The Impact of Covid-19 on Philanthropy

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on the world, but in doing so has also brought people closer to each other. Find out how global pandemic has impacted philanthropy.

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Covid-19 challenged human society unlike anything else before it. The initial response to the global pandemic was slow and people in countries such as Italy, the USA, and Brazil paid a hefty price.
Reacting slowly is not something societies should be proud of. However, everything else people have done to help each other since then certainly is. Covid-19 may have brought humanity down on its knees, but it has also brought people closer than ever.
Rich People are Sharing their Wealth
Millionaires have often been given bad press for how they earn and distribute their wealth. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, some of them have really silenced their critics.
Take Jack Dorsey for example. The American entrepreneur and CEO of Twitter are putting nearly a third of his wealth towards helping various Covid-19 relief funds. Twitter and Square founder has donated $1 billion according to this infographic.
Other billionaires are also doing their bit. Bill Gates comes second on that list of donations and has given $250 million mainly to help the development of a Covid-19 vaccine. Similarly, Azim Premji, the Indian tycoon, has given as much as $132 million from his personal fortune to help his fellow countrymen.
Even rich people who are accused of not giving as much as they can have actually pitched sizeable amounts of money. The CEO and president of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, was publicly called out for not giving as much as he could towards charity.
If you are not familiar with the numbers, you would think that Bezos has donated some measly sum of money reading those reactions. However, check that infographic again and you will see that the industrialist has actually donated $100 million and is the fourth most generous person on the planet.
Corporations have Shown a Human Face
Companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Linked-in, and Tik Tok have all done their part to help too. Google, for example, has made its video conferencing tools free and available to everyone. On top of this, the Internet giant has also set aside $380 in free advertising money to help small businesses.
Facebook has also enabled free advertising to small businesses in need. Mark Zuckerberg’s much-maligned company has been on the receiving end of lots of criticism in the past few years but has improved its public image during the pandemic significantly.
Other companies have donated lots of money as well, but they have prioritized their employees over others. Virgin, NBC Universal, and Warner Media have all set aside vast sums of money to help their workforce weather the storm.
Another trend that has also made a huge difference is donating money to health organizations. Tik Tok has donated $10 million to the World Health Organization, while Nornickel has given lots of money to support healthcare institutions.
However, not all corporations have done as much as they could. Amazon, for example, hasn’t featured in any donations list. What is more, the company has also failed to enable basic worker safety measures and is now under increased pressure from investors to address this issue.
Charities are Giving Their Best
Billionaires and companies have donated vast sums of money, but charity organizations have had to work with those funds on the ground. They are the ones making sure that medical equipment gets delivered and food is distributed to people in need.
Organizations such as Direct Relief and Feeding America help medical workers and are responsible for food distributions in the Americas. Similarly, Project Hope, through its Health Emergency Fund delivered millions of pieces of medical equipment to China.
Some organizations such as No Kid Hungry are working round the clock to ensure that children get healthy meals even during the pandemic.
Even organizations you don’t normally associate with help during a pandemic are buried in work too. For instance, mental health charities are busy helping people deal with social isolation during the lockdown.
If you think this is not a big problem, think again. One-third of Israelis over the age of 21 are stressed and anxious as a direct result of Covid-19 according to research. Chances are that mental health will be the next big issue to deal with once the pandemic eases up and these charities will once again be on the front lines.