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Philanthropy Thought Leadership

Cumulative giving from U.S. community foundations for COVID-19 relief reached $6.7 billion in 2020

By Elyse Hammett, vice president marketing and communications, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Hundreds of metro Atlanta nonprofits have been bolstered during the COVID-19 crisis through more than $18 million deployed by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Thousands of individuals, families, corporations and private foundations contributed to the Fund that has helped get needed resources out to our local communities. 

In addition to the COVID-19 Fund’s grantmaking, individuals and families gave out more than $123 million through their own donor-advised funds (DAFs) at the Community Foundation, representing a $10 million increase over total giving in 2019. And that’s just a snapshot of the generosity in our region during the last year. Nationally, our fellow community foundations have had tremendous impact through the collective giving of millions of donors. 

According to a survey by the Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative (CFPAI), donor-advised funds at 84 U.S. community foundations granted more than $6.7 billion to nonprofits in 2020. This figure represents an increase of nearly $2 billion, or 41%, from the $4.75 billion granted from these same community foundation DAFs in 2019. There are more than 800 community foundations in the U.S., meaning the total granted through donor-advised funds at all community foundations during this period exceeds the $6.7 billion granted by those who responded to the CFPAI survey. 

These grants provided critical support to local nonprofits working to help families facing issues such as lost income, unstable housing, food insecurity and more. Community foundations in the U.S. have a strong track record for responding to emergency community needs. Our own experience in metro Atlanta, alongside this latest study on giving, are proof points to how countless individuals and families stepped up their giving to make our communities stronger and more resilient. Learn more about the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund impact here.

Photo courtesy of Goodr.


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