About the COVID-19 Response Fund
Housed at Seattle Foundation, the Fund makes grants to nonprofits that are working on the frontlines to provide our region’s most vulnerable communities with emergency assistance, such as financial support, healthcare, and childcare.
The first round of grants is prioritizing the communities listed below, all of whom are particularly impacted by this crisis.
- Low-income residents, including those without health insurance and/or access to sick days
- Low-income workers in disproportionally impacted industries, such as healthcare and the service industry, as well as gig-economy workers
- Residents with greater health risks, including people over age 60, people with compromised immune systems, and pregnant people
- Residents with limited English language proficiency
- Communities of color
- People with disabilities
- People experiencing homelessness
- Undocumented workers and families
- People at risk of intimate violence
Formed by a coalition of philanthropy, government, and business partners, the COVID-19 Response Fund so far has galvanized a total of $17.3 million from a growing list of partners and online contributors. The Fund complements the work of public health officials and expands local capacity to address the many needs created by the coronavirus crisis.
In order to move resources quickly without further burdening organizations providing critical services and support, we are not hosting a formal application process at this time. Seattle Foundation is administering grants from the Fund in partnership with United Way of King County, King County’s Pandemic Community Advisory Group, and Fund partners. Check out the first round of grants.
Grants are made on a rolling basis. As fundraising continues through the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, the Fund will adapt to emerging needs as the situation evolves.
To learn more, please check out the FAQ below, which answers many common questions we are hearing from the community.
Thank you to our partners who have come together from philanthropy, government, and business to support our community through the COVID-19 Response Fund. The full list of all of our partners and donors is available here.
- Philanthropy: Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Aven Foundation, Connie and Steve Ballmer, Bezos Family Foundation, The Butler Family Community Foundation, Cambia Health Foundation, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Joshua Green Foundation, Macklemore (Haggerty & Davis Equity Fund), Medina Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, NW Children’s Foundation, Perigee Fund, Philanthropy Northwest, Pivotal Ventures, Raikes Foundation, Satya and Rao Remala Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Seattle Rotary Service Foundation, Brad Smith & Kathy Surace-Smith, Social Venture Partners, Stolte Family Foundation, Two Herons Foundation, United Way of King County, William E. Wockner Foundation
- Business: Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Auth0, Banner Bank, BECU, BNSF Railway, Costco, Grubhub, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KeyBank, Liberty Mutual, Microsoft, Microsoft Alumni Network, MultiCare Health System, Nordstrom, PACCAR, Premera Blue Cross, Puget Sound Energy, RiteAid Foundation, Seattle Seahawks, The Starbucks Foundation, T-Mobile Foundation, Target, Tencent America, Umpqua Bank, Wells Fargo, Weyerhaeuser
- Government: King County, City of Seattle
In times of crisis, coordination is vital and valued in getting critical resources to communities most impacted. We are grateful to the philanthropic leadership of our community working quickly and collectively to support those most impacted in this dynamic time.
I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?
We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. On behalf of the Fund’s partners, Seattle Foundation is working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts.
While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, we will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. The first round of grants is posted here, and some of the grantees may be able to assist you. If you are looking for resources now, please consider 211 and King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). The City of Seattle has also compiled a list of resources with information and links for City programs and services that may be helpful. Additional lists of resources are available at The Seattle Times and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?
We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. We are working closely with United Way of King County and King County’s Pandemic Community Advisory Group to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund at this time. The first round of grants is posted here. For future rounds of funding, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure we are aware of your organization’s work supporting vulnerable residents and families. Nonprofit Finance Fund has compiled several tools and resources you may also find useful.
What is the Pandemic Community Advisory Group?
In early March 2020, Public Health – Seattle & King County convened representatives from various community, business, and government sectors in King County who are working together to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by accelerating the use of the recommended and required community mitigation strategies. Committed to two-way communication, the Advisory Group helps share information and urge action within their respective networks, and also informs Public Health on what they are seeing on the ground—both challenges and opportunities. The Advisory Group works to help prevent, interrupt, and respond to misinformation and stigma. The Advisory Group is also serving in an advisory capacity for the COVID-19 Response Fund. A list of Advisory Group members is available here.
I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?
To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The COVID-19 Response Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible.
Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?
This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it’s needed most. If the COVID-19 Response Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a donation. However, this is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations who’ve benefited from your giving in the past, as well as those who’ve had to cancel their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community as we gain greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak.
What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?
We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address the both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. In this first round, we are not able to prioritize organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services. We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work with the Pandemic Community Advisory Board to assess and evolve our funding strategies.
Based upon the charitable structure of the COVID-19 Response Fund, our grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501c4, 501c5, and 501c6 organizations.
Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?
The COVID-19 Response Fund will prioritize community-based organizations serving the greater Puget Sound region. We are doing this with a recognition that many King County nonprofits serve workers and residents in our neighboring counties. We also know that there are many organizations in Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties that have broader footprints, serving King County residents.
When will you share who you fund?
We anticipate making a first round of investments in the coming weeks, and will publish the list of selected grantees on the Seattle Foundation website, along with short descriptions of the services and support they are providing. We hope that this will help the community navigate available resources.
Is there a fee to contribute?
With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground, except for a credit card fee for online donations, which is 3.75% + $0.35 per transaction. Seattle Foundation is covering the cost of approximately 10 staff leading this effort.
How will the Fund shift gears if needed?
The Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing deep and historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience.