The response by the corporate community to the coronavirus pandemic has been swift and wide ranging. And as we have come to expect a prolonged period of coexistence with the virus, consumers and other impacted stakeholders will continue to look to companies as an ongoing source of relief. It is important to note, however, that this does not mean Americans expect companies to shift their longstanding corporate social responsibility programs to completely refocus on COVID-19 related issues. In fact, many notable corporate citizens are providing important services to those most impacted by the coronavirus through the continuation of their existing social impact initiatives.
- Fighting Hunger at Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank has been historically committed to fighting hunger as a key pillar of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. This work is important all year round, and remains especially critical during the pandemic, as food insecurity has increased significantly since the onset of the virus. In turn, Citizens’ partnership, funding, and volunteerism in support of Feeding America—the country’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization—is a staple of the bank’s CSR platform that will continue to be of value in fighting COVID-19.
- Enabling Education at Adobe
Adobe regularly offers donated or discounted products to nonprofit organizations as part of their belief that creativity can change the world. The company provided an impressive $25 million in donated or discounted software to thousands of organizations across the globe in 2019. In response to COVID-19, Adobe continued this tradition by granting students free, personal access to Adobe Creative Cloud in place of their schools’ in-classroom licenses while physical campuses have been closed.
- Preventing Domestic Violence at Verizon
An unfortunate consequence of spending additional time at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus has been an increase in instances of domestic violence—making Verizon’s longstanding commitment to the issue especially relevant and important. The company supports Camp Hope, a national youth program focused on ending generational violence, as well as other leading nonprofit organizations. Additionally, any Verizon Wireless customer can connect to the National Domestic Violence Hotline by dialing #Hope on their cell phone. 
- Supporting the Arts at Bank of America
Artists across disciplines have been impacted by the consequences of COVID-19. Often paid based on performance and presentation, which have been severely restricted, artists and the arts remain vulnerable during this time. It is estimated that the arts and culture industry has lost ~$4.5 billion to the pandemic. Bank of America’s commitment to the arts, in turn, becomes particularly meaningful for this community. The Bank supports thousands of arts organizations worldwide, and through The Bank of America Art Conservation Project typically provides grants for nonprofit art museums to conserve culturally significant works of art. In response to COVID-19, the organization has redirected this funding to support its arts and culture partners’ immediate needs.
- Shopping Small with American Express
Small businesses account for nearly half of all US-private jobs, and 54% of the jobs most vulnerable during the pandemic. As such, American Express’ small business support efforts are of critical importance for many small businesses across the nation. American Express created and has supported Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when people are encouraged to do their holiday shopping at small businesses) for nearly ten years, features small businesses on their Instagram page (@shopsmall), and is now offering a $5 statement credit every time American Express cardholders make a purchase of $10 or more at any small business on their U.S. Shop Small Map in an effort to kickstart local spending.
A significant portion of Americans reported that they expect companies to continue to support programs already in progress before COVID-19, while adjusting to also include pandemic specific issues (52%)—and the examples highlighted here feature only a few of many companies who are doing just that. In addition to impressive donations of product or dollars, the CSR programs that have been an integral component of these organizations for many years also meet today’s pandemic-specific problems. By leveraging the work that they have done historically and that is natural to their business, we see that many companies can also evolve their ongoing efforts to solve for new, critical needs.