The Duke Endowment Awards $2.5 Million in COVID-19 Relief for the Carolinas

In North Carolina, $1.25 million of the funding will be dispersed through the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation, the charitable nonprofit affiliate of the North Carolina Healthcare Association. In South Carolina, the $1.25 million will be dispersed through One SC, a fund created at Central Carolina Community Foundation in 2015 to respond to natural disasters. 

These initial grants will help statewide efforts focused on access to vital health care and sustaining social supports as unemployment rises. Duke Endowment Board Chair Minor Shaw said the Endowment anticipates providing additional support as needs continue to develop. 

COVID-19 is having a profound impact on our grantee partners, the essential services they provide, and the communities and families they are working so hard to help,” Shaw said. We are joining others in a coordinated effort to address the critical challenges emerging across both states and support the people most affected by this crisis.” 

The North Carolina Healthcare Foundation is establishing a COVID-19 Fill the Gap Fund to respond to needs that cannot be addressed via public resources or reimbursement. Representatives from the health sector and social service organizations, including community safety net leaders and state agency partners, will serve as an advisory team.

The One SC: Covid-19 Response is a collaboration of the SC Grantmakers Network, Together SC and United Way Association of SC to mobilize the philanthropic community to provide funding, communication and advocacy for nonprofits serving the state’s vulnerable residents during the coronavirus crisis. 

With regional teams informing an executive committee on health and social needs around the state, it is targeting gaps in meeting food, shelter, health and nonprofit sustainability needs stemming from the pandemic,” said Chris Steed, executive director of the Fullerton Foundation and chair of the SC Grantmakers Network. The deployed funds will enhance important efforts already under way in several counties and regions.” Julia Wacker, senior vice president of the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation, said the Fill the Gap Fund is also focused on collaboration. 

During this time of tremendous need, we cannot afford for any dollar to be wasted or effort to be duplicated,” Wacker said. The crisis has prompted remarkable synergy among health care, government and social service agencies, working in partnership to prepare for and overcome the challenges ahead. Private philanthropy plays a critical role in North Carolina’s response, and the Fill the Gap Fund aims to ensure that we maximize the flexibility of those dollars, getting them to the areas of greatest need as effectively and efficiently as possible.” 

The Duke Endowment is one of the largest private foundations in the Southeast. Its work in North Carolina and South Carolina focuses on four program areas: child and family well-being, health care, higher education and rural United Methodist churches. The foundation shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but they are separate organizations.