COVID-19 Response

COVID-19: A Community Responds

When the pandemic arrived in 2020, many of our neighbors and local businesses were severely impacted. Our philanthropic community quickly came together to provide support to those most affected.

Whether donating to local COVID-19 Response Funds, providing grants to small businesses, supporting local artists or providing assistance to employees facing hardship, our neighbors, business community, local leaders and many others demonstrated exceptional generosity.

In total – through seven rounds of grantmaking – more than $23.5 million was granted to 240 nonprofits helping those affected by the pandemic with basic needs such as childcare, education, housing, food, emergency financial assistance, legal advocacy, health and mental health, and workforce development.

COVID-19 Response Fund - Final Impact Report

Charlotte-Mecklenburg COVID-19 Response Fund

How the Fund Works

In March 2020, United Way of Central Carolinas and Foundation For The Carolinas partnered to launch the COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund supported a range of nonprofits assisting the people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, this fund helped not just those who got sick but also those who were economically impacted.

The COVID-19 Response Fund was administered through a partnership between the Foundation and United Way. A grants committee was established to review and distribute grants from the fund. The committee was made up of 17 local leaders representing a diversity of business sectors, backgrounds and Mecklenburg County geographic locations.

COVID-19 Response Fund Grants Committee:

Tanya Blackmon, Co-Chair, Novant Health

Edwin Peacock, Co-Chair, Pomfret Financial

Charles Bowman, Bank of America

Jordan Boyd, Rockwell AME Zion Church

Heath Campbell, Truist Financial

Alexis Coleman, Davidson United Methodist Church

Betsy Conway, Lowe's

Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County

Malcolm Graham, City of Charlotte

Mark Jerrell, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners

Cliff Matthews, St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church

Brian Middleton, Atrium

Dee O'Dell, U. S. Bank

Jill Olmstead, LendingTree

Susan Patterson, Community Volunteer

Federico Rios, City of Charlotte

Lisa Saunders, Christ Church Charlotte

Grant Awards

Grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund supported a range of nonprofits assisting the people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Full Grant List

Our Generous Donors

This fund was launched March 16, 2020, thanks to a $1 million lead gift from LendingTree and a $1 million matching gift from the City of Charlotte. These gifts inspired additional donations, totaling more than $23 million.

Following are corporate and foundation donors who announced major gifts to the fund. The full list of generous donors is available in the COVID-19 Response Fund Report.

City of Charlotte
The Howard R. Levine Foundation
Truist Financial Corporation
Mecklenburg County
The David A. Tepper Charitable Foundation
Bank of America
Lowe's Home Improvement
C. D. Spangler Foundation & National Gypsum
Coca-Cola Consolidated
Ally Financial
Duke Energy Foundation
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation
Weisiger Fleming Family Fund
The John M. Belk Endowment
Charlotte Hornets Foundation
The Allstate Foundation
The Hearst Foundations
Amy and Alfred Dawson
Springsteen Foundation
Wells Fargo
BlackArch Partners & The Regions Foundation
PwC US & The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Sean and Andrea Smith
Philip L. Van Every Foundation
Kim and Johnny Belk
Wells Fargo Championship
Pamlico Capital
The Humana Foundation

Other COVID-19 Grants Programs

City of Charlotte Access to Capital Grants

More than 2,800 diverse small businesses, restaurants and hotels received $37 million in CARES Act funding through the City’s Access to Capital program, which was administered by Foundation For The Carolinas. Small businesses – such as retailers, salons, fitness studios and more – in neighborhoods throughout Charlotte received critical assistance during the pandemic.

Small Business Innovation Fund

The Small Business Innovation Fund helps Charlotte-based small businesses innovate and adapt to pandemic-related challenges. Visit for more information

Arts, Culture & Creativity Fund

The Arts, Culture & Creativity Fund supported individual artists and nonprofit organizations experiencing COVID-19-related challenges. Visit for more information.

Brave of Heart Fund

For information about the Brave of Heart Fund for fallen healthcare workers, founded by New York Life and Cigna and powered by FFTC’s subsidiary, E4E Relief, visit

Annual Report

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COVID-19 Response Fund Report

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