Princeton University establishes $1 million COVID-19 fund to support community relief efforts

Princeton University has established a relief fund to provide direct support to community organizations that are working to alleviate economic distress related to COVID-19. The initial commitment to the fund is $1 million.

The university will use the fund to contribute to relief and recovery efforts already underway, and those that emerge in the coming months. The fund is designed to distribute money to partner organizations that provide grants, services, and other forms of direct support to local organizations, businesses, and families.

“Many local families, service organizations and businesses are struggling as a result of  the pandemic. Princeton has been actively engaged in early efforts to alleviate pressing needs, and we believe there will be an opportunity to continue to do so over the long term as the response continues,” said Princeton University President ChristopherEisgruber in a written statement. “The university is proud to be a member of the local community. At this critical time, we want to find ways to support those who serve our closest neighbors.”

To support community relief efforts related to COVID-19, the university has committed $1 million to the Princeton University Relief Fund to support immediate needs in the university’s local community, particularly in Princeton. The focus of the fun will be to support organizations that distribute funds directly to other nonprofits, as well as businesses and partnerships of community organizations working collaboratively to address needs.  

A committee representing the Princeton University Office of the President, Princeton University Office of Community and Regional Affairs, and the Pace Center for Civic Engagement will make recommendations for disbursements from the fund, which will be administered by the Princeton University Office of Community and Regional Affairs.

The committee has already made recommendations for two initial disbursements from the fund, and they have been approved by the president and provost:

  • $400,000 to the Princeton Area Community Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund, which was established to provide support to community organizations actively engaged in addressing issues elevated during the crisis including food and housing insecurity, reduced and lost income, child care, and behavioral and mental health needs.
  • $100,000 to the Princeton Children’s Fund Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund, which provides financial support to economically disadvantaged local families and individuals in need of assistance with rent, utility bills, child care, and medical expenses.

The remaining $500,000 will be distributed as additional contribution opportunities emerge. The university is also pursuing other partner organizations, especially those focused on helping local businesses, and will announce those commitments as additional partners are identified, officials said.

Princeton University has also provided direct support to organizations fighting food insecurity, made donations of PPE to state and local partners, hosted blood drives, provided perishable food items to local food kitchens, and had donated dorm refrigerators to local organizations and families.