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Global philanthropy responds to the Ukraine crisis

By Andrew Grabois
March 11, 2022

Since February 24, more than two million people have fled Ukraine. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) head Filippo Grandi described this humanitarian disaster as “the fastest-moving refugee crisis we have seen in Europe since the end of the Second World War”. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that some 18 million people will ultimately become affected, including 6.7 million that will be internally displaced and 12 million who will need humanitarian assistance of some kind. Governments have also directed hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance for Ukraine.

We have been tracking philanthropy’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here’s what we know so far.

Overview of findings

  • We have identified 208 pledges and grants for Ukraine relief. This includes 34 pledges worth $241,773,200 and 174 grants worth $343,561,933 as of March 8.
  • The United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and Japan account for 91% of total grant funding for Ukraine to date.
  • Corporations account for 55% of the total dollar value of grants awarded; foundations and public charities 40%; and high-net-worth individuals for 5%.
  • The top five donors by dollar amount—The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, IKEA Foundation, BP plc, Lego Foundation, and Google—account for 35% of total funding.
  • Little is known about the recipients of this funding. Unknown and multiple recipients received 40% of grants and 62% of total grant funding. Among named recipients, UNHCR received the vast majority of total funding, followed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), World Central Kitchen, UNICEF, and Project Hope.
  • More than 15% of total grant funding is for the Jewish community in Ukraine.

Details about data on funding for Ukraine humanitarian relief

This analysis and the giving it’s based on is happening in real time. Candid collects data from publicly available sources, including press releases, websites, membership reports and surveys, and local reporting. This data collection includes grants and pledges from institutional and high-net-worth individuals worldwide but does not include the many smaller donations from individuals which account for a significant, if not the primary, source of total philanthropic giving in response to this crisis. It should be noted that our real-time data collection currently relies heavily on sources written in English.

Giving by funder country

This, and the analysis in the tables that follow, focus solely on grants made in response to the crisis.

The United States accounts for 54% of total grants and dollar value, followed by the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the Netherlands, which together account for 15% of grants and 26% of total dollar value.

Giving by funder type

Corporate giving programs account for 59% of grants and 55% of total dollar value, while foundations and public charities account for 36% of grants and 40% of total dollar value. High-net-worth individuals contributed 5% of grants and total dollar value.

Giving by top funders

The top 10 funders account for 54% of total funding for Ukraine.

Top recipients

The top 10 recipients account for 66% of grants and 92% of total grant dollar value. In keeping with what we’ve seen in past crisis responses, the lion’s share of grants is going to unnamed recipients, with unknown and multiple recipients receiving 40% of all grants and 62% of total dollar value. Candid uses the label “Unknown recipient” when we have no information about the recipient of funding. Candid uses “Multiple recipients” when the recipients of funding are known, but the exact amount going to each recipient is not known. Among named recipients, UNHCR received the most grants, followed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and World Central Kitchen.

Pledges by funder type

Typically, in the early days of a response to crises and natural disasters, more than a few donations will be in the form of pledges (announcements of intent to make a monetary or in-kind contribution of specified value, paid in a lump sum or over time). We capture and report on pledges to provide a more complete picture of the scope of a given philanthropic response, but we clearly distinguish between these promises to pay (pledges) and funds actually disbursed or committed to specific organizations (grants). Below are pledges by funder type:

Corporations account for 59% of pledges for Ukraine relief and 64% of the total dollar value of those pledges. Foundations and charities account for 35% of pledges and 38% of total dollar value.

At Candid, we wonder: how do real-time analyses inform and shape the response that follows? As a nonprofit ourselves, we are navigating new landscapes for giving, and thinking deeply about the implications of funding patterns for a wide range of organizations. We’ll keep sharing what we know, in hopes that funders can use the data to better inform their giving. We also call on funders to share data about their grantmaking in response to the crisis to ensure that the community is acting on the most comprehensive and accurate information possible. For additional information about sharing your data, please email [email protected].

Tags: Ukraine; Human rights and peacebuilding; Disaster philanthropy