More than 200 donors, some of whom are Seattle’s most prominent tech, business, sports and music figures, have come together to raise $27 million for a COVID-19 community support fund, and they are calling on others to contribute.
Seattle was the initial epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, bringing the city to its knees. Social distancing mandates have forced several businesses to shutter their doors and even the city’s most promising tech startups are having to lay off employees. As a result, unemployment insurance claims in Washington state have more than doubled in the last week and a growing number of people are finding themselves in need of assistance.
All in Seattle was created to help local nonprofits and aid organizations that are providing food, shelter and support to those affected by the coronavirus crisis. The initiative was formed just five days ago and handily surpassed its initial fundraising goal of $5 million.
“The most notable and inspiring result of this grassroots effort is both the number of people and organizations who have stepped forward to help their local community, and the generosity of their contributions. To raise $27 million in just 72 hours is staggering,” Rajeev Singh, the CEO of healthcare company Accolade who spearheaded the initiative, said in a statement. “But #allinseattle is not a moment in time. It’s a plea for others to give whatever they can — be it a $5 donation or $500 donation — to show love and support for the people and communities in which we live. There’s no better time than now.”
Singh launched All in Seattle with several people, including his brother Steve, who is a managing director at Madrona Venture Group; his wife Jill, an angel investor; and his sister-in-law Heather, who is a CMO at Center ID. Early investors include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Gates Ventures, the Paul Allen Foundation, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner and rapper Macklemore.
The list of causes supported by the group includes the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, the City of Seattle’s Small Business Stabilization Fund, the Capitol Hill Housing COVID-19 Resilience Fund, and the Northwest Harvest food bank. This list should grow as donors suggest additional causes.
In order to get the funds out quicker, All in Seattle is not collecting or distributing the donations that come in. Instead, the group created a website with links for all the causes that can receive charitable contributions so donors can give directly.
“What was so spectacular about this effort and reflected in the soul of the Pacific Northwest is people set aside the challenges they were facing in their own lives and acknowledged they had to do something for their community as well,” Singh told the Seattle Times.