This page was published in March 2020.

Dear Tamer Center for Social Enterprise Community,

Thank you for all that you are doing in your organizations, neighborhoods, and broader communities, as we navigate this unprecedented public health, social, and economic crisis in New York City and around the world. As part of our educational mission, we are committed to convening solution-oriented ideas, strategies, and actions that you are doing and can do during these uncertain times.

With the help of adjunct professor Georgia Levenson Keohane, alumni, and students in our Executive Education's Senior Leaders Program, we have compiled a list of resources (in NYC and beyond) on how you can support the nonprofit sector and get engaged remotely or through volunteering. All of these resources can be found below.

Additionally, we will be hosting weekly Social Impact Webinars. Our intention is to continue to disseminate best practices for the social enterprise sector, as well as discuss the pressing social and environmental challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure vulnerable and marginalized community needs are still addressed.

Now, more than ever, we need your leadership, collective support, ideas, and actions to address the critical social and environmental problems we face during these troubling times. We look forward to continuing the conversation and thank you for your continued participation and support.

In partnership,
The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise

Act now


Emergency needs — particularly food, shelter / threat of eviction, cash for health, childcare and other critical needs, and technology for remote learning — remain very urgent priorities. 


  • In addition to the Robin Hood Relief Fund and The United Way of NYC COVID 19 Community Fund, a number of the city’s anchor Foundations launched the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund to support NYC-based nonprofits (with grants and no interest loans) that are trying to meet urgent needs in NYC, with priority given to nonprofits addressing essential health care and food insecurity as well as arts and culture. More on the fund, which is being managed by the New York Community Trust, and its founding members here.
  • Help get personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care workers at NYC hospitals. Protect Our Health Care Heroes is a grassroots movement to raise funds and identify and vet both a manufacturer and distributer who can get CDC verified N95 masks to NYC and distributed to NYC hospitals by April 7. Donate here.
  • Beyond individual donations, if anyone is involved with foundations or corporations that want to partner with or contribute to any of the above funds, please let us know and we'd be happy to connect you to the right people at each.
  • In NYC and elsewhere, there are a number of fundraising efforts targeting restaurant and other food industry workers and artists. Both lists below start with activities that we know are in NY or serving NY restaurant workers and artists (with some national and other regions towards the bottom). 
  • The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund has begun a special Covid-19 Relief campaign through GoFundMe Charity to help those affected by the virus. The fund will collect donations and give the proceeds to: Feeding America; First Book; the NYC Covid-19 Response and Impact Fund, established by New York Community Trust; and World Central Kitchen.
  • Support small businesses with Monthly Good. You'll get a free $50 to lend when you sign up today. As a strong community in the world of microfinance, Kiva helps others in times of economic crisis. Their US borrower program makes it easier than ever to get a Kiva loan. Help fund the small business owners of America.
  • Governor Cuomo has established the First Responders Fund to directly support the purchase of medical equipment and supplies for health care workers and public health officials, scientific research related to COVID-19, public outreach and nonprofits contributing to response efforts. Information on donations can be found here
  • NYC Department of Sanitation COVID-19 Emergency Fund
  • FDNY COVID-19 Emergency Fund
  • The CBS Gives Back Guide offers ideas on how to support our community and vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19.

Restaurants and Food Industry Workers

Artists and Arts Organizations

Support Homeless Communities

  • Rise of Broken Women (RoBW) launched a $1 Donation Campaign to continue their support of homeless communities. Women, children, and senior citizens living in close quarters within local homeless shelters will be provided the masks and gloves necessary to help safeguard them against the virus. Low-income college students will also be assisted as they navigate their new realities due to the closures of university residential halls.

Volunteer / Virtual Volunteer Activities

Robin Hood, United Way of NYC, and NY Cares (among others) are all developing virtual volunteering opportunities (tutoring, mentoring, interview coaching, financial and health and wellness coaching, etc.). 

