9 Best Charities for COVID-19 Research & Relief (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities for COVID-19 Research & Relief (Complete 2024 List)

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:18 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Since its emergence in 2019, COVID-19 has impacted every country in the world. Worldwide, the case count has topped 620 million, and the death toll stands at nearly 7 million. The pandemic fractured hospital systems and communities, greatly impacting their ability to care for those affected and spawning a dire need for vaccines and treatments. So we had to ask: What are the best charities for COVID-19 research & relief?

The best charities for COVID-19 Research & Relief are Direct RElief and UNICEF. Other charities such as IAVI and the American Lung Association focus on research for COVID-19. 

Whether you want to ensure healthcare providers have enough PPE such as masks and gloves, or research for better treatments, or ensure low income countries have access to the COVID-19 vaccination, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for COVID-19 research & relief are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for COVID-19 Research & Relief Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia, and they all share the same goal of COVID-19 research & relief.

Some of these charities provide direct medical assistance for COVID-19. Others educate the public on COVID-19 prevention.

Yet, they all focus on providing assistance and research to end the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These Are the 9 Best Charities for COVID-19 Research & Relief in 2024

Below are our favorite charities for COVID-19 research & relief (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Direct Relief: COVID-19 Relief Around the World

Logo for Direct Relief
Community Health, Today and Every Day

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Direct Relief a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

“…improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.

Direct Relief

⚒️

What they do:

Direct Relief delivers PPE including gowns, gloves and respirators to healthcare providers and hospitals around the globe. They also address the lack of availability of medical-grade oxygen in middle to low income countries by supplying equipment and refurbishing oxygen generation plants. In addition, they help middle to low income countries increase their cold storage for medications so that their ability to store the COVID-19 vaccine is improved. Furthermore, they provide funding for community health facilities and free clinics in the US who provide care to low income and underserved populations. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Direct Relief has provided more than $3 billion in medical aid. For example, they have delivered 138 million masks and 51 million gloves to frontline health workers. Additionally, they have improved medical-grade oxygen access to 52 countries as well as given free clinics in the US $107 million in direct funding.  

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Direct Relief on their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering your time.

2

UNICEF: COVID-19 Relief for Children

Logo for UNICEF
Are You Ready? Join the Race to End COVID-19 | UNICEF

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Aid Transparency Index ranks UNICEF as very good, with a total score of 89.1 out of 100. 

…we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

UNICEF

⚒️

What they do:

UNICEF has partnered with other organizations to fund COVAX in order to ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccination distribution around the world. They also provide PPE and diagnostic COVID-19 tests to countries while ensuring these supplies stay at a fair market price. Due to COVID-19’s disruption of education systems world-wide, they are also advocating for policies in governments around the world to make education part of COVID-19 recovery. 

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What they’ve achieved:

UNICEF’s COVID-19 response works in 145 countries and territories. For example, in 2020 they gave out over 3.7 million diagnostic tests for COVID-19 and sent out over 400 million facemasks. Since the vaccine rollout, they have delivered over 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses around the world. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to UNICEF on their website. You can also donate your time by volunteering.  

3

American Lung Association: COVID-19 Research and Education

Logo for American Lung Association
American Lung Association: What We Do

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the American Lung Association a 4-star rating.

…through expertise, responsible innovation and taking bold actions, we will realize our vision of a world free of lung disease.

American Lung Association

⚒️

What they do:

The American Lung Association provides $100,000, two year research grants for COVID-19, ranging from molecular research to studies regarding best methods for reducing community spread. They also have a series of toolkits available as well as a public service announcement (PSA) to provide education on the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, they provide a series of fact sheets and FAQs to educate the public about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Lung Association has provided $3 million towards COVID-19 research including 24 grants. Furthermore, their education has reached over 120 million people, and their public service announcement for COVID-19 vaccination garnered 102 million media impressions with over 300,000 video views.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the American Lung Association via their website. You can also volunteer your time.

4

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: Public Education on COVID-19

Logo for National Foundation of Infectious Diseases
5 Tips To Help Stop The Spread of COVID-19

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases a 4-star rating. 

Educate the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan.

National Foundation of Infectious Diseases

⚒️

What they do:

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases provides education for the public about COVID-19. For example, they have several fact sheets for COVID-19 vaccinations for adults and children. They also developed a toolkit for leaders across different sectors to use to promote methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, they host free webinars geared towards healthcare providers to further educate on COVID-19 prevention and vaccination. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has partnered with 150 leading organizations to raise awareness on keeping up to date on vaccinations, including COVID-19. For example, in 2021 their free webinars provided education to over 5,700 people in 76 countries

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases via their website.

5

Doctors Without Borders: World-wide Vaccination and Care Support

Logo for Doctors Without Borders
We are Médecins Sans Frontières

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Doctors Without Borders a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cares for people affected by conflict, disease outbreaks, natural and human-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries.

