Billionaire Jeff Skoll, early eBay executive and co-producer of the 2011 film Contagion, made a $100 million gift to the Skoll Foundation with the specific aim of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. The Foundation said that with this donation, the nonprofit will quadruple its grantmaking in 2020 to $200 million.
The Skoll Foundation CEO Don Gips had this to say:
“Jeff is giving us the fuel, vision, and inspiration to run both a marathon and a sprint as we do our best to make a difference where we can.”
The Skoll Foundation will be using the new gift in two main areas:
- Epidemiological Tools Including COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing to slow the spread of COVID-19, and
- respiratory equipment and other medical devices for low- and middle-income countries.
“Fifteen years ago, on a long ride in the Himalayan foothills, Jeff Skoll told me he worried that the work that he and other philanthropists were doing could be upended by a series of global threats. He was concerned and prescient in foreseeing the impact—particularly that nuclear weapons, climate, or a pandemic—could cause on a global scale.”
This concern may have been the impetus for Skoll’s media company co-producing the movies An Inconvenient Truth and Contagion.
Now that that life is imitating art, the billionaire is making targeted emergency funding to organizations that are in need of support to pivot their business models and ensure the safety of their teams and the people they serve. Skoll conveyed that his total commitments to COVID-19-related work could reach as high as $500 million in 2020.
Nonprofits and small businesses that find themselves in need of grant funding may start their search at GrantWatch.com. If your grant funding needs are COVID-19 Specific, you may start your search in the COVID-19 category.