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In the face of COVID-19, the Global Response Fund recognizes critical efforts to support communities in crisis.


Since late March 2020, the McNulty Foundation's Global Response Fund, a partnership with the Aspen Global Leadership Network, has deployed over $1.3 million to organizations reaching vulnerable communities in over 20 countries. We invite you to learn more about their efforts to address the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated December 22, 2021.

$1.3 million
grants awarded
organizations supported
countries reached

As the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt in March 2020, the McNulty Foundation, in partnership with the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), launched a rapid response fund to support AGLN Fellows around the world leading critical pandemic response efforts. We have been humbled by the tremendous leadership demonstrated by Fellows in the face of this crisis, and by the range and depth of their ongoing efforts to alleviate suffering and build a more resilient future.

Over 80 projects, a mix of AGLN ventures and other efforts where Fellows play a leadership role, were awarded a total of over $1.3 million for their work directly responding to the needs of vulnerable communities in over 20 countries. We invite you to learn more about the Global Response Fund grants below.

From Spring 2020 through 2021, the Global Response Fund awarded grants in three phases. Because of the enormous need, the first phase focused on supporting immediate and direct responses to the COVID-19 crisis, and later phases focused on recovery and building resiliency for the long-term in communities most disproportionately affected. These grants were grounded in the McNulty Foundation’s key principles: prioritizing organizations where our level of support can make a meaningful difference, efforts that are guided or led in some way by the community they intend to serve, and efforts that uphold a commitment to equity.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a unique moment in history to redesign a more equitable society. We must all lean into uncertainty if we are to seize the opportunity.

Shawn Barney, Campaign for Equity New Orleans



All projects serve vulnerable communities or resource-poor health systems, varying in the needs and issues they address.

Many focus on providing essential supplies and assistance to struggling communities, whether through food, medicine, hygiene kits, or economic and financial support.

Others are assisting in the direct public health fight against COVID-19, whether by spreading awareness and combating misinformation about the virus and healthy behaviors, filling the gaps in PPE, testing and contact tracing, or addressing the unique challenges in fields like mental health, rehab, and maternal health and delivery during a pandemic.



In line with the global nature of the AGLN Fellowship, the work supported spans over 20 countries.

These needs varied widely across Fellowships and regions, depending on factors such as when the disease emerged locally, and the level of support (or lack thereof) from relevant government agencies.

The Black Equity Collective is focused on stabilizing Black organizations whose work fosters social justice and racial equity by supporting their capacity to weather the economic downturn brought on by COVID-19.

Kaci Patterson, Black Equity Collective


Fellows’ organizations serve a multitude of communities disproportionately experiencing the negative effects of the pandemic on their health and livelihoods. In many cases, national responses tend to reinforce existing disparities, allocating more resources to those with the most access to capital and resources. We and our partners consciously prioritized filling in gaps.

Nearly half of the projects are in the U.S., and support primarily low-income students and families, immigrants, communities of color, and small businesses owned by women or people of color.

Around the globe, Fellows’ efforts provide support to struggling families as jobs are lost, expand connectivity and digital resources for students and children with disabilities, assist the elderly and immunocompromised so they can stay safe at home, and provide supplies to migrant workers, smallholder farmers, refugees and communities in ongoing conflict. The efforts are as varied as the Fellows and their communities.


Read below for a snapshot of some of these leaders and their efforts, and a full list of Global Response Fund recipients.

CREATIVE REACTION LAB, Antionette Carroll - United States

Providing micro-grants to Black and Latinx youth to undertake creative community responses to COVID-19 and support their communities’ needs.

PROJECT ISAIAH, Devon Spurgeon & Blair Christie - United States

Preserving jobs while providing meals to families in need, by connecting pre-packaged airline meals with domestic violence shelters, food banks, senior housing facilities and other nonprofits in 11 major US cities.

LEBANESE FOOD BANK, Walid Maalouf - Middle East

Leading a massive national food distribution program to over 55,000 of the most vulnerable families on a national scale.

LÉO AFRICA INSTITUTE, Awel Uwihanganye & Magnus Mchunguzi - East Africa

Activating its network of young leaders to imagine a progressive, post-COVID world and push for forward-looking interventions in East African communities and countries to support a sustainable recovery.

FUNDESA, Juan Carlos Paiz, Maria Kaltschmitt, Jose Miguel Torrebiarte, Salvador Biguria, Roberto Paiz - Central America

A collaboration of Fellows working to support Guatemala’s fight against COVID-19; to date, providing 38,000 PCR tests, 29,000 extraction kits and 51,500 swabs.

Never has our commitment to the neighborhood been stronger than aiding our neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are providing our neighbors with the essentials they need to provide for their families during these uncertain times.

Matthew Fieldman, EDWINS


East Africa

Africa Digital Media FoundationLéO Africa InstitutePANGEA Educational Development GroupUbumuntu Arts Festival

Central & Southern Africa

Bulungula IncubatorEn Classe • Itlhokomeleng Association for the Aged and Disabled • The Warehouse

West Africa

Ashesi University FoundationAssociation of Ghana's EldersSE Ghana NetworkWISCAR

Central America

Asociación Voces Vitales NicaraguaBasic Health InternationalFundacion Calicanto, CAPTA ProgramCepiaCorner of Love • COVIDA • Fundacion JupaFundación Transición a la VidaFundación Voluntarios de PanamaLa FactoriaFUNDESAFUSAL • PPE for Honduras • Project Alianza •Teleassistance App • Voces Vitales Costa Rica


OneWorld Health FoundationRare,IncVisionSpring


Bangalore Kidney FoundationOne Billion Literates Foundation

Middle East

Lebanese Food BankShiam-Youth Make the FutureSyriaDirect

United States

All Our KinAsian Mosaic FundAspen Young Leaders FellowshipBeaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health ServicesBlack Equity CollectiveThe Birth Place LabCampaign for Equity, New OrleansCanopy Children's SolutionCreative Reaction LabEdwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute East Harlem COAD • Global Healing Initiatives Institute • Grapevine HealthForward CitiesThe Health InitiativeHEAL TraffickingHispanic AllianceHope Enterprise CorporationLadies Who LaunchLSUHSC Testing & TrackingMAPSCorpsProject IsaiahPICO CaliforniaRichland LibraryRISE ColoradoRocketship Public SchoolsSurge InstituteSustainable Native Communities Design LabSojournersSt. Francis Recovery CenterTogether SCZearn

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