Amazon has joined an innovative and forward-thinking coalition of philanthropy, government, and business partners to create a COVID-19 Response Fund that will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the Puget Sound region’s coronavirus outbreak. Amazon has contributed $1 million to the fund that started at $2.5 million, and which now totals $9.2 million. The fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address the outbreak as efficiently as possible.
Hosted by Seattle Foundation, a local community foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations in the Puget Sound region working with communities who are disproportionally impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. One-time operating grants will fund organizations that have deep roots in community and strong experience working with residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare and gig economy workers, and communities of color, among others.
"There are urgent needs across the Puget Sound region, and it’s particularly important that the most vulnerable in society are supported during this difficult time for our community," said David Zapolsky, Amazon SVP and general counsel. "The COVID-19 Response Fund is an excellent example of nonprofits, governments, and businesses coming together quickly with an innovative approach to an unprecedented issue."
The first phase of the grants will increase community resilience by connecting individuals with critical services and resources, informing them about the outbreak, sharing best practices for staying safe and healthy, and increasing residents’ understanding of their rights and available resources. The Fund expects to move an initial round of grants within the next few weeks.
Seattle Foundation will administer grants from the Fund in partnership with United Way of King County and King County, who will proactively identify potential grant recipients, solicit guidance on potential recipients from community advisors, and recommend final awards. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases.
Individuals and organizations are encouraged to donate via www.seattlefoundation.org/Covid19.