In the meantime,

  • Retired NYS certified health care workers can still sign up to work here.
  • You can volunteer to deliver food to those in need via Invisible Hands Deliver here.
  • City Harvest is looking for volunteers to pack family-sized bags with fresh produce and shelf-stable items for delivery to their food pantry partners and through their Mobile Markets all week. If you are unable to volunteer, you can still support their work by making a donation. To volunteer, and for the latest on how they are responding, visit their website.
  • You can let NYCares know that you are interested once relevant opportunities become available.
  • Blood supplies are low, and the New York Blood Center and the American Red Cross are looking for donors (we are not yet sure how donating squares with the new restrictions in NYS).
  • Carrington College published this infographic on the benefits of blood donations for individual health as well as community impact.
  • Volunteer New York! has created a virtual volunteer center to connect people who want to volunteer during the coronavirus outbreak with potential opportunities to help with regional nonprofits.
  • Want to help NYC deal with the coronavirus and have tech skills? This Slack is for you.
  • Many nonprofits are now struggling to meet demand and need extra support. BoardAssist identifies and personally matches high impact New Yorkers who want to be real agents of change with the hardworking boards that make the city the best it can be.
  • Volunteer Opportunity with Per ScholasPer Scholas has moved more than 500 students to remote learning and need your help for virtual mock interviews, virtual lunches, resume review, and more. Go here for more info and use this link to sign up to volunteer. 
  • VolunteerMatch matches inspired people with inspiring causes. It's how volunteers and nonprofits connect to achieve remarkable outcomes.
  • Empire State Development needs volunteers to counsel an estimated 500,000 small businesses across New York state that are eligible to apply for the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans. Volunteers will be part of the Empire State Development’s COVID-19 Volunteer Task Force through the Business NY Mentor program. Institutions that are prepared to field a team of volunteers or individuals who are interested should contact Krissy Moore at [email protected] at the Partnership Fund for New York City for further information on how to sign up to volunteer.
  • The Clinton Global Initiative Action Network has identified a number of great ways that you can support communities in need by making a small but meaningful difference in the lives of others.
    • CGI U is seeking student leaders to apply for the COVID-19 Student Action Fund, a new initiative launched by President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton that will support select students at universities across the world who are committed to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Working within the CGI U Commitment to Action model, this fund will provide at least $100K in total funding to students, with each grant awarded ranging from $2K to $5K. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 to


Resources and Ways to Help in NYC


  • All school age children can pick up free breakfast or lunch between 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at any public school building. 
  • The plentiful app, created by the NYC Food Assistance Collaborative, connects food insecure New Yorkers and people in need to critical food and nutrition resources.
  • Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Eat Offbeat, founded by Manal Kahi ’15SIPA and Wissam Kahi ’04, is offering a week's worth of meals and snacks, delivered to your door.
  • B Corporation Ox Verte has introduced a delivery service (with company-sponsored and individual options) called Ox “Work From Home.”
  • Pizza delivery app Slice launched, which lets you donate pizzas to health care workers and support local pizzerias at the same time.
  • Hunger Free America (virtual volunteering opportunities available)
  • In it Together NYC (connecting New Yorkers to food pantries at risk of closing)


  • The City of New York is seeking New York State-certified health care workers to support health care facility needs. More here.
  • If you have or know of a space that might be suitable as a community location or health care screening site, send an email to the Office of Emergency Management: [email protected].
  • The Columbia COVID Tech Innovation Group helps health professionals connect and collaborate with engineers to rapidly solve together emerging problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to help, suggest a project, or remain informed, fill out the interest form.
  • #NYCPPE is a self-organized, interdisciplinary group working to get masks directly into the hands of front-line health care workers. 
  • Hack Manhattan is a coalition of 10 NYC makerspaces teaming up to make and distribute PPE to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • NYCMakesPPE is a group of engineers, makers, and health care professionals leveraging DIY manufacturing technology to support PPE production in NYC.

Other Resources

  • The City's Department of Small Business Services has this webpage up with "guidance for businesses impacted due to novel coronavirus."

Resources and Ways to Help Outside of NYC



  • UNICEF is providing hygiene and medical kits to schools and health clinics.
  • Save the Children has partnered with No Kid Hungry to support schools and community programs in feeding children fed during the pandemic.
  • First Book aims to deliver seven million books to children in the United States who do not have internet access or home libraries so they can continue learning while schools are closed.

International Medical Supplies

  • A coalition of private and nonprofit organizations (American Hospital Association, Kaiser Permanente, Kearney, Merit Solutions, Microsoft, and UPS) banded together to launch the Protecting People Everywhere initiative, which supports a national exchange matching PPE donors with the hospitals in greatest need. The initiative, powered by the HealthEquip™ app, ensures equitable distribution of these critical supplies.
  • Relief International, which operates in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, has focused some of its efforts on helping Iran, where more than 20,000 infections and at least 1,500 deaths have been reported.
  • Heart to Heart International is distributing equipment, medication and medical supplies, to its partners around the world. Medical supplies are also being delivered to providers on the front lines.
  • ProjectN95 is a volunteer network working to connect health care providers with personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • HowWeFeel is a new self-reporting app that aims to help researchers monitor the rise of COVID-19 symptoms across the country.

More Ways to Help

Resources for Employees

  • Resources from Lisa Gitelson:  Managing Stress Anxiety, Online Playtime resources and much more
  • These free tools from Entrepreneur can help your organization, team, and family during this confusing and dangerous time.
  • Tech against Coronavirus provides 500+ curated products to help employees work and learn remotely.

