A guide to charitable giving during Covid-19


#GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of charitable donations and acts, has passed, but you can still help those impacted by COVID-19. This is the time to lift someone up who has been knocked down by this pandemic, and to show the world that we are not as inhumane as our administration, who cannot find any room in its budget or conscience to contribute to the global fund for a vaccine or the World Health Organization. 

While #GivingTuesdayNow is a concentrated call for charitable donations, you don’t necessarily have to contribute money to participate. Volunteering to get a neighbor groceries, donating goods or supplies, sharing your gratitude for healthcare workers are all part of the generous spirit of the day. 

But of course if you do have the means, this is an opportune time to donate to a local, national or international fund or cause that speaks to you. Below are a few suggestions to guide your giving. 

National and International Relief

The New York Times has a great guide to U.S. and global organizations that need support right now to raise money for medical supplies, food banks, children, refugees, the elderly and other communities in need.

Public Health

The U.S. government froze $500 million earmarked for the World Health Organization, but you can support its work in researching, preventing and making accessible treatments for COVID-19 through the U. N. Foundation’s Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.

Local Relief

The most comprehensive approach to providing financial relief to communities of color across Brooklyn is The Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund. So far, it has channeled over $2 million to nonprofits serving vulnerable populations and its goal today is to raise $1 million more.  It is providing matching grants of $2500 each to all of the nonprofits it is supporting. You can choose one to donate to directly or donate to the fund as a whole and let them distribute it to their partners.

Food Banks

Photo: Food Bank for New York City

Food banks are facing shortages across the country. Here in New York, demand is up by 200% in some places, and the overwhelming need has exhausted a third of the city’s 1000 food pantries and soup kitchens, forcing them to close. 

The Food Bank for New York City’s goal today is to raise money for a million meals for New Yorkers. You can also directly support food banks in Brooklyn by donating to CHiPS in Park Slope or Bread and Life in Bed-Stuy, which has a helpful guide to supporting your local food pantry.

News organizations

The media is participating in today’s charitable giving with their own campaign, #GivingNewsday. If there is a news source whose stories have moved you or have kept you informed during this time, donate to it or buy a subscription. The New Yorker’s astounding 24 hours at the epicenter of the pandemic story is worth a subscription alone. The City has been doing a tremendous job of reporting the pandemic’s impact on all communities, and The River has been covering the crisis upstate. A number of small papers across the country have also joined a tax-deductible Covid-19 news fund; you can see if any of your past or current local news sources are on the list.

We’ve hopefully been informing, entertaining and comforting you, too. Purchasing one of our journals will help us and provide you with a gift that you can use or give to a friend.

Brooklyn businesses

Photo: Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has created a fund to support the borough’s small businesses that desperately need funding to survive the shutdown. It estimates that 84% of Brooklyn’s small businesses did not receive PPP funding and other sources of federal aid that has remained elusive to so many mom and pops in New York. Their Bring Back Brooklyn fund will deliver grants between $500 and $30,000 to local businesses, and donations are tax-deductible.

Restaurants and Venues

Restaurants, cultural spaces and venues will be part of the last waves of reopening NYC, so if you want to see your favorite theater or neighborhood cafe or museum on the other side of the shutdown, support them with gift cards, take out orders, membership and staff GoFundMe campaigns.

Our roundup of restaurants donating food to healthcare workers allows you to support a restaurant and help feed the frontlines.


If you want to raise your hand to help New Yorkers, register with New York Cares, which will give you access to over 1,600 monthly volunteer projects serving communities throughout the city. ServNY is also seeking licensed healthcare volunteers from around the country.

Is there another great org that can use our support? Let us know in the comments.

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