COVID-19 Response Fund Principles


Managed by Seattle Foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund makes grants to nonprofits that are working on the frontlines to support our region’s most vulnerable workers and families. Formed by a coalition of philanthropy, government, and corporate partners, the Fund has also received donations from thousands of individuals, families, and small businesses. It is designed to complement the work of the medical and healthcare systems and expand local capacity to address the many needs created by the coronavirus crisis as efficiently as possible.

As fundraising continues through the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, the Fund will adapt to emerging needs as the situation evolves. Throughout each phase of the Fund, we will hold to the following principles:

  • Move dollars rapidly and provide flexible resources to community-based organizations (CBOs) working on the frontlines of educating, engaging, and supporting workers and families impacted by COVID-19 and the broader ramifications of this health and economic crisis.
  • Address direct needs. The Fund was created to serve as a rapid-response vehicle to support emerging and immediate basic needs not being addressed through the public sector or by other forms of a safety net.
  • Utilize a racial equity lens and target resources to disproportionately impacted communities. Everyone is feeling the impacts of COVID-19, but the crisis is not impacting everyone equally. Fund partners recognize the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are overwhelmingly affecting communities already facing racial, health, and economic disparities, which will further perpetuate the inequities that persist in our community. By focusing on those most impacted, we are working to ensure these deep inequities do not become permanent.
  • Support community-based organizations (CBOs) with deep trust and a history of serving disproportionately impacted communities. As our region deals with COVID-19, CBOs are essential sources of information and services, particularly for communities where language, resources, and other factors create barriers to accessing support. These CBOs are facing an increased demand for their services.
  • Trust-based approach to funding. As CBOs adapt to the needs in their communities and evolve their services, the Fund will work quickly to distribute grants allowing them to respond to changing community needs. These one-time grants will be flexible in use and require only limited reporting.
  • Maximize the benefit of philanthropy’s role in addressing needs related to COVID-19. Community needs are vast and cannot be met by philanthropy alone. The COVID-19 Response Fund seeks to complement efforts of our medical and public health systems, identify places where philanthropy can add value, and coordinate with other aligned and parallel efforts.