Photo: David Newman

Seeking to Give


A new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 – in addition to the regularly scheduled Dec 1, 2020 #GivingTuesday – as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Amid all of the heartache that coronavirus has brought upon the world we used to know, my husband and I are grateful to be among the lucky ones. Sure, both of our industries have been completely upended – I am in tourism and he is an educator and musician. However, we remain healthy, employed, and able to work and care for our daughter from the safety of our home – a luxury that we do not take for granted.

As #GivingTuesdayNOW approaches, we are fortunate to be in a position to give – every dollar counts, right? But when the need is so great, it is hard to know where to start. The greater Seattle community means the world to us, so we are trying to keep our contributions as local as possible, focusing on areas closest to our hearts: restaurants & hospitality, arts & culture, and students/education.

The organizations and relief funds listed below are the ones that have bubbled to the top for us and we are sharing them with the hope that it becomes a starting point for those who want to give, but don’t know where to start.

Have more ideas? Please share them in the comments below! And if you come across this post after May 5, don’t worry – there’s no expiration date for helping.


Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund

Seattle Hospitality Fund and Wellspring Family Services have partnered to help address the economic crisis within the hospitality industry that has developed as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Plate Fund

The COVID-19 crisis is devastating for thousands of restaurant-industry workers who have lost their jobs and rely on every paycheck to afford necessities like food, transportation, baby products and medicine. To help, The Plate Fund is providing immediate financial assistance to those who have been hardest-hit in King County.

Musang Community Kitchen

Musang Community Kitchen is dedicated to providing food for those in need and raising relief for those in our hospitality industry community affected by the current COVID-19 Crisis. Not for profit. No questions asked. For the duration of our government-mandated shutdown, we are providing food and accepting donations of non-perishable food items and pantry staples.


Artist Trust Relief Fund

Supports Washington State artists throughout this crisis, with cash grants, resources, and more. Rapid response grant for Washington State artists impacted by COVID-19.

ArtsFund: COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund

Created to help stabilize the sector with immediate relief grants for arts organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19. The goal of ArtsFund’s COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund is to help arts and cultural organizations maintain essential functions and retain core staff throughout the current public health crisis so that they are positioned to reopen when possible.

Seattle Artists Relief Fund Amid COVID-19

A fund helping the greater Seattle arts community who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19.


InvestED COVID-19 Student Fund

Created by a Washington-based education non-profit to support low-income students who are being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 school closures. One hundred percent of all donations to this urgent campaign will go directly toward meeting the immediate needs of our most vulnerable students.

Alliance for Education Right Now Needs Fund

The Right Now Needs Fund is designed to directly benefit students in Seattle Public Schools,  particularly students whose learning is being impacted by poverty. The Fund is designed to address the most basic needs to ensure that students can focus on learning.

Seattle Music Teachers Fund

Raising funds for musicians living and working in the Seattle area who have lost income due to the Coronavirus. This fund is meant to help with income lost due to cancelled lessons and other non-performance music work.


All In Seattle

All In Seattle is a group of like-minded community members who are quickly deploying resources directly to proven non-profits who can deliver it to those most in need. They worked to identify organizations who are already on the ground and are deploying resources quickly.

Seattle Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund

The COVID-19 Response Fund is rapidly deploying resources to community-based organizations that are supporting local workers and families most affected by the coronavirus crisis. Housed at Seattle Foundation, the Fund makes grants to nonprofits that are working on the frontlines to provide our region’s most vulnerable communities with emergency assistance, such as financial support, healthcare, and childcare.

Pike Place Market Community Safety Net

A fund available to people working, living or accessing community services in Pike Place Market, who are facing a sudden financial crisis and need support to regain stability with a goal of achieving long-term economic stability for their community members.

Keep Workers Safe & Healthy Fund

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is has set up this fund to provide immediate cash relief so small businesses can help keep workers healthy & safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This assistance is designed to help employers continue to provide uninterrupted medical insurance for their employees and keep employees safe by offsetting the costs of additional sanitization and safety supplies.

Have another cause that is close to your heart and looking for a way to help? The King County Regional Donations Connector is designed to match individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and others who have resources with those who need them during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

About the Author

Kristin Gillespie

Kristin Gillespie is Director, Marketing at Visit Seattle. An avid traveler and Seattle transplant of more than 17 years, Kristin loves to explore the Northwest and is rarely found without a camera in hand—although these days it's typically pointing toward her adventurous little girl.

More Posts By Kristin Gillespie


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