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Overview

Shortly after the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) became widespread in the United States and around the world, many of America’s large and small businesses stepped up to respond to the crisis, providing relief to their communities and doing their part to lead an economic comeback. In many cases, these rapid-response efforts provided necessary resources for the federal government and filled some of the need gaps for those who have been hit the hardest. The support has not stopped there. America’s business community has also augmented its response by giving to charitable organizations and mobilizing the forces of their partner foundations. Here, we outline some of the work being done and highlight the long-standing commitments of the business community to their workers, consumers, and communities.

Corporate Foundations

Many large companies establish foundations to provide grants to charitable organizations on a consistent and more structured basis. These foundations can provide support in the form of direct cash infusions, fund employee matching grants, scholarships, supply donations, and other basic necessities. For decades, these corporate foundations, and charitable foundations supported through corporate dollars, have given back to causes that align with the mission of the companies. These foundations address the philanthropic concerns and objectives of their employees and customers.

In recent years, supporting philanthropic and social causes has become more important as boards and corporate management have considered an integrated approach to their business models. As consumers have increasingly sought brands that align with their personal beliefs, companies have turned to philanthropic and charitable arms to engage in anti-poverty efforts, combat climate change initiatives, and support for healthcare systems and educational opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged communities. These examples are just a few of the ways our nation’s business leaders and job creators are organizing to do their part during a time of need.

Philanthropy and Charity

As a brief overview, some of the responses from America’s business community have included:

  • Millions of dollars in grants and aid to the American Red CrossAmericaresDirect ReliefFeeding AmericaHealthcare ReadyHealthier Kids of Our FutureMeals on WheelsNational Health Care for the Homeless Council, and local Community Foundations
  • Tens of millions of face masks and respirators, face shields, gowns, gloves and other essential medical items and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as millions of pharmaceutical dosages for treatment, clinical trials, and to the Strategic National Stockpile.
  • Allowing employees who are licensed medical professionals to take paid leave and volunteer on the front lines of the response in clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, labs, as first responders, and other roles. 
  • Providing free rides and transportation to and from work for medical professionals and other essential employees and workers.
  • Providing free digital and television advertising and air time for COVID-19 related public service and public health announcements.
  • Upgrading internet and broadband connectivity and access, donating laptops to school districts, and lifting data usage limits to and waiving late fees.
  • Increasing access to critical mental health services for frontline workers, donating meals to healthcare workers and first responders and donating materials and infrastructure needs to local food banks and other local charitable efforts

Conclusion

Below, you can find links to additional resources and see how the business community continues to innovate and develop treatment and cures, provide community relief, support workers and employees, and help furnish basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing.

Links to Other Resources