Brands, Agencies Raise Funds, Create Programs To Ease Pandemic Impact

Brands and agencies have created lots of COVID-19-related ad campaigns. But they’re also creating various programs to provide tangible assistance to those in need. Here’s a sampling.

The Cigna and the New York Life foundations are each making initial contributions of $25 million to seed the Brace of Heart Fund benefiting front-line healthcare workers. The New York Life Foundation will also match the first $25 million of additional individual donations received.

Together, the hope is to raise more than $100 million to protect families from financial hardship.
As part of the Fund’s awareness push, McCann New York developed materials to illustrate that “bravery has a face.” The outreach runs across social media, print, online video and Cigna owned channels.



Chemistry’s advocacy drive donated $100 for every employee that completed all of his or her timesheets for one week this month to Feeding America. Leaders thought this was a fun way for agencies to make a tedious task into a charitable one as well as tack on the added bonus of doing some good for the community. The agency donated over $8,000 to help those in need.

Freelance platform Upwork is establishing a $1 million Work Together Talent Grants program to provide talent to select organizations working on projects to counter the impact of COVID-19. Organizations are invited to apply for a grant of up to $25,000 in talent credits at

Through the initiative, Upwork will match organizations with independent pros and cover the cost of their services for projects whose mission is tied directly to mitigating COVID-19’s impact on individuals, communities and economies.

To jumpstart this initiative, Upwork and agency Duncan Channon are releasing a national TV ad using real freelancers explaining the program through FaceTime video. The visibility campaign also includes digital and audio spots.

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