BET's COVID-19 Relief Fund FAQ

BET's COVID-19 Relief Fund FAQ

BET's COVID-19 Relief Fund FAQ

Learn more about the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund, BET's partnership with United Way Worldwide, where to contribute and how donations will be put to use in affected communities.

BET COVID-19 Relief Fund FAQ

What is the goal of the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund?

The BET COVID-19 Relief Fund has been created to provide emergency support to African-American communities that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is severely compounding pre-existing health and financial vulnerabilities many African Americans face, resulting in a significant impact on Black communities. The BET COVID-19 Relief Fund will support and amplify relief efforts in these communities, with a focus on families in need of food assistance and emergency support.

What is the role of United Way Worldwide?

BET has partnered with United Way Worldwide to establish and administer the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund at the national level. BET and United Way Worldwide will disburse grants from the Relief Fund to local community-based organizations serving African-American communities in each of the regions most heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis, including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City.

When will the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund start operating?

The BET COVID-19 Relief Fund is up and running. Click here.  

United Way Worldwide will begin disbursing grants from the Relief Fund as soon as possible and will reassess regularly when funding is available for further distribution.

How much of my donation will go to help those in the community?

100% of your donation to the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund will go directly to United Way Worldwide to support the needs of communities most affected by the pandemic, with an initial focus on Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City. Additional cities will be added. United Way Worldwide will retain a small fee (5%) for administrative costs associated with distributing these funds to local organizations in these cities.

United Way Worldwide has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, an independent group that evaluates how efficiently charities use the donations they receive. United Way Worldwide is also a Better Business Bureau accredited charity and meets all 20 of the BBB's Standards for Charity Accountability.

How can I contribute to the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund?

The fund is live now. You can donate online at bet.com/donate or text BETGives to 51555

How will donations to the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund be used?

Donations made to the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund will be used to support relief and recovery programs administered by local community-based organizations in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City. United Way Worldwide will disburse funds to local community-based organizations that serve the most vulnerable within these communities. These organizations must also meet mutually agreed-upon criteria to be eligible to receive funds.

What are the criteria for the selected community-based organizations?

Identified organizations must meet the following criteria:

·       Be a 501(c)(3) organization.

·       Agree to use all funds received from your local United Way for direct services and support to individuals and families (e.g., no funds received can be used to cover operational expenses).

·       Provide services, supports and programs to the target population that fall within the following categories.

Priority Funding Categories

We are prioritizing directing funds raised to address immediate needs that are the result of the current COVID-19 crisis. The absolute priority of the selected organizations will fall into the following two categories listed below:

o   Financial and Employment Assistance to Families – Community-based organizations, agencies or programs that are providing rent, mortgage and utilities assistance to individuals negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis via direct payments to banks, mortgage and/or rental companies and public utilities. This also includes entities that are connecting eligible families to public assistance (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, housing vouchers) and organizations focused on workforce development and job-search assistance.

o   Food Assistance – Community-based organizations, agencies or programs that are providing meals and/or financial assistance to purchase food for community residents in need. Examples include food pantries, agencies (including school districts) providing meals to students and families, farmers markets serving communities that lack regular access to fresh produce, home delivery meal services and organizations that help connect those in need to existing food pantries (e.g., Plentiful in New York City).

How can I apply for financial support from the Relief Fund?

BET and United Way Worldwide will ensure that communities have information about the organizations that are receiving funding, and how families and individuals can apply for support or access to resources that are available.

Why did BET partner with United Way Worldwide to administer the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund?

United Way Worldwide is the largest private funder of human services in the U.S. and has a presence in 95% of communities across the country. It is unparalleled in its power to convene local partners, providers and resources to address the needs of vulnerable communities on the ground. Meeting community needs during a crisis like the COVID-10 pandemic requires the scale and scope that only United Way Worldwide can bring. BET believes that United Way Worldwide is well-positioned to direct dollars to where they are needed most and trusts they will steward Relief Fund donations responsibly.

What is BET doing to leverage its platform to drive resources to the Relief Fund?

BET is leveraging its resources and working with creative, business and community partners to underwrite, produce and air Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort broadcast special, which will raise awareness of and resources to the Relief Fund. Saving Our Selves will air on Wednesday, April 22 at 8/7c.

Written by BET Staff

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