Doctors Without Borders

⚒️

What they do:

Doctors Without Borders educate health providers around the world on triage practices and infection control to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within hospital systems. They also provide PPE including masks, gowns and gloves to both healthcare workers and to the public. For areas that need additional assistance with treating COVID-19, they set up outpatient clinics, hospital units, and intensive care units. Additionally, they advocate for equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccination, especially for migrants, refugees, and other under-served populations

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, Doctors Without Borders has 368 distinct COVID-19 programs around the world. For example, between March 2020 to September of 2021, they administered over 64,000 doses of the vaccination. Throughout the pandemic, they supported 991 hospitals with technical, training, or materials support and provided an additional 207 hospitals with medical support. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Doctors Without Borders via their website. You can also host a fundraiser or volunteer your time. 

6

Heart to Heart International: Vaccinations and Testing

Logo for Heart to Heart International
Heart to Heart International Overview

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Heart to Heart International a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives them the Gold Seal of Transparency. 

Heart to Heart International seeks to improve healthcare access in the U.S. and around the world by ensuring quality care is provided equitably in medically under-resourced communities and in disaster situations.

Heart to Heart International

⚒️

What they do:

Heart to Heart International delivers life-saving PPE including respirators, gloves, gowns, and disinfecting wipes to healthcare providers in the US and across the globe. They also deliver hygiene kits to community-based programs in the US such as homeless shelters and nursing homes. Furthermore, they launched large-scale COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccination events for underserved populations throughout the state of Missouri to further contain the virus.  

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Heart to Heart International has shipped aid to 131 countries. For example, in 2021 they delivered 725 shipments of medical and humanitarian aid. They have also held over 150 COVID-19 vaccination events with over 11,000 vaccinations administered. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Heart to Heart International on their website. You can also volunteer your time to assemble hygiene kits for distribution.

7

Medical Teams International: International COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

Logo for Medical Teams International
Medical Teams International | COVID-19 Testing Partnership with Regence

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Medical Teams International a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Going where we’re needed most, we ease the suffering of people devastated by crisis. We mobilize staff and volunteers quickly – entering places of turmoil, disease and natural disaster – to save lives and leave communities healthier.

Medical Teams International

⚒️

What they do:

Medical Teams International provides COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics to people in the Pacific Northwest region of the US. They also equipped hospitals in the same area with gowns, gloves, and masks. Additionally, they provide international training on infection control and COVID-19 protocols for local medical providers as well as providing COVID-19 screening. In Bangladesh, they operate and staff a COVID-19 isolation and treatment center to prevent further community spread. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since the start of the pandemic, Medical Teams International has performed over 1.27 million screenings for COVID-19 globally. In the US, they administered the vaccination to over 13,000 people. They also completed over 2 million house calls internationally to educate people about COVID-19 prevention

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Medical Teams International on their website. You can also apply to volunteer your time or build and ship a personal care kit.

8

IAVI: International Vaccine and Treatment Research

Logo for IAVI
IAVI’s Global Call to Access for Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 and Other Diseases

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives IAVI a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency.

“​​IAVI pursues its mission to discover and develop vaccines and other biomedical innovations for HIV, tuberculosis, emerging infectious diseases, and neglected diseases through a diverse range of activities.

IAVI

⚒️

What they do:

IAVI’s Vaccine Design and Development Lab works on specialized research for COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, their Antibody Translational Research Program (ATRP) focuses on isolating monoclonal antibodies for improved COVID-19 treatment. IAVI also advocates globally for equitable and affordable access to their research and developed treatments. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since the start of the pandemic, IAVI has successfully isolated two novel COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies as well as establishing 13 technology platforms in India to support COVID-19 antibody research. Their preclinical (not yet performed on humans) results of a nasal COVID-19 vaccine suggest that it can protect against infection and may help prevent upper respiratory tract infections that the current injection vaccines cannot prevent. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to IAVI on their website. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay updated on their newest developments. 

9

Crisis Aid International: Masks for COVID-19

Logo for Crisis Aid International
#408 Crisis Aid International Interview - Breaking the Cycle and Changing the Tide

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Crisis Aid International a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

“We are committed to “helping the helpless” with relief efforts both locally and globally.”

Crisis Aid International

⚒️

What they do:

Crisis Aid International response to COVID-19 with both local and international aid. For example, they increased the scale of their food drives by starting the Community Helping Community program in the United States. In East Africa, women and girls who are part of their Mercy Chapel program sew cloth masks for police, medical workers, and sex workers. They also made hand sanitizer when global supply shortages prevented imports, and created health checks and quarantine units to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, Crisis Aid International serves more than 2 million people in 11 different countries. In response to COVID-19 in 2020 alone, they made over 15,600 masks in East Africa. In the same year, they also fed over 140,000 people with their expanded food drives in the US.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Crisis Aid International on their website. You can also host a fundraiser using Facebook or purchase Oh! Coffee (100% of proceeds go to the charity). 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for COVID-19 research & relief. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to COVID-19 research & relief – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Dennis



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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