In this time of unprecedented need, Philadelphia government, philanthropy and the private sector have come together to create the PHL COVID-19 Fund.

The new endowment will provide money directly to nonprofits that are on the front lines of helping the city’s most vulnerable get through the coronavirus crisis and lockdown — which could include those helping people with food, childcare and healthcare insecurity.

Nonprofits in the seven counties in Southeast Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey are eligible for aid.

Stocked with $6.5 million in seed money, city officials and philanthropic leaders say that only covers a fraction of the need — and they’re asking Philadelphians with the means to kick in.

“You are needed now,” said Bill Golderer, president of the local United Way chapter. “Your resources are needed now. Your volunteer hours are needed now.”

About half of the initial funding comes from the William Penn Foundation. The United Way, Philadelphia Foundation, Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, Lenfest and various other  corporate foundations also contributed.

The first phase for the PHL COVID-19 Fund is raising money. But leaders are also seeking to build a base of volunteers to assist nonprofits delivering essential services as the outbreak spreads through the city.

Here’s how to donate, sign up to help and, for nonprofits, how to request funds.

  • To donate: Go here and make a contribution. Note that 100% of every dollar goes directly to the nonprofits chosen by the city. Donations can be made anonymously, and you can also make a contribution in someone’s honor.
  • To volunteer: Go to the Philadelphia Foundation’s Key Skill Hub and fill out an application that lists the qualifications you can offer local nonprofits dealing with the crisis.
  • To request funding: Registered 501(c)(3) organizations can go to the website and fill out an application. To move funds quickly during the pandemic, the fund only requires a simple request to be considered for a grant.

Max Marin (he/him) was Billy Penn's investigative reporter from 2018 to 2021. A graduate of Temple University, he has produced award-winning journalism on local politics, criminal justice, immigration...