Coronavirus ‘Rapid Response’ Funds Proliferate as Threat Grows

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Foundations and other organizations have started setting up "rapid response" funds to help nonprofits deal with the fallout from the coronavirus.

Many of the funds so far are located in the Pacific Northwest, which so far has suffered a disproportionate share of coronavirus cases in the United States.

The Seattle Foundation pulled together philanthropy, government, and business partners to create a fund that will provide one-time operating grants for "organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak."

Money available so far totals $9.2 million, and the foundation is seeking additional donations. Contributors include Amazon, Microsoft, and the Starbucks Foundation.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation also is calling for donors to support its regional response fund for Bay Area charities.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is accepting donations for its response fund to support preparedness, containment, response, and recovery activities for those affected and for the responders.

The Heising-Simons Foundation, based in San Francisco, created a $400,000 rapid-response fund for its current grantees. The fund will provide grants of up to $25,000 each.

Meanwhile, Candid, a foundation research group, has updated it’s tally of worldwide philanthropic funding to combat the coronavirus to $1.3 billion.

Stimulus and Tax Breaks

A coalition of 35 national nonprofits and charity advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to include nonprofits in any stimulus package enacted in response to the coronavirus outbreak.