How we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Approach

This page offers information about the Barr Foundation’s response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 has laid bare the inequities in our modern world. Everyone is being impacted by the virus and its implications. Yet, we some communities are suffering far more than others and that reality has guided Barr’s response to the pandemic.

Our first grantmaking in response to COVID-19 focused on urgent needs in communities in Massachusetts - especially immigrant and Black communities that have been disproportionately impacted. In deciding where to grant funds, we have invested in organizations closest to those communities and most in touch with their needs. Since April 2020, our emergency-response grantmaking has included:

While undertaking new, emergency grantmaking in response to the pandemic, we have remained committed to our existing partners and our core programs of Arts & Creativity, Climate, and Education. The bulk of our resources continue to focus on the needs of those partners - extending the flexibility and supports we committed to provide, when the Foundation shifted to all-remote operations in March 2020.

All of Barr's COVID-19-related grantmaking can be found in our grants database.

Below we include links to relevant posts from our blog as well as links to joint statements where Barr has added its name in solidarity with others.

Blog Posts About Our COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Grantmaking

Barr has awarded over $8.6M in COVID-19 emergency response grants as of December 2020.

The total above and grants listed below include the emergency response grants referenced on this page and announced on Barr's blog. Additional pandemic-related grantmaking to existing and new partners through our programs can be found on our grants database.

Boston Emergency Response Funds

We contributed to pooled funds created by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and The Boston Foundation that provide aid to Boston residents and organizations serving frontline communities in Boston.

Boston Charitable Trust Fund

To support the Boston Resiliency Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Award Date: 3/31/2020
  • Amount: $500,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Boston Foundation, Inc.

To support the Boston Foundation’s COVID-19 response fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Massachusetts Community Foundations

We partnered with a set of community foundations in an effort to get resources to work as quickly as possible across the Commonwealth. We believe the leaders working in greatest proximity to communities deserve our trust, support, and investment.

The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Inc.

To support the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s COVID-19 response fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

The Cape Cod Foundation

To support the Cape Cod Community Foundation’s Strategic Emergency Response Fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Foundation for Nantucket

To support the Community Foundation for Nantucket’s Nantucket Fund for Emergency Relief.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts

To support the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, Inc.

To support the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts’ Southcoast Emergency Fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

To support the Community Foundation for Western Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response fund for the Pioneer Valley.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Essex County Community Foundation, Inc.

To support the Essex County Community Foundation’s COVID-19 response fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Foundation for MetroWest

To support the Foundation for MetroWest’s MetroWest Emergency Relief Fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Inc.

To support the Greater Lowell Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc.

To support the Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s Worcester Together: Central Massachusetts COVID-19 fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Permanent Endowment for Martha's Vineyard

To support the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard’s Emergency Response Fund.

  • Award Date: 4/6/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Organizations Serving Immigrant Communities in Massachusetts

So many of those on the front lines of COVID-19 are immigrants. And they are bearing the risks of COVID-19 in disproportionate numbers. We awarded unrestricted resources to help these critical organizations remain stable at a time when they are needed most.

African Community Education Program

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $200,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Brazilian Immigrant Center, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $150,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Catholic Social Services of Fall River, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Centro Presente, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $150,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Chelsea Collaborative, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

East Boston Ecumenical Community Council

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

GreenRoots, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $200,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

The Islamic Society of Boston

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Justice at Work, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Lawyers for Civil Rights, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $300,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives
  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $300,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $150,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives
  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $200,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts Education Fund, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $150,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Philanthropy Massachusetts, Inc.

To provide core support for its Massachusetts Census Equity Fund program.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $25,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $150,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Rian Immigrant Center, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $300,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Sociedad Latina, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $200,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 4/16/2020
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Organizations Serving Black Communities in Massachusetts

Our COVID-19 response grantmaking has focused on supporting populations in Massachusetts disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, including Black residents who have experienced more than three times the rate of positive cases compared to white residents. The following 19 organizations play a critical role helping Black communities grapple with the pandemic.

Arise, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $60,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $300,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Brockton Interfaith Community, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Center for Economic Democracy, Inc.

To provide core support (fiscal sponsor for Boston Ujima Project, Inc).

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $200,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Labor United, Inc.

To provide core support for its New England United for Justice program (fiscal sponsor for New England United for Justice).

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $60,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Labor United, Inc.

To provide core support for its Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance (fiscal sponsor for Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance).

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Term: 5 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Press Pass TV, Inc.

To provide core support for its Women of Color in Solidarity program (fiscal sponsor for Women of Color in Solidarity).

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $25,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

South End Community Center, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

The Urban Farming Institute of Boston, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 7/10/2020
  • Amount: $150,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Vaccine Equity Efforts

We coordinated with multiple local funders to complement the public sector's work on an equitable vaccine rollout. This round of grantmaking includes over $2 million to support a range of aligned activities and organizations on vaccine equity.

Massachusetts Voter Education Network, Inc.

To provide support to its Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition program for COVID-19 relief and vaccine equity efforts in predominantly Black communities of Boston.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $175,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Center to Support Immigrant Organizing

To provide support to its Center to Support Immigrant Organizing program for COVID vaccine education and equity for Boston immigrant communities. Fiscal sponsor is Third Sector New England, Inc.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

To support COVID vaccine education and equity in Gateway cities.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $125,000
  • Term: 9 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Inc.

To support Massachusetts community health centers with vaccine outreach and implementation.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $1,000,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Sociedad Latina, Inc.

To provide support to its Greater Boston Latino Network program for COVID relief and vaccine education and equity in Latinx communities across Boston.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc.

To support the COVID-19 relief and vaccine education efforts in Chinatown.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, Inc.

To support COVID vaccine education and equity in Gateway cities.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $125,000
  • Term: 9 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Essex County Community Foundation, Inc.

To support COVID vaccine education and equity in Gateway cities.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $125,000
  • Term: 9 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc.

To support COVID vaccine education and equity in Gateway cities.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $125,000
  • Term: 9 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Inc.

To provide general operating support.

  • Award Date: 3/11/2021
  • Amount: $40,000
  • Term: 12 months
  • Program: Special Initiatives