Hartford Foundation Exceeds $3 Million in COVID-19 Response Fund Donations

The LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation commit $500,000 to Relief Efforts in Greater Hartford

In March, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving launched its COVID-19 Response Fund to rapidly deploy resources to support the residents who are most significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. To date, the Foundation has infused a total of $6.4 million into Fund after seeding it with an initial $1 million. But perhaps the most gratifying part of this effort has been the overwhelming philanthropic response from organizations and individuals across Greater Hartford. The region’s business community, existing Hartford Foundation donors and contributions from new donors have now added more than $3 million to the Fund.

The largest corporate donation to date comes from a joint donation made by the LEGO Group and LEGO Foundation. Together, they have made a $1.1 million commitment to relief efforts across Connecticut. LEGO Systems, Inc. the North American arm of the LEGO Group, is headquartered in Enfield, CT. To support the area in which most of its employees live and work, LEGO Systems has donated $500,000 to the Hartford Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, as well as an additional $600,000 to the 4-CT Statewide Relief Fund, a donor-advised fund which is administered by the Hartford Foundation.

"We have been overwhelmed by the response from our corporate community, our existing donors as well as generous residents who all recognize the need for this type of financial support to help provide immediate assistance to nonprofits and support long-term efforts that will be necessary to stabilize our region in the aftermath of this crisis,” said Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams. “This incredibly generous donation from the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation is the latest example of our region’s business community stepping up to support the residents of Greater Hartford at a time of unprecedented need.”

“At the LEGO Group, one of our core values is caring, and we have been caring for the wellbeing and development of children and their families for more than 85 years”, said Skip Kodak, president, LEGO Systems, Inc. “We are proud to continue this tradition and to do our part through charitable giving throughout the world during this challenging time. As part of our global giving, we are honored to be able to support The Hartford Foundation, which serves the home of our U.S. headquarters and hundreds of LEGO employees.”

Despite the unanticipated, widespread economic challenges, the Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund has also received support from a dozen corporations and businesses in the Hartford region, including a $250,000 donation from Stanley Black and Decker. The other generous corporate donors are:

  • CapSpecialty, Inc.
  • The Hartford
  • Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare
  • Hutensky Capital Partners
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Key Bank
  • Pinnacle Financial Services, LLC
  • Prudential
  • Travelers Foundation
  • Wiley Swain General Carpentry LLC

In addition, the response from the community at large has been remarkable. More than 100 existing individual donors, donor-advised funds and new donors have made gifts to the Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. This includes a new, anonymous donation of $1 million.

“The Hartford Foundation wouldn’t exist without the support of the region’s thousands of philanthropic residents who are the very reason we are able to work for the benefit of our communities,” Williams said. “We have heard from so many of our donors that while they are safe and financially secure, they recognize so many are struggling right now, and they are stepping up to provide more support than ever before. The fact that a donor would anonymously contribute $1 million to the COVID-Response Fund shows us how people recognize that we are all in this together, and we must continue to do everything we can to support our neighbors. With this outpouring of support, the Foundation is even better positioned to respond to the dire short-term and long-term needs of our region’s dedicated nonprofits.”

The COVID-19 Response Fund is designed to complement the work of federal, state and municipal government efforts and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible. The Fund continues to provide flexible resources to organizations throughout the Hartford region that serve residents who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the health crisis.

Earlier this week, the Foundation announced a third round of COVID-related grants, which brings the total to $3.28 million to more than 40 community-based organizations that provide basic human needs to the region’s most vulnerable residents.  Another round of grants will be reviewed and approved this week.

About the LEGO Group 

The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine.  

The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words LEg GOdt, which mean “Play Well”. Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. However, its products are now sold in more than 140 countries worldwide. For more information: www.LEGO.com