Corporate Philanthropy Ramps Up Response to COVID-19

Corporate Philanthropy Ramps Up Response to COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads around the globe with startling rapidity, corporate America is stepping up its support for nonprofits working to address the immediate needs of vulnerable people and populations.

On Thursday, Morgan Stanley pledged $10 million in support of COVID-19 response efforts, including $2 million to Feeding America to ensure that its affiliates can continue to operate; $2 million to the CDC Foundation; and $2 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which was launched by the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation to fund the World Health Organization's coronavirus response efforts. In February, Morgan Stanley pledged $1 million — $500,000 and a $500,000 employee match — to charities working to address the impacts of the initial outbreak in Wuhan, China.

In addition, KEEN Footwear has pledged to provide up to ten thousand pairs of shoes, valued at approximately $10 million, to frontline workers and their families. "Whether these shoes help a worker stay comfortable during a long shift or simply allow people to get outside to breathe in the benefits of nature while safely practicing social distancing, we feel compelled to share our strengths for the common good," the company stated on its website.

Elsewhere, Nike announced new commitments of nearly $15 million in support of COVID-19 response efforts. The total pledged includes a combined $10 million from Nike co-founder and chairman emeritus Phil Knight and his wife, Penny; executive board chair Mark Parker and his wife, Kathy; and Nike president and CEO John Donahoe and his wife, Eileen, while the commitments include $7 million to Oregon Health & Science University to help improve statewide COVID-19 care coordination, increase patient access to care, and bolster operational readiness for expanded diagnostic testing; $2 million to the Oregon Community Foundation in support of the Oregon Community Recovery Fund; and $1 million to the Oregon Food Bank. In addition, the Nike Foundation pledged $1 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund,; $1 million to the Oregon Community Recovery Fund; $1.1 million to the King Baudouin Foundation in support of its community partnerships across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; $250,000 to the Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis, Tennessee; $250,000 to the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis; and $500,000 to the Boston Foundation.

And Biogen, a multinational biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced a $10 million commitment to address critical immediate needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awarded through the Biogen Foundation, the funds will be used to expand testing options, provide training to frontline health workers, ease the strain on healthcare systems, and improve access to basic necessities. The majority of the funds will support U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, including those in Massachusetts and North Carolina, as well as organizations in Italy and other countries worldwide. The company has already provided medical equipment and supplies to Partners HealthCare in Massachusetts and provided direct support to Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

"We are deeply affected by the impact of COVID-19 globally and we understand the critical importance of access to testing and other materials to support healthcare providers," said Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos. "It is vital that we act immediately to support those who are on the front lines caring for the health and well-being in all communities affected around the world. Our hope is that this commitment will support these courageous organizations, and the vulnerable, during this unprecedented time."