Philanthropy and COVID-19: Examining two years of giving

The second year of the coronavirus pandemic began optimistically with the promise of multiple, effective vaccines. However, 2021 proved to be a challenging and complex year. The pandemic continued to put pressure on economies and societies, exacerbating inequities, and hitting poorer, historically marginalized communities the hardest. Through it all, nonprofits continued to play an essential role, providing critical services, trusted information and a variety of resources.

In the report titled “Philanthropy and COVID-19: Examining two years of giving,” Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy examine $1 billion in philanthropic funding for COVID-19-related efforts during 2021 to see how donors responded in the second year of the pandemic. We look at:

  • How U.S. foundations gave in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • Who gave and who received funding.
  • How Black, Indigenous and other communities of color are represented in the philanthropic giving.
  • How CDP funded COVID-19 in 2021.
  • How the pandemic impacted the philanthropic sector and civil society organizations in other countries.
  • What is needed from funders now and moving forward to support effective recovery.

As we navigate year three of the pandemic, we’re seeing waning attention and a drop in philanthropic giving. But we also know that even if COVID-19 were to be eradicated, the damage the pandemic has done, and the inequities it has exposed, will take decades to repair. It is incumbent upon funders to continue to provide support for this crisis.

This report will assist donors as they consider how to invigorate their COVID-19 giving strategy to support equitable, holistic community recovery from the pandemic.

Explore the data and key findings:

In partnership with the Council on Foundations, CDP and Candid presented a webinar on June 1, 2022 that highlighted the key learnings from the report and provided recommendations for funders as the world continues to struggle with the impact of COVID-19. Watch the recording to learn more:

(Photo courtesy of CORE)

Past COVID-19 and Philanthropy Reports:

Philanthropy and COVID-19 in 2020: Measuring One Year of Giving

March 2021
In this report, Candid and CDP examined more than $20 billion in global philanthropic funding by institutional grantmakers and high-net-worth donors for COVID-19-related efforts during 2020. We found that corporate foundations and corporate giving programs accounted for $9.4 billion (44 percent) of total COVID-19 funding in 2020, and community foundations awarded more grants than any other grantmaker type, making up 54% of total awards. We also found that in the second half of 2020, COVID-19 funding explicitly designated for Black, Indigenous and other people of color communities increased: 35% of U.S. COVID-19 philanthropy to specified recipients was designated for communities of color. The report also identified five ways that funders can leverage their resources to help ensure equitable recovery from the pandemic in the U.S. and worldwide.

Philanthropy and COVID-19 in the First Half of 2020

August 2020
In this report, Candid and CDP examined more than $11.9 billion in philanthropic funding for COVID-19. We found that total philanthropic funding awarded for COVID-19-related efforts during the first six months of 2020 dwarfed funding for other recent disasters. We also found that few awards were specifically identified as general support. Of funding that specified recipients, only 5% was designated for communities of color, despite these populations being disproportionately affected by the pandemic.