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.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg COVID-19 Response Fund
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
Grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund supported a range of nonprofits assisting the people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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
The David A. Tepper Charitable Foundation
Bank of America
Lowe's Home Improvement
C. D. Spangler Foundation & National Gypsum
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
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
The Humana Foundation
Other COVID-19 Grants Programs
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.
The Small Business Innovation Fund helps Charlotte-based small businesses innovate and adapt to pandemic-related challenges. Visit charlottecentercity.org/innovationfund for more information
The Arts, Culture & Creativity Fund supported individual artists and nonprofit organizations experiencing COVID-19-related challenges. Visit investincreatives.com for more information.