New Report Finds That More Than $20 Billion Went to COVID-19 Philanthropy in 2020

Philanthropy – COVID Focus

New Report Finds That More Than $20 Billion Went to COVID-19 Philanthropy in 2020
Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy provide new data and analysis that shows an increase in giving to communities of color, highlights that there’s still more work to do

New York, NY, and Washington, DC—March 3, 2021. Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)released a new report, Philanthropy and COVID-19: Measuring one year of giving, that examines COVID-19-related philanthropic funding in 2020. It is the second of two reports assessing COVID-19 philanthropic data. The first report, released in August 2020, examined COVID-19 philanthropy in the first half of 2020. Today’s report provides updates and looks at the global philanthropic response to COVID-19 for all of 2020.

An unprecedented response to a devastating disaster
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The global philanthropic community was already funding COVID-19 response efforts. After the WHO’s designation, corporations, foundations, public charities, and high-net-worth individuals increased giving that continued throughout the rest of the year.

Candid identified $20.2 billion in global COVID-19 giving by grantmakers and wealthy donors for 2020. Closer examination of the data reveals:
:: Corporate foundations and corporate giving programs accounted for $9.4 billion (44 percent) of total COVID-19 funding in 2020.
:: Community foundations awarded more grants than any other grantmaker type, making up 54 percent of total awards.
:: Funding by independent foundations more than doubled, increasing from $1.7 billion in the first half of the year to $4.7 billion for the entire year.
:: High-net-worth donors accounted for $5.8 billion, more than one-quarter of total philanthropic funding. MacKenzie Scott’s grants accounted for nearly three-quarters of funding from high-net-worth individuals.
:: Human services organizations received the most support, followed by health organizations. In the first half of 2020, health organizations received the most support, followed by public safety organizations.
:: The majority of funding dollars ($13.5 billion, around 63 percent) went to “unknown” recipients or to “multiple” recipients.

Promising updates
Funding designated for specific populations provided some encouraging updates, particularly regarding Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. In the first half of 2020, only 5 percent of COVID-19-related funding that specified recipients was designated for BIPOC communities, despite these populations being disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Since then, available data shows a dramatic increase:
:: 23 percent of specified global funding was explicitly designated for communities of color.
:: 35 percent of specified U.S. funding was designated for BIPOC communities.
:: High-net-worth donors designated the highest proportion of funding for BIPOC communities (44 percent), whereas corporations accounted for only 11 percent of funding designated for BIPOC communities.

Additionally, 8 percent of funding was directed explicitly for people with disabilities, an increase from 1 percent reported in the first report.

In contrast, funding specified for women and girls increased nominally, from 3 percent in the first half of 2020 to 4 percent for the entire year. Funding directed to immigrants and refugees remained at 2 percent, and funding specified for older adults also remained at 2 percent.

Grace Sato, director of research at Candid, says, “After the first report, there were questions about whether philanthropic funding would taper down. What we see is exactly the opposite—not only did funding stay strong throughout the rest of the year, but we also see promising trends in several categories. It shows that philanthropy can, and is, playing an especially important role in times of crisis.”…