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Philanthropy and COVID-19: Measuring one year of giving

The world, facing the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice, called on philanthropy to spend like it never had before. And it did. This report documents how philanthropy achieved generosity that was as unprecedented as these two pandemics. Key findings include:

  • More than $20 billion was awarded for COVID-19 globally in 2020.
  • Corporations accounted for 44% of the funding.
  • Community foundations awarded more grants than any other grantmaker type (54% of total awards).
  • Gifts by high-net-worth individuals accounted for at least $5.8 billion.
  • Human service organizations received the largest share of funding (28%) among awards to specified recipients.
  • Of U.S. COVID-19 philanthropy designated for specified recipients, 35% was explicitly directed to Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities.
  • Dollars for unrestricted or flexible support dramatically increased to 39% from 3% in the first half of the year, mainly due to MacKenzie Scott’s large donations.
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Copyright Candid 2021