Blue Meridian Partners, an independent 501(c)(3) built on a performance-based investing approach, leadership in aggregating capital, and strong co-investing relationships, has announced the launch of a $100 million COVID-19 emergency response initiative in support of low-income individuals and families impacted by the public health crisis.
The two-pronged initiative will provide direct cash assistance to vulnerable populations and will fund efforts to help low-income people access public assistance, with an initial round of investments going to the Family Independence Initiative, GiveDirectly, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, One Fair Wage, and The Workers Lab, all of which are providing cash payments to people who need financial assistance immediately but are unable to access public benefits quickly. In the coming weeks, Blue Meridian will invest in additional organizations and strategies designed to help millions of low-income individuals and families access public benefits, from federal stimulus aid, to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Originally incubated at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and established as a collaborative in partnership with nine other donors and funders in 2015, Blue Meridian became an independent nonprofit in 2018 as EMCF began the process of sunsetting. The COVID-19 emergency response initiative is supported by the organization's general partners — including the Ballmer Group, MacKenzie Bezos, the Sergey Brin Family Foundation, the Druckenmiller Foundation, the Duke Endowment, EMCF, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the JPB Foundation, the Samberg Family Foundation, and the David Tepper Charitable Foundation — and Impact Partners, including Arrow Impact and the Aviv, Bill & Melinda Gates, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family, Eugene and Marilyn Stein Family, and William and Flora Hewlett foundations.
"In our ongoing work, the organizations that Blue Meridian supports are on the frontlines of the social sector, steadfastly serving vulnerable communities that stand to suffer most from COVID-19 and its long-term impacts. We draw inspiration from their work and the ways in which they are innovating to deliver on their missions amid severe challenges," the organization said in a press release. "Where opportunities exist, we are also backing them in accelerating their work to meet the growing need this pandemic has engendered. And once these organizations and their leaders are ready to look toward the future, we will help them pivot to focus on recovery and resilience."