March 26, 2020

Global Philanthropy’s Response to COVID-19 and How to Get Involved

Author National Philanthropic Trust

As the world continues to respond to the developing challenges and needs associated with COVID-19, many individual philanthropists are eager to help.

Any disease which threatens lives is frightening, but one for which there is no treatment is especially alarming. Yet in some ways, reassuringly, with a global pandemic comes a global response and there are many organisations working on different aspects of the new coronavirus, from research and development to frontline support for vulnerable communities.

On the research and development end of the spectrum, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and Mastercard launched the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator with seed funding of $125 million. The fund aims to speed up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing and scaling treatments with either new or repurposed drugs. The partners are committed to equitable access, including making products available and affordable in low-resource settings.

At a global level, the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Forum have created the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support the World Health Organisation and partners in an effort to prevent, manage and detect the coronavirus. The fund has a secure digital portal through which to make donations.

In Asia, Give2Asia has had a tremendous response to its pandemic response campaign which allows donors to make tax-deductible gifts to support local COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts in nine countries across the continent.

In the US, Candid has launched a useful Coronavirus page to track philanthropy’s response to the pandemic; users can search how other funders are supporting the response and how grants are being distributed.

In the UK, a community of volunteers has come together to support local groups organising mutual aid throughout the virus outbreak. COVID Mutual Aid UK focuses on providing resources and connecting people across the UK to their nearest local groups, volunteers and those in need. The Duke of Cambridge also recently launched the appeal for the National Emergencies Trust (NET). NET was set up to collaborate with charities and other bodies across the UK to raise and distribute money and support victims at the time of a domestic disaster.

Contact us today to find out how to use a donor-advised fund to support the ongoing response to this global pandemic, or to learn more about how NPT UK is supporting donors and advisors through the COVID-19 pandemic.



John Canady, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust UK, has 25 years of experience working across the business, nonprofit and government sectors. He specializes in creating and managing philanthropic funds for donors and family offices around the world who wish to base their philanthropy from the UK.


NPT UK does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained here may vary depending on individual circumstances.

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