Global COVID-19 response totaled $20.2 billion in 2020

Global COVID-19 response totaled $20.2 billion in 2020

Global philanthropic giving in support of COVID-19 response and relief efforts totaled $20.2 billion in 2020, a report from Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy finds.

According to the report, Philanthropy and COVID-19: Measuring one year of giving (28 pages, PDF), giving by corporations and corporate foundations, including in-kind gifts, accounted for more than $9.41 billion, or about 44 percent of total dollars awarded, led by Google.org ($1.15 billion). High-net-worth individuals gave $5.8 billion, or 27 percent of the total — the bulk of which came from MacKenzie Scott, who gave $4.15 billion to nearly four hundred organizations — while independent foundations awarded $4.68 billion (22 percent), led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (nearly $1.33 billion); followed by grantmaking public charities ($650 million, 3.2 percent); community foundations ($542.8 million, 2.6 percent); and operating foundations ($330.2 million, 1.6 percent).

Corporations and their foundations also led in the number of donors (51 percent of all COVID-related donors), followed by independent foundations (18 percent), grantmaking public charities (17 percent), and community foundations (17 percent), while community foundations accounted for the largest number of grants awarded (54 percent), followed by independent foundations (23 percent) and grantmaking public charities (17 percent). In terms of issue area, human services received 28 percent of total dollars awarded, followed by health (26 percent), education (20 percent), philanthropy and nonprofit management (12 percent), public safety (11 percent), and community and economic development (9 percent).

The study also found that 23 percent of global and 35 percent of U.S. COVID-related funding designated for specific recipients in 2020 were directed to Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities — with Scott's contributions boosting the share of dollars awarded by high-net-worth individuals to communities of color to 44 percent, followed by independent foundations (32 percent), community foundations (29 percent), public charities (21 percent), and corporations and their foundations (11 percent). By comparison, a report published last August that focused on COVID-related giving by corporations, foundations, and public charities had found that just 5 percent of global COVID-related giving during the first half of the year had been designated for BIPOC communities.

To support an equitable recovery, the report's authors recommend that funders increase giving and make unrestricted and flexible grants, support operational and administrative support, explicitly target funding to communities that are systematically marginalized and disproportionately affected by COVID19, award grants outside of traditional grantmaking circles, and report clear and detailed grantmaking data.

"Even as we see signs that the U.S. may be turning the corner in this pandemic, recovery from this disaster is a long process that will take years," said CDP vice president Regine A. Webster. "This is only the beginning. We need philanthropy to continue stepping up in support of nonprofits and NGOs providing vital resources to communities, especially those most affected by COVID-19 globally. We hope this report informs and motivates donors to discover how they can make the greatest impact with their disaster-related giving this year and beyond."

(Photo credit: Syrian American Medical Society )

"Philanthropy and COVID-19: Measuring one year of giving." Candid and Center for Disaster Philanthropy report 03/03/2021. "New report finds that more than $20 billion went to COVID-19 philanthropy in 2020." Candid and Center for Disaster Philanthropy press release 03/03/2021.