22 Charities to Donate to During COVID-19 Shutdowns

Lists   22 Charities to Donate to During COVID-19 Shutdowns
 
Among many worthy organizations, these have been highlighted by theatre artists often as organizations-in-need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Broadway Cares Fundraising 2020 HR

An earlier version of this article was originally published May 5 for #GivingTuesdayNow, an emergency response to the need produced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have the resources, yet wonder where to donate, Playbill has put together a list of organizations artists have highlighted in their fundraising efforts over the past seven weeks. Remember, no amount is ever too small. And while this is not a comprehensive list, we hope it can inspire you as a starting point.

The Actors Fund
Speaking of The Actors Fund, the 138-year-old organization serves anyone who works in entertainment—not just actors and not just theatre pros. According to their site, “Since March 18, 2020, The Actors Fund has distributed more than $8.5 million in emergency financial assistance to 7,194 people in our industry. This money is helping people cover basic living expenses, such as food, essential medications, utilities and more.” Donate here.

AEA Curtain Up Fund
Actors' Equity, the union representing actors and stage managers, launched the Curtain Up Fund for emergency assistance with $500,000 and will match donations dollar for dollar of another $250,000. Donate here.

Artist Relief Initiative
Formed by a coalition of theatres, monies from the Initiative will offer quick, unrestricted grants of $5,000 to artists in crisis due to COVID-19. The fund operates for approximately the next five months. Read more. Donate here.

Artists Striving To End Poverty
Conceived by Broadway musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, ASTEP connects artists with youth communities all over the world in an effort to break the cycle of poverty. Donate here.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Broadway Cares funding supports AIDS relief organizations, national disaster relief, food service and meal delivery programs, research initiatives, emergency assistance, and more. Last month, Broadway Cares also established the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, administered by The Actors Fund, to help entertainment professionals facing health care crises and other immediate needs due to the coronavirus. Donate here.

CDC Foundation
Supported by numerous artists during the Saturday Night Seder, the CDC Foundation funds medical supplies (like the much-need personal protective equipment), increased lab capacity, emergency staffing to health agencies, and more. Donate here.

Covenant House
The organization provides services and housing to homeless youth to help get them off the streets. For years, actors like Capathia Jenkins, Stephanie J. Block, Darius DeHaas, Audra McDonald, and more have supported their efforts, culminating in the annual Broadway Sleep Out—now the Stage & Screen Sleep Out. McDonald and Block recently participated in the first-ever national digital Sleep Out to raise awareness and funds for homeless youth, who are at particular risk during the coronavirus crisis. Donate here.

Dramatists Guild Foundation
In addition to its mission to support playwrights, writers, composers, and lyricists, DGF has answered the extra need of this moment with COVID-19 Emergency Grants. As with any DGF emergency grant, the money provides urgent financial assistance to those suffering undue hardship or unexpected illness. Donate here.

The Drama League
The Drama League launched Directors Emergency Relief Fund to support out of work artists and continues its usual fellowships, residencies, and stipends supporting stage directors. Donate here.

Indie Theater Fund
Emergency aid from the fund will support Off-Off-Broadway theatre in wake of the shutdown due to the novel coronavirus. This effort helps the smallest of New York City theatres, those with a capacity of 99 seats or less and an operating budget of $250,000 or less. Donate here.

League of Professional Theatre Women
During the coronavirus shutdown, The League offers its members in good standing access to emergency loan funds. Donate here.

Local 802 Musicians Relief Fund
This non-profit aims to provide over 8,000 professional musician members with reliable assistance in times of trouble and dire need. Through ERF, musicians are helped by a New York State licensed social worker who provides confidential social services to members and their families through the ERF’s Musicians’ Assistance Program, and grants are available to musicians and their families going through hardship. Click here to donate.

No Kid Hungry
Playwright Catya McMullen and director Jenna Worsham created The Homebound Project in support of No Kid Hungry. With schools already beginning to close again, many children who rely on school for their meals will be without food. The Homebound Project unites actors for ticketed readings to raise money and awareness for the cause. Donate here.

The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable
This group supports over 2,000 early-career to senior administrators, teaching artists, and classroom arts specialists who work in every art form from music to theater to media arts. Donate here.

See Lighting Foundation
A number of immigrant theatre artists continue to feel the financial impacts of the public health crisis. While legally allowed to work in the U.S., visa holders do not have the same access to state unemployment benefits and other subsidies. Following the success of an initial fundraising campaign, The See Lighting Foundation is working to distribute $500 monthly grants to 60 theatre artists, on a monthly basis, through the end of 2020. To donate, click here.

Shields for Heroes
The non-profit provides PPE to medical professionals and essential workers, who have experienced a shortage of supplies needed to keep them safe. In addition, the charity connects suppliers of raw materials with manufacturers and manufacturers with healthcare providers to establish a pipeline of safety. Original Annie Andrea McArdle as well as Sarah Jessica Parker, Norm Lewis, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alan Cumming, Capathia Jenkins, and more created a music video as part of #TomorrowTogether to raise awareness and funds for the organization. Donate here.

Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation
The Foundation has also launched an emergency assistance fund to help its members during this pandemic. The Stage Directors and Choreographers union has over 4,000 members throughout the U.S. Donate here.

Support a Local Restaurant
As we know, local businesses everywhere have taken a major hit, including restaurants and bars. With the Broadway shutdown, restaurants in the Theatre District are suffering, as well. Here’s how you can help.

TDF Lifeline Campaign
TDF is one of the nation’s foremost organizations when it comes to accessibility to the performing arts. Through discounted tickets at the TKTS booth and TDF memberships, community outreach, education initiatives, ASL-interpreted and closed-caption performances, and autism-friendly programming, TDF keeps theatre as an art form for all. The campaign supports TDF’s operating costs during the shutdown and eventual restart. Donate here.

Theater Forward
The non-profit focuses on supporting theatres across the country. The organization increases accessibility to local theatre and arts education. During the shutdown, Theater Forward will help these institutions stay afloat and recover. Donate here.

The Voice Must Be Heard Relief Campaign
The Metropolitan Opera launched this emergency fundraiser to support the NYC-based institution during the pandemic. Funds will ensure the future of the company. Donate here.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Now in its 50th year, VLA is a legal aid and education organization dedicated protecting the NYC artistic community’s livelihoods, businesses, and creative works through access to dedicated legal representation and focused education programs. Click here to learn more and donate.

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