Governor Baker announced today the launch of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will help support essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations across the state, including Massachusetts residents and immigrants facing homelessness, food insecurity, and loss of critical services as a result of COVID-19.
The Fund was conceptualized by the One8 Foundation, who helped establish the fund and provided a lead donation of $1.8 million. The MA COVID-19 Relief Fund is administered by Eastern Bank. The Foundation for Business Equity (FBE) and The Boston Foundation are acting as fiscal sponsors for the Fund. Elissa Flynn-Poppey of Mintz Levin provided invaluable advice and counsel.
Donations can be made online by visiting MACovid19ReliefFund.org.
“I am so grateful to Lauren for her leadership on this important effort, and to the One8 Foundation team, Eastern Bank, FBE, and The Boston Foundation for their hard work and dedication in getting the fund off the ground,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The compassion and generosity of the people of Massachusetts continues to inspire and amaze me, and I have no doubt that our state will continue to step up and give back to Massachusetts communities so that we can come through this crisis stronger and more united than ever before.”
One8, the family foundation of residents Joanna and Jonathon Jacobson, have been joined by other Massachusetts philanthropists providing lead gifts including the Klarman Family Foundation, Joshua and Anita Bekenstein Charitable Fund, Charlesbank Capital Partners/Barbara and Michael Eisenson, the Fireman Family Foundation and an anonymous donor. Additional founding donors include: the Edgerley Family Foundation, Liz and Phill Gross, Mannion Family Foundation, Dupre-Nunnelly Charitable Gift Fund, the Baupost Group, Rob and Karen Hale, TJX, Mickey and Bob Atchinson, the Abrams Family Foundation, Michael and Jill Stansky Family Foundation, the Frieze Family Foundation, William Helman, MFN Partners, Lynch Family Foundation, Stephanie and Brian Spector, Ernie Boch Jr., Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, Maurice and Luly Samuels, and Chris and Lisa Collins.
Together, these generous donors will kickstart the fund with over $13 million.
Donations raised through the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will be distributed in partnership with the state’s community foundations that cover counties statewide and other critical non-profits, ensuring that Massachusetts communities can benefit from access to this much-needed pool of resources.
“These are unprecedented and uncertain times, and the people of Massachusetts are struggling. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will help us connect those who are most acutely impacted by COVID-19 with the resources and services they need to get through this difficult time and stay safe, healthy, and supported,” said Lauren Baker, First Lady of the Commonwealth of the Massachusetts. “I encourage all individuals, businesses, foundations – everyone who cares about our state – to consider contributing to this Fund. Every bit helps, and every donation will be used to help our communities.”
Jonathan Raymond will serve as the Fund’s Executive Director, supporting fundraising and the effective distribution of funds across the state. Raymond is the Executive Director of the National Association of School Superintendents, and was formerly the President of the Stuart Foundation, a K-12 education foundation in California.
“COVID-19 is impacting our state in countless ways, from housing and food insecurity to job losses and an incredible strain on essential workers and the health care system. The need is felt in every corner of our state and across every community” said Joanna Jacobson, Trustee of the One8 Foundation. “Our message to the people, non-profits, and communities of our state is this: We know you are hurting, and we are here for you. Our team is proud to support this effort, and we will continue to do everything we can to reach out and help our neighbors who need it most to get back on their feet.”
Eastern Bank is a founding donor to this initiative and is providing their services to the Fund at no cost.
“This pandemic is affecting every person, organization, and community and the Fund understands that supporting each other is the best way to get through this together,” said Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank. “We believe in doing what we can to help all communities across Massachusetts and to provide a safe and reliable way for donations to be made to this Fund.”
The Boston Foundation is hosting this statewide donor advised Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to accept donations from foundations and donor advised funds.
“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented efforts on the state and local levels. While we have increased our active support for non-profits in Greater Boston, we are also proud to stand with donors recognizing the needs across our great commonwealth,” said Paul Grogan of The Boston Foundation.
To learn more about the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund and to make a donation, please visit MACovid19ReliefFund.org.