Philanthropy Creates Emergency Action Fund For COVID-19 Relief

Monday, March 16, 2020

Foundations and other philanthropic institutions dedicated to improving quality of life across southwestern Pennsylvania have come together with unprecedented speed, to provide $4 million to create an Emergency Action Fund and as much as $6 million in aligned, coordinated efforts to lessen the damaging effects of the COVID-19 virus on residents, especially the most vulnerable.

Anticipating what national infectious disease experts and government officials predict will be one of the most significant economic, health and human services challenges the country has ever faced, the region’s four largest foundations are organizing to shorten internal approval processes and make grants quickly to organizations on the front lines of providing essential human services, health care support and economic assistance. Preference will be given to those most vulnerable to the negative effects of curtailment of daily economic activities, school operations, transportation options, day care services and a range of government programs.

To inform fund distribution, needs are being assessed in consultation with the Allegheny County Health Department and the Department of Human Services. Funders are also reviewing the results of a community survey of 1,600 nonprofits conducted last week through the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania in conjunction with its 211 help-line. The fund will be held at The Pittsburgh Foundation, which is waiving all credit card and management fees on individual donations. Donations can be made by linking to

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