Charitable Gifting and the COVID-19 Pandemic

In our continued effort to assist clients through this unprecedented time in our history, we have assembled some information designed to answer a common client inquiry, “What can I do? How can I help?” All of us feel the impact of this crisis and people want to give in the most effective and productive way. To help identify recommended organizations and nonprofits on the front lines of this pandemic, we compiled the below resource list. It is primarily sourced from several of the trusted philanthropic advisory firms that we partner with on client engagements.

Before evaluating organizational options, we recommend spending time to think about the two framework questions below to help focus your giving. We are also including a few expert tips for giving effectively.

Decision 1: Location

Where do you want to focus your giving? Locally? Nationally? Globally?

Has your past giving been regionally focused? If so, is it important to you to maintain that same alignment in giving for this crisis?

Decision 2: Issue Area

What aspect or need are you looking to address?

  • Health care resources including relief supplies, protective equipment, diagnostic tests and medical necessities.
  • Support for vulnerable communities and the nonprofits that champion causes such as food security and medical access.
  • Clinical research to develop a vaccine and public health initiatives to manage and contain the spread of the virus and prevent future outbreaks.
Expert Tips:
  • Give unrestricted gifts – Situations and needs are changing rapidly. An unrestricted gift enables an organization to be responsive and adapt to changing circumstances in the most effective way.
  • Give now – Nonprofits are making decisions on a daily basis about the breadth of work they can take on, in large part based on available funding. As long as you feel confident in the organization and its leadership, a gift today provides the financial stability and flexibility required to problem-solve.
  • Maintain (or increase) your regular philanthropic commitments – Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has only complicated and heightened many of the challenges the nonprofit sector addresses. Making things worse, many fundraising events that organizations depend on for revenue generation have been cancelled. If possible, continue with your normal contributions in addition to donating to charities confronting the pandemic.
Charitable Organizations and Funds:

Note: This list includes only a few of the organizations significantly focused on the pandemic. To research additional options, we recommend you visit the websites for the sources listed below.

Funds and organizations addressing the health-care aspects of this pandemic.

Funds and organizations focused on either direct action or providing financial support to nonprofits across the country.

The Council on Foundation’s website includes a comprehensive list of COVID-19 response funds by community foundations from across the globe.

Sources: Center for Disaster Philanthropy, The Washington Post, The New York Times, American Endowment Foundation, Arabella Advisers, Fidelity Charitable, CDC Foundation, Council on Foundations, Strategic Planning, Ltd.


The material shown is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as accounting, legal, or tax advice.  Altair Advisers LLC is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission; registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.  While efforts are made to ensure information contained herein is accurate, Altair Advisers cannot guarantee the accuracy of all such information presented.