March 31, 2020

Charitable Organizations Providing Direct Relief for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author Joan Allmaras, Philanthropic Solutions Specialist

Originally published February 6, 2020. Updated March 31, 2020.


As the death toll and new cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to grow, governments and the global scientific community are working collectively on containment and mitigation measures. Communities around the world have seen nearly every aspect of daily life disrupted. In areas with the most cases of COVID-19 infection, healthcare systems and workers are stretched. Where social distancing policies are in place, schools and businesses are closed, and families and individuals face isolation. As of March 31st, the virus, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, has infected nearly 720,000 individuals and claimed the lives of over 33,000 people.

Despite the ever-changing situation, efforts to share information and collaborate are stronger than ever. Donors who are eager to help can contribute to both immediate relief needs and long-term recovery efforts, as well as to vaccine research and development that aims to stop the new coronavirus and prepare for future epidemics.

Now more than ever, NPT is here to help. We will continue to provide resources and insights for donors who want to support responses to the COVID-19 pandemic; please visit this blog regularly for updates. For additional questions or information, please contact

NPT has curated the following short list of charitable organizations that are engaged in both direct relief and research around the world; it is by no means comprehensive of all the organizations engaged at this time but rather a starting point. In situations like these, where every community that is affected is facing unique challenges, community foundations have an especially important role to support relief and recovery efforts. Community foundations across the United States have established funds to address the unique needs in the geographic areas they serve. Whether it is providing funding for increased healthcare needs, support for children who are out of school, or emergency safety net assistance for those suddenly out of work, community foundations are well-positioned to provide immediate and flexible funding to the nonprofits and service sectors most affected. For donors who wish to support a particular geographic area, community foundations are a strong starting point.


Alight (EIN 36-3241033)

Formerly the American Refugee Committee, Alight is supporting local operations in nine countries where they have had an ongoing, long-term presence. Efforts include increasing access to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities in refugee settlements and supplying protective equipment for medical staff.


CDC Foundation (EIN 58-2106707)

The CDC Foundation works in close collaboration with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rapidly deploy private and philanthropic funds where they are needed most during emergency outbreaks.


Center for Disaster Philanthropy (EIN 45-5257937)

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has established the COVID-19 Response Fund to support preparation, containment and recovery needs with a focus on nonprofit organizations working in areas with high numbers of cases and those working with vulnerable populations in those areas, including hourly and gig economy workers, immigrants, elderly adults and individuals with disabilities.


Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) works to stimulate and accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks. Its latest funding call aims to develop a proven vaccine against COVID-19. Although CEPI is based in Norway, NPT has obtained an Equivalency Determination certification in order to be able to facilitate grants to CEPI in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak.


Direct Relief (EIN 95-1831116)

Direct Relief is providing medical supplies and protective equipment to health workers around the world. The organization is also working with the Pan American Health Organization to establish supply staging areas in the Caribbean and South America.


Feeding America (EIN 36-3673599)

Through its national network of food banks across the United States, Feeding America is managing increased volume and frequency of food distributions as well as additional mobile distribution centers in communities most affected by COVID-19.


Give2Asia (EIN 94-3373670)

Give2Asia facilitated donations to NGOs in China at the earliest onset of the COVID-19 outbreak and has now opened funds specifically to support relief efforts in India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.


Modest Needs Foundation (EIN 47-0863430)

Modest Needs provides short-term, emergency financial assistance to individuals and families in the United States and Canada. The organization focuses on those that may not qualify for federal assistance, with the ultimate goal to prevent at-risk households from falling into poverty. Modest Needs has launched an emergency assistance fund to help hourly employees that have been affected by business closings due to the pandemic.


Project Hope (EIN 53-0242962)

Project Hope has delivered millions of pieces of equipment to China since the start of the outbreak through its Global Health Emergency Fund and is preparing to send critical supplies to the areas they are needed most.


United Nations Foundation (EIN 58-2368165)

In partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, the United Nations Foundation has established the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support the World Health Organization’s response efforts across the globe.


UNICEF USA (EIN 13-1760110)

UNICEF has been providing protective gear to health workers in Asia since January as well as medical and hygiene kits to schools and clinics in other affected areas. In addition, UNICEF is working closely with the World Health Organization to combat the spread of misinformation and promote hygiene campaigns on television and social media.


NPT is not affiliated with any of the organizations described herein, and the inclusion of any organization in this material should not be considered an endorsement by NPT of such organization, or its services or products.


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