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Giving Wisely to COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Residents across Massachusetts are looking to support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These tips from the Attorney General’s Office will help make sure that your charitable contributions are smart and safe. Below these tips are COVID-19 relief efforts sponsored by charities that are registered and in compliance with the Attorney General’s Office and raising funds to support these efforts

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Tips for Giving Wisely to COVID-19 Relief

Give to charities you know and those you can trust: Well-established charities with experience in disaster relief, community foundations, or organizations established with support from government agencies are generally good places to donate.
Check the website: If you are contributing over the internet, make sure that the website you are visiting belongs to a legitimate and established charity. Be advised that most crowdfunding sites are not charities and many typically take a percentage of your donation as a fee.
Ask lots of questions: How much of the money goes to the charity and how much to a professional fundraiser? Ask if your contribution is tax deductible and what the charity intends to do with any excess contributions.
Beware of social media posts or emails soliciting donations to copycat organizations or fake websites.
Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting money: Never give out credit card, bank account, or any other identifiable information when you are contacted unsolicited by someone claiming to be raising money for a charity. Do your research, and only give payment information when you are sure of who you are dealing with.
Never pay by cash: Pay by check or credit card and make a check out directly to the charity, not the fundraiser or any other individual. Specify, on the check and in writing, whenever possible, the purpose of your donation

If you’d like more information on a particular charity, you can view their financial reports here. If you have concerns about solicitations you have received, please access the complaint form online.

For additional tips on donating, you may also want to review our Giving Wisely Advisory and the Donating Dos and Don’ts Guide.

Statewide Relief Funds

Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund: The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund is a statewide fund that is working to identify and fund gaps in the Massachusetts COVID-19 relief landscape.  Included in its target demographics for support are frontline health care professionals, first responders, and other essential workers, working families disproportionately affected by the impacts of COVID-19, immigrant and undocumented populations, people who are food insecure, people with disabilities, and homeless populations.

Central Massachusetts/Metro West Relief Funds

Foundation for MetroWest: The Foundation for MetroWest launched two emergency funds to serve residents of cities and towns of the MetroWest Region impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The MetroWest Emergency Relief Fund will provide one-time operating grants to nonprofits that are addressing critical needs or have experienced financial challenges due to closures as a result of any broad-based community emergencies, including natural disasters, financial crises, and public health emergencies like COVID-19.  The Feed Framingham COVID-19 Fund is a fund set up in partnership with the City of Framingham that seeks to help ensure food access to vulnerable populations across the city of Framingham.

Greater Worcester Community Foundation/United Way of Central Massachusetts: In collaboration with United Way of Central Massachusetts, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s Worcester Together COVID-19 Relief Fund provides grants and resources to organizations in Worcester County that work with communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.  This includes, among others, organizations that provide support to residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare and gig economy workers, seniors, and communities of color.

Greater Boston Relief Funds

Boston Resiliency Fund: Organized by the City of Boston, the Boston Resiliency Fund is working to fund organizations providing essential services to Boston residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including organizations that provide technology to Boston Public Schools for remote learning, support to frontline workers, and food to Boston’s children, families, and seniors.

Cambridge Community Foundation: The Cambridge Community Foundation launched two emergency relief funds to support families, residents, workers, nonprofits, and artists in Cambridge who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund provides grants to Cambridge residents, nonprofits, and small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.  The Cambridge Artist Relief Fund provides grants to artists and arts and cultural organizations facing a financial crisis as a result of the pandemic.

Combined Jewish Philanthropies: Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ CJP Coronavirus Emergency Fund provides grants to organizations in Greater Boston and around the world that are providing relief for seniors, those facing food insecurity, and people in financial crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Boston Foundation: The Boston Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund awards one-time operating grants on a rolling basis to nonprofits whose operations in support of seniors, communities of color, immigrants and other vulnerable populations have been stressed by the outbreak. 

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley: The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley launched a number of funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The COVID-19 Family Support Fund provides grants to nonprofit agencies that provide flexible cash assistance to help families in Eastern Massachusetts that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis meet their basic food, childcare or housing needs.  In addition to the central COVID-19 Family Support Fund, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay also launched a number of funds in partnership with local cities, including Chelsea, Lynn, Newton, Somerville, and Winchester.  These city funds make grants to local organizations that are meeting the basic needs of individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women’s Foundation of BostonThe Women’s Foundation of Boston launched the WFBoston Response Fund, which makes grants to organizations whose operations in support of women and girls in Greater Boston have been critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northeastern Massachusetts Relief Funds

Essex County Community Foundation: The Essex County Community Foundation’s Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund provides financial resources to nonprofit organizations working with communities that are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus and the economic consequences of the outbreak.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley: The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley launched a number of funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The COVID-19 Family Support Fund provides grants to nonprofit agencies that provide flexible cash assistance to help families in Eastern Massachusetts that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis meet their basic food, childcare or housing needs.  In addition to the central COVID-19 Family Support Fund, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay also launched a number of funds in partnership with local cities, including Chelsea, Lynn, Newton, Somerville, and Winchester.  These city funds make grants to local organizations that are meeting the basic needs of individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Southeastern Massachusetts Relief Funds

Cape Cod and the Islands United Way/Major Crisis Relief Fund/Cape Cod Foundation: The Cape Cod and the Islands United Way, in partnership with the Major Crisis Relief Fund and the Cape Cod Foundation, launched the Cape and Islands Community Response Fund, which gives grants to organizations providing access to basic needs such as food, shelter, and emergency assistance to members of the Cape and Island Community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts: The Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts’ SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund provides flexible grants to organizations that are working with communities at the intersection of being most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and most impacted by inequity.  This includes organizations that provide support to seniors, youth, people without stable housing, families and individuals who are food insecure, residents who have limited English proficiency, individuals with health vulnerabilities, and frontline medical care providers.      

Western Massachusetts Relief Funds

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation/Berkshire United Way: The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, in partnership with the Berkshire United Way, launched the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which provides resources to 501(c)(3) organizations in Berkshire County that are working with communities disproportionately impacted COVID-19.  Operating grants from this fund are designed to increase the capacity of organizations working to meet the basic needs of individuals and families.

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts: The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley provides grants to organizations serving the Pioneer Valley that help with emergency assistance, health services, and additional critical needs such as housing and food for those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

DISCLAIMER: This page is for informational purposes only. The inclusion of a public charity in the list of resources above does not constitute an endorsement by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the AGO.

If you would like to be included in the list above, please send an email to helpforeheroes@mass.gov and identify:

  • your charity’s Attorney General Account Number;
  • the nature of your COVID-19 relief fund, including information about target beneficiary demographics, and
  • the region your fund is intended to serve.

Contact

Address

Office of the Attorney General, Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
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