COVID-19 Response 2020 - The New York Community Trust

Addressing the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic hit New York hard, but it also has been met with profound generosity. The Trust and its divisions in Westchester and Long Island created response funds that pooled contributions from more than 1,700 donors and made nearly 1,000 grants, totaling $95.2 million.

While the largest of these funds, the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, was set up to get money quickly to nonprofits in the early days of the pandemic, the others, such as the Emergency Fund, have continued to raise and distribute funds through 2021 so the city can rebuild and recover. Generous support from our donors has helped hundreds of organizations function safely and assist New Yorkers, and adapt to these challenging times. Rapid funding helped social service organizations deal with a spike in demand and enabled arts organizations to pivot to operating virtually. We also helped homeless students learn remotely, reopen businesses and nonprofits, train health workers to see patients using telehealth services, and maintain the city’s green spaces.

Hot Bread Kitchen

Getting the best care for kids with disabilities can be complicated in the best of times, but COVID took the challenges to a new level. In 2020, INCLUDEnyc had a nearly 100 percent increase in demand for its services. With emergency funding from The Trust, the organization expanded its programs and Help Line hours, offered more virtual support groups and workshops, and co-hosted community forums with the NYC Department of Education.

A girl with a headset working on a computer.

CONNECTED: An INCLUDEnyc Help Line staff member works remotely, assisting families of children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Eighteen founding donors came together in March when it became clear that COVID-19 would have devastating consequences for the city. The resulting NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund targeted the immediate needs of small and mid-sized nonprofits in the human services and arts and cultural sectors. The grants helped nonprofits get equipment to protect staff and clients, as well as transition to remote work. Grants also paid employees and covered other fixed costs as revenues dried up. Read the report.

Cover of the COVID-19 Response & Impact Report

"With changes coming out constantly, we were able to adjust our offerings in real-time to help families better understand their rights and options and navigate the everchanging landscape of remote learning.”
—Barbara Glassman, executive director of INCLUDEnyc