A coalition of Seattle-area philanthropy, government and business partners have launched a new fund to provide grants to organizations serving vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus virus outbreak.
The grant-making effort, called the COVID-19 Response Fund, is being led by the Seattle Foundation and United Way of King County in collaboration with the King County’s Pandemic Community Advisory Group. As of the fund’s launch today, March 9, some $2.5 million has been contributed by its lead partners, with other organizations and individuals encouraged to contribute via this website.
The Seattle Foundation will administer grants from the fund in partnership with United Way of King County and with assistance from the King County’s Pandemic Community Advisory Group, which will help to identify grant recipients. Among the partners and supporters of the new fund are the city of Seattle, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, the Starbucks Foundation and Microsoft ― which announced in a blog post that it has made an initial $1 million “anchor donation” to the fund.
The COVID-19 Response Fund is working to make an initial round of grants within the next few weeks. It will distribute one-time operating grants to community organizations with a proven track record of working with area residents who lack health insurance or access to sick days, have limited English proficiency, are health care and gig economy workers, among others.
"As our community focuses on public health needs during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important that we also rally together to address the unmet economic needs developing around us,” says Microsoft President Brad Smith. “At Microsoft, our hope is that this new fund will help to strengthen the community's safety net through this crisis, and we encourage others — including corporate, government and philanthropic sectors ― to come together to help those who are most vulnerable.”