Resources for Employers

  • The Chamber of Commerce's COVID-19 Reopening Guide for Small Businesses
  • The Chamber of Commerce's Coronavirus Small Business Issues and Solutions Guide
  • Assistance & Guidance for Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus
  • Google for Small Business
  • The Nonprofit Finance Fund's Crisis Funding and Debt: What Organizations Need to Know
  • The Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has put together resources for economic support for small businesses in upper Manhattan
  • Congress's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, provides relief for small businesses and workers. This Forbes article helps explain how the CARES Act can serve small businesses: A Breakdown of How the CARES Act Can Help Your Business or Nonprofit
  • The National Council of Nonprofits is aggregating info that nonprofits can use to prepare and respond to COVID-19
  • If you’re a small business owner who believes you can benefit from a Kiva loan, apply here
  • The Hispanic Federations's Resources for Nonprofits During COVID-19 Emergency
  • Congressman Jerry Nadler put together information to both explain what is available and point small businesses in the right direction for assistance
  • The Federal Reserve announced $2.3T in programs to support the economy. Among its initiatives, the Fed’s Main Street lending program will provide 4-year loans to companies with fewer than 10k employees and under $2.5 billion in revenues. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for a year.
    • Main Street New Loan Facility - Each loan is a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $25 million, but the borrower’s total outstanding debt, and committed but undrawn credit commitments, after the loan cannot exceed 4x EBITDA. Term sheet available here. 
    • Main Street Expanded Loan Facility - The terms are the same as for the Main Street New Loan Facility, except this facility covers increases in loans originated before April 8, 2020, that are "upsized" on or after April 8, 2020, the maximum loan amount is increased to $150 million and greater EBITDA borrowing capacity. Term sheet available here.  
  • Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses. More information about eligibility available here
  • Empire State Development has released its Guide for Nonprofits and a FAQ for Nonprofits on applying for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. 
  • The Center for Disaster Philanthropy launched a COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofits working directly to respond to the pandemic among the most vulnerable populations in order to help build their capacity for response. 
  • FEMA Public Assistance Funds provide supplemental grants to certain types of private nonprofits so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. More information available here.  
  • More resources for nonprofits can be found here: Council on FoundationsGrantspaceHuman Services CouncilNonprofit Finance FundNYS Health Foundation
  • FMA Institute's Paycheck Protection Program Toolbox supports nonprofits as they navigate the PPP from application through loan management and reporting, and forgiveness.
  • Community Resource Exchange offers strategic and financial tools to nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to build sustainable, high-performing organizations that improve people’s lives and drive social change.
  • The Wallace Foundation's Excel template helps nonprofit leaders project best, moderate, and worst case revenue scenarios based on likelihood of revenue receipts, and to compare each revenue scenario to projected functional and overall expenses.
  • Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Design has put together resources, support, and opportunities for innovation for entrepreneurs.
  • Legal support:
    • Columbia Law School launched a digital toolkit of legal resources to help entrepreneurs maintain and operate their small businesses during the pandemic.
    • Lawyers Alliance offers several resources to help nonprofits understand legal and regulatory issues, reduce the risk of liability, and be accountable.
    • Through its Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP), the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC)'s COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic (the CV-19 Clinic) will offer pro bono legal consultations to help entrepreneurs in New York City determine the best path forward for their small businesses in these particularly challenging times.
    • Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) harnesses the power of New York City’s legal community and neighborhood-based groups to provide free, civil legal services when and where they are needed most.
    • TrustLaw is working closely with their legal members and other partners to offer pro bono support to nonprofits and social enterprises so that they have the answers they need to mitigate risks and liability and to keep their organizations operating. Find out how to join TrustLaw for free, or join a weekly welcome call for guidance on using your membership.
      • Social enterprises and NGOs can apply  to become a member.
      • TrustLaw’s COVID-19 Resource Hub brings together articles, webinars, and resources from around the globe on the legal implications of COVID-19.
      • TrustLaw’s series of E-clinics for nonprofits and social enterprises provides attendees with the opportunity to receive legal information directly from lawyers on legal issues arising from the pandemic. Topics may include employment issues, contractual rights and force majeure, insurance, data privacy, governance, and others. Register here to express your interest in attending the upcoming E-Clinics.
      • Their Legal Health Check for NGOs and Social Enterprises tool helps organizations recognize areas of law where they may need assistance. Once they complete the Legal Health Check, TrustLaw can help them connect with law firms to work on those projects.
      • Here are links to their  brochure and FAQs for NGOs and Social Enterprises.
      • Recordings of two webinar resources on the CARES Act (with a focus on PPP) can be found here and here.

Informational Resources

For NYC (and beyond)

And Beyond NYC:

Inspiring Work That is Already Underway

  • The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund (a group of 18 funders, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Robin Hood and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund) launched a $75 million fund to provide grants and interest-free loans to social services and arts and cultural organizations in New York City impacted by the pandemic. It will provide unrestricted, flexible funding, as well as support for additional needs such as technology for remote work, additional staff support, and hygiene equipment. Interested organizations can apply here.
  • Many foundations have signed on to a pledge with the Council of Foundations to loosen grant restrictions with their grantees. Here are some of the New York-based foundations that have signed on: Altman Foundation, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, Ford Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Korean American Community Foundation, New York Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Surdna Foundation.
  • The Central New York Community Foundation, the United Way of Central New York, the Allyn Family Foundation and local government partners created a COVID-19 community support fund to help nonprofits supporting communities most economically impacted by the health crisis.
  • Humanity Forward, the nonprofit recently created by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, committed to giving away at least $1 million to individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York City-based nonprofit Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, which provides financial coaching in the Bronx, will partner with Humanity Forward to pick 1,000 households it works with to receive $1,000 checks each.
  • In an effort to help small business owners find financial relief, Forbes has rounded up all of the government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations that are extending support.
  • University of Florida researchers and students built an open source, low cost DIY ventilator out of parts from Lowe’s and Home Depot. They are in the process of testing it.
  • Sam Altman, former president of Y Combinator and now the CEO of OpenAI, is looking to fund startups / projects helping with COVID-19 that focus on producing more ventilators or masks / gowns, screening existing drugs for effectiveness, novel approaches to vaccines, and novel therapeutics that the big pharma companies are unlikely to work on.


Social Impact Webinar Series

Tuesday, June 23 – Book Talk, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World (watch the recording here →)

Tuesday, June 9 – Responding to Homelessness in the Wake of COVID-19 (watch the recording here →)

Thursday, May 28 – Why Stakeholder Capitalism Is a Good Bet in Times of Crisis (watch the recording here →)

Wednesday, May 27 – "The Show Must Go On": How to Revitalize the Arts and Creative Industries in New York City Post-pandemic? (watch the recording here →)

Thursday, May 21 – Are ESG Investments Outperforming During the COVID-19 Pandemic? (watch the recording here →)

Friday, May 1 – Nonprofit Resiliency: Responding and Rebounding During COVID-19 (watch the recording here →)

Wednesday, April 29 – Social Venture Pitch Competition (watch the recording here →)

Monday, April 27 – The State of the Modern Political Economy (watch the recording here →)

Wednesday, April 22 – Social Venture Pitch Workshop

Friday, April 17 – Addressing New Norms Amidst COVID-19

Friday, April 10 – Feeding New York During COVID-19 (watch the recording here →)

Design, Coding, and Other Challenges

Call for Code Tech for Good: Visualizing Data and Unity AR/VR in the Time of COVID-19 (IBM and CGIU)

Call for Code Tech for Good: Tackling COVID-19 and Urban Issues in NYC and Beyond (IBM and CGIU)

Design Challenge: DIY Ventilators for COVID-19 (Columbia Engineering)

Virtual Campus Design Challenge (Columbia Engineering Entrepreneurship)

COVID Tech Innovation Group (Columbia)

2020 Call for Code Global Challenge — University Edition (IBM and CGIU)

COVID-19 Challenge: Beat the Pandemic (MIT)

Additional Virtual Events Aross Campus and in NYC

May 12 – Building a Just and Resilient Business Future: COVID-19 and Beyond (IDEO)

May 6 – Future of Philanthropy (Be Social Change)

April 28 – Nonprofit Digital Strategy Virtual Summit

April 24 – Virtual Demo Day: Columbia IBM Blockchain Accelerator

April 17 – Philanthropy & Crisis Response (Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics)

April 17 – Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge

April 16 – Finding Your Purpose Through Work: The Leadership Co-Curricular Series (Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics)

April 15 – COVID-19 Virtual Symposium (Columbia Zuckerman Institute)

April 15 – Virtual Nonprofit Board Fair (BoardAssist)

April 15 – Stakeholder Capitalism and the Impact of COVID with CEO of JUST Capital (Impact Capital Forum)

April 15 – Climate Finance & Policy in the COVID-19 Era with Professors Bruce Usher and Jason Bordoff  (Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics)

April 9 – Staying Civically Engaged From Home (Local Civics)

April 8 – Civic Leadership Journey w/ NFL Player Josh Martin (Local Civics)

April 7 – Social Entrepreneurship in Action: Ideation, Design, and Technology (Local Civics)

April 7 – Corporate Social Responsibility Spotlight: Sharing Innovative Models, Programs, and Best-Practices in CSR (Be Social Change)

April 2 – Business As Unusual Webinar: Can Corporate Social Business Turn Companies into a Force for Good?

March 31 – Federal Coronavirus Relief Bills: What Do They Mean for Nonprofits?