Key Points

This article aims to systematically analyze the contribution of corporate and family foundations in the fight against COVID-19 in Brazil, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic. Despite its resultant economic and social crisis, the pandemic has sparked an unprecedented wave of philanthropy in Brazil. It is estimated that more than $1.2 billion has been raised and donated by corporations, corporate and private foundations, crowdfunding, and fundraising campaigns.

Foundations, in particular, have played an important role in financing relevant scientific work, supporting public policies, and assisting nonprofit organizations and vulnerable communities. And while there is increasing knowledge about the activities of Brazilian foundations, systematic analysis is lacking. Our analysis is based on general data from the Brazilian COVID-19 Donation Monitor, reports and websites of the main foundations, and insights from seven in-depth interviews with key figures in Brazilian philanthropy.

This article suggests that foundations have been subject to three major innovations: use of social intelligence for the provision of donations and social goods, new technology that can coordinate fundraising campaigns and mobilize civil society support, and shifts in the modus operandi of foundations. This article contributes to the literature on philanthropy by providing an analysis of the role of Brazilian foundations and their innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Streaming Media

Open Access Sponsor

Support for this open access article was provided by José Luiz Egydio Setúbal Foundation.

Open Access