founded by actress and philanthropist Jane Seymour, the Open Hearts Foundation has announced a commitment of $100,000 to launch an Emergency Relief Fund in support of frontline nonprofits in Los Angeles and New York City serving women and children during the public health emergency. Initial awards include matching grants to the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation ($25,000), Jenesse Center ($10,000), and Mending Kids ($10,000), as well as grants to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ($5,000), the Association to Benefit Children ($25,000), and Harlem Children’s Zone ($25,000).

Conrad Prebys Foundation, La Jolla, CA | $350,000

The University of California, San Diego has announced a $350,000 challenge grant from the Conrad Prebys Foundation to match donations, on a one-to-one basis, to the university’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The fund will support COVID-related research and frontline healthcare efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, Los Angeles, CA | $1 Million

Actress Charlize Theron and her foundation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), have announced a $1 million commitment in support of COVID-19 relief efforts, including $500,000 to help prevent gender-based violence. Together for Her, a partnership with CARE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, will direct the funds to domestic violence shelters and community-based programs providing critical services, including safe accommodation/shelter, case management, psycho-social support and counseling, helplines, crisis intervention, sexual and reproductive health services, legal services, and advocacy.


Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Denver, CO | $90,000

The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation has announced DEI Opportunity grants totaling $90,000 to arts and culture organizations led by and serving historically marginalized individuals that have been impacted by COVID-19. Unrestricted grants of $5,000 each were awarded to eighteen organizations — an increase from the ten the foundation originally planned to award before the onset of the public health crisis.


Lewis Prize for Music, Coral Gables, FL | $1 Million

The Lewis Prize for Music has announced the launch of a COVID-19 Community Response Fund with a $1 million commitment in support of creative youth development (CYD) organizations responding to the needs of youth impacted by the public health emergency. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 will provide direct support to music organizations and leaders taking a leadership role in addressing the impacts of the virus.


George and Frances Ball Foundation, Muncie, IN | $200,000

The George and Frances Ball Foundation has announced grants totaling $200,000 to local nonprofits working to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Recipients include Back to School Teachers Store, for the purchase of supplies to include in home-learning kits for Muncie Community Schools elementary students; Christian Ministries, for the purchase of cleaning supplies for shelters as well as food pantry distributions; and the Muncie Children’s Museum, to offset operational expenses and costs associated with the development of online programming.

Lilly Endowment, Indianapolis, IN | $1.1 Million

The United Way of the Wabash Valley has announced a $1.1 million COVID-19 Economic Relief Initiative Grant from the Lilly Endowment and Indiana United Ways. The funds will support the Wabash Valley COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which was launched in partnership with the Wabash Valley Community Foundation to assist human services organizations working to meet the COVID-related financial needs of individuals and families not eligible for government or other relief programs.


Horizon Foundation, Columbia, MD | $1 Million

The Horizon Foundation has announced grants totaling $1 million in support of frontline Howard County healthcare workers and institutions, mental health services, and efforts to enable safe distancing in the county’s homeless shelter and residential programs for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Recipients include Howard County General Hospital ($500,000), Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center ($50,000), and the Arc of Howard County ($50,000).

Robert I. Schattner Foundation, Rockville, MD | $105,000

The American Kidney Fund has announced a contribution of $105,000 from the Robert I. Schattner Foundation to its Coronavirus Emergency Fund in support of low-income dialysis patients and those who have recently received transplants. The grant will provide emergency assistance to patients in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia who need help paying for food, transportation, medications, and/or medical supplies.


Ruderman Family Foundation, Boston, MA | $110,000

The Ruderman Family Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant in support of mental health services for medical professionals at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Boston Globe reports. The foundation also contributed $10,000 to the Boston Police Foundation to expand clinic hours for police officers who want to talk confidentially to a mental health professional.


Bloomberg Philanthropies, New York, NY | $10 Million

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a $10 million commitment to the International Rescue Committee in support of efforts to mitigate the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19, as well as secondary impacts on vulnerable populations globally. The flexible funding will allow IRC to pivot its COVID-related efforts to where they are needed most in the more than forty countries and twenty U.S. cities where it is working on the front lines of the pandemic.

Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, New York, NY | $4.9 Million

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust — which is headquartered in New York City but has a program office in South Dakota — has announced grants totaling $4.9 million in support of efforts to care for COVID-19 patients and protect frontline healthcare workers in the Dakotas and Mountain West region. To help reduce the risk of infection to healthcare workers performing hands-on CPR on COVID-19 patients, the foundation awarded $4.7 million to medical facilities in Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming to help them purchase more than three hundred and fifty LUCAS mechanical CPR devices. In addition, a $200,000 grant to the American Heart Association will assist in creating and disseminating up-to-date training on the use of ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY | $4 Million

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has announced a $4 million emergency grant to the American Indian College Fund to assist college students whose educational progress has been affected by the pandemic. The fund will distribute the money to its network of tribal colleges — which were already affected by historical inequities, structural and enrollment-related challenges, and overly burdened financial aid budgets — to help address immediate needs and support new and returning students later this year.


Phillips Foundation, Greensboro, NC | $500,000

The Phillips Foundation has announced a $500,000 grant in support of the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund, which was created by United Way of Greater Greensboro, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and the City of Greensboro. The grant includes $250,000 to UWGG in support of its emergency relief efforts and $250,000 to a revolving loan fund at CFGG that will support recovery efforts in the medium and longer term. As of mid-April, the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund had provided more than $1.3 million to fifty-eight local nonprofits working to address the needs of Guilford County residents impacted by COVID-19 and the resulting economic shutdown.


Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, Cleveland, OH | $5.6 Million

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation–Israel has announced that the Cleveland-based Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation is donating NIS 20 million ($5.6 million) to assist Israeli citizens impacted by the spread of the virus. The gift includes NIS 1.75 million ($494,000) to assist residents of Jerusalem, NIS 1.5 million ($424,000) in support of new immigrant soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces, and NIS 1 million ($282,000) for cultural activities on IDF bases designed to provide entertainment for soldiers and income for local artists.


Henry L. Hillman Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA | $3 Million

The Henry L. Hillman Foundation has announced commitments totaling $4 million in support of COVID-19 response efforts, including a previously announced $1 million contribution to launch the Pittsburgh Foundation‘s Emergency Action Fund. The other commitments include $350,000 to help Allegheny County meet the immediate needs of vulnerable residents and grants totaling $1.65 million in basic needs support for nonprofits serving vulnerable communities; $115,000 to the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research; $250,000 to Global Links to coordinate personal protective equipment (PPE) supply and distribution and other equipment needs for frontline responders; and $700,000 in gap funding for minority- and women-led businesses and nonprofits in the region.


Russell Family Foundation, Gig Harbor, WA | $1.7 Million

The Russell Family Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.7 million in support of local COVID-19 response and relief efforts. Grants include $1 million to the Pierce County Connected Fund to fund services for residents impacted by the public health crisis; $670,000 in unrestricted general operating support — converted from Environmental Education grants — for twenty-six nonprofits; and $25,000 to RAIN Incubator in support of its efforts to boost regional COVID-19 testing capacity.


Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon, Buckhannon, WV | $4 Million

The Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannonhas announced a first round of grants totaling $100,000 from its COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative in support of nonprofits and local agencies serving communities in Barbour, Lewis, Randolph, Upshur, and Webster counties. Grant recipients include the Mountaineer Food Bank, which was awarded $50,000 in support of twenty-three local food pantries, mobile markets, and food box distributions; and West Virginia Local Health, which will receive $50,000 in support of its efforts to assist each of the five county health departments with key activities during the public health emergency.


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Commits $5 Million to COVID-19 Response for Educators and Families.” Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Press Release 04/20/2020.

CZI Supports Services for Students in Underserved Communities Impacted by COVID-19.” Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Press Release 04/08/2020.

Hawaii Covid-19 Daily News Digest April 11, 2020.” State of Hawaii Department of Health Press Release 04/11/2020.

Fiske Family Foundation Donates $50,000 to the Poway Unified School District Foundation to Support Nutrition Needs and Distance Learning for Students During COVID-19 Public Health Orders.” Fiske Family Foundation Press Release 04/21/2020.

The Open Hearts Foundation Establishes Emergency Relief Fund With $100,000 in Grants.” Open Hearts Foundation Press Release 04/13/2020.

Conrad Prebys Foundation Awards $350,000 Challenge Grant to Support UC San Diego’s COVID-19 Efforts.” University of California, San Diego Press Release 04/13/2020.

“Charlize Theron and Her Foundation CTAOP, CARE, & Entertainment Industry Foundation Launch Campaign to Fight Gender-Based Violence During COVID-19.” Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project Press Release 04/22/2020.

“Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Announces DEI Opportunity Grants, Awards $90,000 in Funding to 18 Organizations.” Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Press Release 04/20/2020.

“The Lewis Prize for Music Announces $1M Covid-19 Response Fund to Support Youth Music Organizations, Communities Amid Pandemic.” Lewis Prize for Music Press Release 04/14/2020.

George and Frances Ball Foundation Grants $200K in COVID-19 Emergency Support.” Star Press 04/12/2020.

United Way of the Wabash Valley Secures $1.1MM Economic Relief Initiative Grant.” United Way of the Wabash Valley Press Release 04/20/2020.

Horizon Foundation Announces $1 Million in New COVID-19 Emergency Grants.” Horizon Foundation Press Release 04/13/2020.

American Kidney Fund Receives $105,000 From Robert I. Schattner Foundation to Fund Coronavirus Emergency Grants for Kidney Patients in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.” American Kidney Fund Press Release 04/13/2020.

Gal Tziperman Lotan. As Coronavirus Fight Progresses, A Focus On First Responders’ Mental Health.” Boston Globe 04/13/202.

Mike Bloomberg Commits $10 Million to the International Rescue Committee for their COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Additional Work in Some of the World’s Most Vulnerable Communities.” Bloomberg Philanthropies Press Release 04/23/2020.

Helmsley Grant Helps Healthcare Providers Gain Up-to-Date Training on Ventilator Use During COVID-19.” Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Press Release 04/22/2020.

Helmsley Grants $4.7M to Fund Life-Saving Technology to Confront Cardiac Threat From COVID-19.” Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Press Release 04/20/2020.

Mellon Foundation Announces $4 Million Emergency Relief Grant to the American Indian College Fund in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Mellon Foundation Press Release 04/20/2020.

Phillips Foundation Grants $500,000 to Greensboro’s COVID-19 Relief Efforts.” Phillips Foundation Press Release 04/22/2020.

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation of Cleveland Donates NIS 20 Million in Covid-19 Aid to Israeli Citizens.” Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation–Israel Press Release 04/20/2020.

“Henry L. Hillman Foundation Takes Action in Response to COVID-19: Releases Over $4 Million in Emergency Response Grants.” Hillman Family Foundations Press Release 04/10/2020.

$1 Million for COVID-19 Emergency Response in Pierce County, $670,000 in Unrestricted Funding for 26 Puget Sound Community Groups.” Russell Family Foundation Press Release 04/13/2020.

Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon Announces COVID Funding Awards.” Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon Press Release 04/20/2020.


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