Our COVID-19 Response: FCAA Member Funding Responses

This Monday I left a Zoom meeting with the FCAA Board of Directors feeling more hopeful than I have in weeks. It was a reminder that our members are doing amazing things. These organizations, like you, are finding ways to be responsive: relaxing grant requirements, converting grants to general operating support, and providing counsel and resources to their grantees. They are working to support vulnerable populations – particularly transgender communities and sex workers – who are increasingly struggling within this crisis. One member, AIDS United, shifted – in a matter of days – its annual AIDSWatch event to a virtual gathering and hosted more than 2,000 people online for critical advocacy conversations. And some organizations, such as Gilead Sciences, have also launched new funding mechanisms to help address the impact of COVID-19 in their communities and among their grantees. Find a few recent examples are below.

Please continue to visit our COVID-19 Resource page online for an updated list of these funds along with other philanthropic and HIV-related resources. 

FCAA Member Responses

“For many years, we have stood with community-based organizations that provide critical support to people living with HIV, viral hepatitis, cancer and other illnesses. It is in recognition of the importance of their work that we are launching this fund to help these groups remain financially sustainable for the long term.” Brett Pletcher, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Gilead Sciences .

On April 8th Gilead Sciences launched the Gilead CARES (COVID-19 Acute Relief and Emergency Support) Grantee Fund to provide financial support to current grantees facing an imminent closure or termination of vital services due to losses attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will provide up to $20 million in donations to these nonprofit groups. Gilead will also make two significant community donations: $1 million to the San Mateo County Strong Fund, which is providing financial support to individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations in San Mateo County where Gilead is based, and $1 million to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, which is providing support for families and small businesses, relief for healthcare workers and other services in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Kite, Gilead’s operating company that is focused on cell therapy, is headquartered in the Los Angeles area. Additionally, Gilead will match employee donations to three global relief organizations through the company’s Giving Together corporate match program as part of a special campaign. Proceeds will be split equally between Direct Relief, the UN Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and International Medical Corps.

amfAR announced it would be expanding its efforts to include research on the deadly new coronavirus by establishing theamfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19. Importantly, amfAR is not diverting funds to COVID-19 research. All money donated for HIV research will stay in HIV research, whereas all donations to this special fund will be earmarked for research on COVID-19. On their website, amfAR also offers brief videos on the links between HIV and COVID-19, and have recently updated their Ending the HIV Epidemic Plan database with COVID-19 data for the U.S.

“It is our collective responsibility in philanthropy to continue to stay vigilant and focus on continuing to identify ways we can be nimble and responsive with our funding, and learn from our experiences in real time, both locally and abroad.” Peter Laugharn, President, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation .

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation committed $10 million in new COVID-19 grantmaking for relief efforts and support for vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19 here in the U.S. and abroad. Of the $10 million, about half will go toward protecting the homeless population in Los Angeles, with the other half focused on helping African countries prepare for a pending outbreak. As just one example of what will be supported, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will receive $1,500,000 to strengthen risk communication and community engagement capacity of four high-risk countries in East Africa to respond to COVID-19: Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Levi Strauss & Co. – one of the first corporations to get involved in the HIV response committed $3 million to relief efforts, with a focus on employees, community partners and supply chain workers. LSF is focused on supporting vanguard organizations that are championing marginalized people who are likely to be most affected, including:

  • Chinese for Affirmative Action, which is fighting back against the coronavirus-related racism directed toward Asian Americans. 
  • VisionSpring, which is helping factories pivot to produce protective gear for community health workers in communities where apparel workers live.
  • Various other organizations – like the Bay Area’s Tipping Point, Swasti in India, Doctors Without Borders and the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Rights – that are addressing the very real impacts the pandemic is having on vulnerable communities. 

The company is also looking into different ways they can support the personal protective equipment (PPE), like medical-grade masks, that health workers need.

Elton John AIDS Foundation launched a $1 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund that can protect the people the Foundation has always sought to serve through HIV care, treatment and prevention, as well as mitigating the damage that COVID-19 can do, particularly to the global gains for more than 37 million people already living with HIV. The Fund is accepting applications for solutions that have strong potential to address specific challenges that have arisen for people already living with or at severe risk of HIV/AIDS and who are now at heightened risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are being accepted through April 23rd.

Please continue to visit our COVID-19 Resource page online for an updated list of these funds along with other philanthropic and HIV-related resources.