Rapid Response Fund Toolkit

Seattle Foundation Shares Knowledge Gained from the Design and Execution of the COVID-19 Response Fund


When Seattle Foundation and a coalition of partners launched the COVID-19 Response Fund on March 9, 2020, we became one of the first intermediaries to manage a rapid response fund focused on the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. In the weeks that followed, several community foundations in other regions adopted the model we used to stand up their own response funds.

As community foundations across the U.S. respond to COVID-19 and other localized emergencies in the future, we have an opportunity to help to streamline the design and execution of effective rapid response funds, particularly since very little strategic and operational guidance is currently available in the public domain. In an effort to help build capacity and share resources among other philanthropic organizations managing COVID-19 emergency response funds, Seattle Foundation is working to capture what we’ve learned. We will disseminate our findings across the philanthropic and social impact sectors. This interim report is based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This summer, we’ll share various tools, templates, and lessons learned in three stages, the first being a collection of templates created from materials we built to support structuring, communications, fundraising, and grantmaking for the COVID-19 Response Fund housed at Seattle Foundation. These templates are now available for download via the link below.


In the weeks ahead, we are conducting research, interviews, and surveys in order to collect additional insights and lessons learned from the COVID-19 Response Fund and our work with the statewide philanthropic effort All In Washington, as well as from the community philanthropy sector more broadly—regionally, nationally and even internationally. A final report of our findings will be made available for download later this summer. The toolkit available below is updated as of July 31, 2020.

Enter your name and email below (solely for our tracking purposes) and click submit. Shortly after you submit the form, you’ll receive an automatic email with a link to the toolkit—be sure to check your spam and quarantine folders if you don’t receive an email. If you have any questions or any issues downloading the toolkit, please contact us at covid19@seattlefoundation.org.