Boston Foundation announces establishment of COVID-19 Response Fund in partnership with Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston

Fund will support nonprofits working with most gravely affected communities in Greater Boston

March 13, 2020

For immediate release:
Media Contact:  Keith Mahoney

Boston – The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, today announced it is establishing the COVID-19 Response Fund to rapidly deploy flexible resources to organizations in Greater Boston that are working with communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The Fund will award one-time operating grants on a rolling basis to non-profits whose operations in support of elders and other vulnerable populations have been stressed by the outbreak.  The Boston Foundation encourages institutions, companies and other funders to contribute to the Fund.  

The Boston Foundation will work in partnership with the City of Boston and other funders to ensure the Fund has maximum reach and effectiveness. "As we continue to take proactive steps to address the coronavirus, I'm proud to see Boston communities step up to the plate, as we always do in times of need, to help our friends and neighbors," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "These resources from the Boston Foundation will help communities who are most impacted by the virus, and I thank all those involved for supporting Boston residents." 

“The coronavirus outbreak is still likely in its early stages in our region, and the necessary efforts to prevent the spread of the virus will have a significant impact on parts of the community who have the least ability to prepare for it,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This fund is designed to give added support to those organizations on the front lines of caring for and assisting vulnerable populations, and those communities where the loss of jobs and benefits, or the closure of institutions, are creating a significant new burden for community members and the social service organizations that provide a safety net for them.” 

In addition to offering an opportunity to contribute to the Fund, the Boston Foundation is also urging its own donors to look for opportunities to support the critical needs of nonprofits by making general operating support grants to organizations they wish to help. In recent years, the Boston Foundation has shifted the majority of its discretionary grantmaking to general operating support. General operating support grants provide the greatest amount of flexibility for nonprofits, which is particularly important at a time when needs are rapidly changing.   

“Many nonprofits are not only dealing with an expected increase in caseloads from the coronavirus, they are dealing with disruptions to their own operations and in many cases have had to cancel fundraising events and other development activities,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Programs. “The COVID-19 Response Fund is an important part of making sure we care for our most vulnerable neighbors during the outbreak.”  

Details on how nonprofits might request and access general operating resources from the COVID-19 Response Fund will be announced at a later date, once donations have begun to accumulate in the Fund. More information is available at