COVID-19 Community Relief Funds raised more than $1 billion across U.S., research led by Lilly Family School of Philanthropy professor Laurie Paarlberg finds

Interactive maps of giving to, from United Ways, Community Foundations help donors, policy makers, public identify gaps, ways to partner on local needs
Indiana University
31-Jul-2020 2:15 PM EDT, by Indiana University

Newswise — Indianapolis—COVID-19 relief funds at local United Ways and community foundations across the United States raised more than $1.05 billion and distributed at least $589 million to financially vulnerable individuals and nonprofits leading the pandemic response in their communities as of June 30, according to research led by nationally respected community philanthropy expert Laurie Paarlberg, Ph.D., of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

Paarlberg and her colleagues also identified 1,119 such organizations supporting COVID-19 funds, 244 of which are jointly supported in partnership with at least one other neighboring United Way or community foundation. 

Both the number of funds and the amount of money raised are estimates and likely under report the magnitude of this type of community philanthropy, as only about 60% of funds currently are reporting these numbers publicly, explained Paarlberg, who is the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Chair on Community Foundations at the school. Organizations that would like to provide information about their COVID-19 relief fund and how community philanthropy has responded to the pandemic in their area can complete a form on the project website, which will be updated regularly.

“Our team is mapping these local COVID-19 relief funds to show where and how United Ways and community foundations all over the country are responding to the threat and impact of the pandemic, helping nonprofits, individuals and families in the communities they serve,” Paarlberg said. “Our work helps us understand the role community philanthropy organizations play in responding to the immediate and long-term needs of local communities.”

Interactive maps on the project’s website provide detailed information about the COVID-19 funds managed by local United Ways and by community foundations nationwide, including a description of each fund, its purposes, partners, amounts raised and granted as of June 30 and contact information.

The research provides key insights that can help address local community needs:

  • The public and prospective donors can locate relief funds in their community and better understand the work local philanthropic organizations do within their communities.
  • Other foundations and philanthropic funders can identify gaps they may be able to help address, as well as potential partners.
  • Policy makers can learn about the many roles community philanthropic organizations play in local response and recovery and identify potential ways to partner with and support these voluntary efforts.

Community philanthropy plays an important role in understanding local communities’ unique needs and responding to them quickly and flexibly. As COVID-19 began to spread in early 2020, numerous community foundations and United Ways quickly established new funds or activated existing emergency response funds to be able to respond to long-term and short-term community needs. Many of these efforts include collaborations with other community partners, such as other philanthropic funders, local corporations and local government.  

“Each community will take a different approach to identifying needs,” Paarlberg said. “Some communities are prioritizing keeping nonprofits on the front lines of response afloat, while other funds are focusing on providing charitable relief to vulnerable populations affected by the crisis. The funds’ responses reflect local context and local priorities.”

The research project team includes Paarlberg; Marlene Walk, Ph.D., assistant professor of Public Affairs at the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and affiliate faculty member of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, both at IUPUI; Megan LePere-Schloop, assistant professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University; Lilly Family School of Philanthropy doctoral students Jin Ai and Yue Ming; and IUPUI students Cherilyn Horning and Rachel Keplar.

The community relief funds research is the first to be released among several Lilly Family School of Philanthropy research projects examining Americans’ philanthropic response to the COVID-19 crisis. Results of additional studies will be released throughout 2020.

About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or Instagram and “Like” us on Facebook.


Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5845
Released: 17-Jun-2021 4:15 PM EDT
UNC Researchers Lead Study of Diabetes Treatment of COVID-19 Patients
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Diabetes is one of the comorbidities most strongly associated with severe COVID-19 in the US, and data from early in the pandemic suggested individuals with type 2 diabetes faced twice the risk of death from COVID-19 and a greater risk of requiring hospitalization and intensive care. A new study shows best treatment options.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 4:10 PM EDT
Vaccination, Previous Infection, Protect Against COVID-19 gamma/P.1 Variant in Animal Model
University of Wisconsin-Madison

In a new study using variant virus recovered from one of the original travelers, researchers in the U.S. and Japan have found that vaccination with an mRNA vaccine induces antibody responses that would protect humans from infection with the gamma/P.1 variant.

Newswise:Video Embedded virtual-event-for-june-17-11am-edt-covid-19-vaccines-and-male-fertility
Released: 17-Jun-2021 3:20 PM EDT
VIDEO AVAILABLE: Vaccines and Male Fertility Event for June 17, 2021

This upcoming JAMA-published study examined whether the COVID-19 vaccine impacts male fertility.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 1:30 PM EDT
Hackensack Meridian Doctors, Student Help Establish Way to Prioritize Surgeries During COVID-19 lockdown
Hackensack Meridian Health

The MeNTS method of prioritizing surgeries during the height of pandemic, developed by University of Chicago, helped procedures continue during time of need

Released: 17-Jun-2021 12:55 PM EDT
‘Nanodecoy’ Therapy Binds and Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 Virus
North Carolina State University

Nanodecoys made from human lung spheroid cells (LSCs) can bind to and neutralize SARS-CoV-2, promoting viral clearance and reducing lung injury in a macaque model of COVID-19.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 21-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 17-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 21-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: Blood Cancer Patients with COVID-19 Fare Better with Convalescent Plasma
Released: 17-Jun-2021 11:55 AM EDT
Blood Cancer Patients with COVID-19 Fare Better with Convalescent Plasma
Washington University in St. Louis

A large, retrospective, multicenter study involving Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can dramatically improve likelihood of survival among blood cancer patients hospitalized with the virus. The therapy involves transfusing plasma — the pale yellow liquid in blood that is rich in antibodies — from people who have recovered from COVID-19 into patients who have leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancers and are hospitalized with the viral infection.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Stress during pandemic linked to poor sleep
Washington State University

Many people likely lost sleep over COVID-19. A study of twins led by Washington State University researchers found that stress, anxiety and depression during the first few weeks of the pandemic were associated with less and lower quality sleep.

Newswise:Video Embedded university-of-miami-miller-school-study-shows-covid-19-mrna-vaccines-do-not-impact-male-fertility
Released: 17-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT
University of Miami Miller School Study Shows COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Do Not Impact Male Fertility
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is safe for male reproduction, according to a new study by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers published in JAMA , the most widely circulated general medical journal in the world.

15-Jun-2021 1:20 PM EDT
Higher COVID-19 Mortality Among Black Patients Linked to Unequal Hospital Quality
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

If Black patients were admitted to the same hospitals that serve a majority of White patients, researchers showed their risk of death would drop by 10 percent

Showing results

110 of 5845