Seattle Foundation Blog

Puget Sound-area community comes together to back COVID-19 Response Fund

Total increases from $2 million to over $9 million in three days as Connie and Steve Ballmer, BECU, Bezos Family Foundation, Costco, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Perigee Fund, Premera Blue Cross, and Raikes Foundation join the growing list of contributors.


March 12, 2020

SEATTLE, WA — The COVID-19 Response Fund housed at Seattle Foundation has grown from $2 million to over $9 million in just three days since its launch on Monday. The Fund—created by a coalition of philanthropy, government, and business partners—now totals $9.2 million. In the coming weeks, it will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak in the greater Puget Sound region.

Individuals and organizations can donate and find additional information about the COVID-19 Response Fund via www.seattlefoundation.org/covid19.

“Since the Fund launched on Monday, we’ve been moved by the leadership of donors large and small,” said Seattle Foundation President & CEO Tony Mestres. “The evolving outbreak and necessary restrictions announced by public officials mean life will get more difficult for all of us, but particularly for people who are most vulnerable. I know we can count on this community to keep stepping up to help people who need support in these uncertain times.”

The Fund was bolstered by a $3 million donation from Connie and Steve Ballmer, as well as substantial gifts from BECU, Bezos Family Foundation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Perigee Fund, Premera Blue Cross, and Raikes Foundation.

Hosted by Seattle Foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations working with local communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. Grants will fund organizations that have deep roots in community and strong experience serving residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare and gig economy workers, and communities of color, among others.

Seattle Foundation will work with King County’s Pandemic Community Advisory Group to identify organizations aligned with the priorities of the Fund. The Foundation is not accepting requests for funding. Grants will be administered in partnership with United Way of King County and in close collaboration with the King County Pandemic Community Advisory Group. The Fund expects to make an initial round of grants within the next few weeks.

The COVID-19 Response Fund was launched on Monday, March 9 with initial contributions from Seattle Foundation, United Way of King County, King County, City of Seattle, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Microsoft, and The Starbucks Foundation, along with support from Philanthropy Northwest, Satterberg Foundation, and Social Venture Partners Seattle.

PARTNER STATEMENTS

“We are facing unprecedented times as a community and are deeply concerned about the social and economic impacts of the outbreak. BECU is grateful to partner with other local donors in support of this fund and, more importantly, to help ensure the long-term financial well-being of our neighbors and communities,” said BECU President and CEO Benson Porter.

“We want to help our neighbors during this difficult time and let them know we care," said Phyllis Campbell, Chairman of JPMorgan Chase in the Pacific Northwest. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping our communities and we hope these grants bring some relief.”

“The health and economic impact of COVID-19 places great strain on families. And as schools and childcare providers close, parents and grandparents face impossible choices between paid work, caregiving, and even protecting their own health.  We are grateful for all the ways in which our community is mobilizing to recognize the impact of lost wages and more limited social services, and to support caregivers as they make these impossible choices,” said Perigee Fund Executive Director Becca Graves.

“The breadth and impact of this virus make this an unprecedented time, and collective action is our only solution,” said Premera President and CEO Jeff Roe. “We’re committed to working with our many partners in this community to help us all manage this health emergency.”

“COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge for our community, but we have the power to mitigate the impact this virus has on our most vulnerable residents by swiftly getting resources into the hands of those most disproportionately impacted. This only becomes more urgent as school closures multiply and the ripple effects on communities magnify. We’re grateful to Seattle Foundation and all of our community partners for swiftly organizing this fund. We are all in this together,” said Raikes Foundation Executive Director Dennis Quirin.

ABOUT SEATTLE FOUNDATION

Seattle Foundation ignites powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. As a community foundation, it works to advance equity, shared prosperity, and belonging throughout the region while strengthening the impact of the philanthropists it serves. Founded in 1946 and with more than $1.1 billion in assets, the Foundation pursues its mission with a combination of deep community insight, civic leadership, philanthropic advising, and judicious financial stewardship.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES

Seattle Foundation: Michele Frix at m.frix@seattlefoundation.org or 206.617.7281 (mobile)

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