The commitment includes cash and in-kind grants in support of efforts to slow the spread of the virus and strengthen vulnerable healthcare systems against future public health threats. Most of the grants will be awarded over the next four to six weeks to the company's longtime nonprofit partners based on a previous evaluation of priority needs and partners' resource capabilities and gaps.
Through its Global Medical Grants program, the company will award a total of $5 million to proposals focused on improving the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and overall management of patients with COVID-19, while quality improvement grants will be awarded to medical centers, hospitals, and clinics in support of their efforts to improve the management and outcome of patients with COVID-19.
The company also plans to reconfigure its U.S. Patient Assistance Program to accommodate current challenges. In the United States, funds will be allocated to government public health organizations as well as charitable community health clinics; outside the U.S., funds will be allocated to international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) and partners.
In a series of tweets, Dorsey said he was transferring $1 billion of his equity stake in Square, the payments processor he co-founded, to his charity fund, Start Small LLC. Grants awarded by the fund will be tracked in a publicly accessible Google sheet. As of April 7, the spreadsheet showed an initial grant of $100,000 to America's Food Fund, which was launched last week as a GoFundMe campaign by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs and is partnering with World Central Kitchen and Feeding America to help low-income families, the elderly, children who rely on school lunch programs, and others struggling with food insecurity as a result of the virus.
Even if only a portion of the $1 billion is awarded in support of COVID-19 relief and response efforts, it would be the largest commitment announced by a U.S. tech philanthropist to address the public health crisis; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Jeff Bezos have each pledged $100 million for COVID-related efforts.
"Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime," Dorsey tweeted. "I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life is too short, so let's do everything we can today to help people now."
Once the COVID-19 emergency has been addressed, Start Small will shift its focus to girls' health and education and efforts related to universal basic income (UBI), Dorsey tweeted, which "represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world."
In using a limited liability company as a vehicle for his giving, Dorsey joins other prominent tech philanthropists, including Laura and John Arnold, Laurene Powell Jobs (Emerson Collective), Pierre and Pam Omidyar(Omidyar Network), and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative). Dorsey has faced criticism in the past for a lack of transparency around his philanthropy and emphasized in a tweet that "all transfers, sales, and grants will be made public."
3. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has announced a commitment of $100 million in support of COVID-19 response efforts and to address the economic fallout of the global pandemic.
The commitment includes $20 million in support of the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which was launched in March by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to identify and drive the development of treatments for COVID-19. The remaining $80 million will be awarded to nonprofit and social enterprises working in the areas of health, education, and community development. A portion of the pledged funds will be distributed as loans and guarantees to augment relief efforts, build medical capacity, and support small businesses and microentrepreneurs.
4. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation in Athens, Greece, has announced a $100 million commitment in support of efforts to address the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative initially will focus on research aimed at advancing effective prevention, testing, and treatments related to COVID-19, including an emergency award of $3 million to Rockefeller University in New York City in support of its efforts to accelerate the development and deployment of vaccines and therapeutics.
The initiative also will provide funding for efforts aimed at supporting the physical well-being, mental health, and welfare of people affected by the virus. To that end, SNF will work with public and private entities and grantee partners to ensure food security for those in need, address psychological needs arising from the spread of the virus, and support organizations working to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. Greece, where a significant part of the foundation's grantmaking is focused, including a $450 million health initiative launched in 2017, has only recently emerged from a decade-long socioeconomic crisis and is particularly vulnerable to knock-on effects associated with COVID-19.
5. Intel has announced a $50 million commitment to expand access to technology during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Approximately $40 million of the commitment will fund the Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness Initiative and Intel Online Learning Initiative. The former will provide funding for healthcare and life sciences manufacturers' efforts to accelerate advances in diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine development, leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and edge-to-cloud service delivery. The initiative also will support industry alliances that accelerate worldwide capacity, capability, and policy to respond to future pandemics.
Working with public school districts, the online learning initiative will support education-focused nonprofits and partners and provide students lacking access to technology with PCs, online resources, study-at-home guides, and assistance with device connectivity.
The chip maker also will allocate up to $10 million to an innovation fund in support of employee-led COVID-19 relief projects and requests from external partners to address critical needs in their communities. The funding is in addition to contributions totaling $10 million announced by the company in March, including $4 million through the Intel Foundation in support of community foundations and nonprofits working to address immediate needs related to the virus.
6. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced grants totaling $50 million to provide short-term relief to organizations assisting families and communities feeling the greatest strain as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
With the aim of supporting communities already facing health challenges, the grants will target basic needs such as food, housing, and income assistance for lower-income workers, communities of color, Indigenous communities, and people with disabilities. Grant recipients include Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, One Fair Wage, Catholic Charities, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, NDN Collective, and the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition.
In RWJF's home state of New Jersey, which has been hit particularly hard by the spread of the virus, the foundation awarded grants totaling $5 million. Grant recipients include the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, the Fair Share Housing Center, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, and several community foundations.
7. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has issued an RFP for the Development of Clinical Quality Measures to Improve Diagnosis.
In November 2018, the Moore Foundation announced its Diagnostic Excellence Initiative, which aims to reduce harm from erroneous or delayed diagnoses, reduce costs and redundancy in the diagnostic process, improve health outcomes, and save lives. According to the foundation, twelve million Americans experience a diagnostic error each year, with diagnostic errors playing a role in an estimated 40,000 to 80,000 deaths annually in the U.S. In short, there is an urgent need to improve diagnosis; however, without an awareness of baseline performance and standards against which to compare performance, there is no way to measure improvement or to gauge the results of interventions. Despite a lengthy and growing list of clinical quality measures in health care, few existing measures address diagnostic performance specifically. The challenge of finding meaningful clinical measures for diagnosis reflects the complexity of the diagnostic process.
To that end, grants of up to $500,000 over eighteen months will be awarded to support the development of innovative clinical quality measures that promote excellence in diagnosis of three categories of disease, acute vascular events (such as stroke and myocardial infarction), infections (such as sepsis and pneumonia), and cancer (such as lung and colorectal cancer). The expected work requires two interlinked activities: 1) development of the rationale for a measure, and 2) operationalizing the measure into an algorithm that can undergo pilot (or proof-of-concept) testing.
Proposals should include teams and partnerships that include a multidisciplinary group of experts, including clinicians with content expertise, individuals with appropriate analytic expertise (data science, statistics, measure development), and persons with experience using relevant data sources.
To be eligible, applicants should have an affiliation with an institution or sponsoring organization, including academic institutions, healthcare delivery systems, medical and clinical specialty societies, patients and patient advocacy groups, medical liability and risk-management organizations, independent research organizations, electronic health record vendors, and others with interest and/or expertise relevant to diagnosis measure development. Applicants must be familiar with the U.S. healthcare system and have grant outputs feasible for implementation in the U.S.
8. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has announced a $500 million funding facility for efforts to respond to and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Response Mechanism will deploy funds in support of country responses to the pandemic and its impacts on national health systems as well as existing programs to fight HIV, TB, and malaria. The initial allocation of $500 million will support efforts to strengthen laboratory networks, supply chains, and community-led responses. The facility also will enable the Global Fund to mobilize additional resources from private and public donors to support actions by the most vulnerable countries to combat the virus.
The $500 million is in addition to up to $500 million in grant flexibilities announced by the fund in early March that are being implemented by fifty-four countries. The organization's board recently approved additional flexibilities to address disruptions in supply chains and program implementation due to COVID-19.