Gerstner Philanthropies COVID-19 Response

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Gerstner Philanthropies focuses on biomedical research, educational opportunities, and assistance for people who have suffered a temporary setback and could use a “helping hand” to restore their equilibrium.

Our Biomedical Research funding falls into two categories:

  • Supporting important genomic research that could lead to breakthroughs in clinical practice
  • Enabling talented young scientists to pursue a career in research

Our Education work supports students who have talent and determination but whose opportunity to excel is limited because of their economic circumstances.

Our Helping Hands program provides assistance for people experiencing an unforeseen emergency through one-time cash grants.

In addition, we make a small number of grants related to or outside of these areas of focus.


  • Helping Hands Program Update: Q3 2020 Trends
    December 7, 2020

    Our Helping Hands grantee social services organizations are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. We communicate with our Helping Hands grantee organizations informally throughout the year, and each quarter we ask them to report formally on program statistics, trends, and case studies. Based on the data and conversations with our grantee partners, it is clear that COVID-19 continues to impact Helping Hands grantees and the communities they serve dramatically. A number of our partners have exhausted their Helping Hands funds for the year, while others are bracing for the expected tsunami of need if eviction moratoriums are not extended or if government rent relief programs do not happen.

    Read Q3 Trend Report
  • Gerstner Grantees Provide Over 575,000 Thanksgiving Meal Boxes to Families in Need
    December 2, 2020

    Two of Gerstner Philanthropies’ long-standing grantees recently distributed 575,250 meal kits for the Thanksgiving holiday. Treasure Coast Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast and the only Food Bank serving Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties, distributed 575,000 holiday meal kits, which include a turkey and sides, to families; Gerstner Philanthropies provided funds for 400 turkeys distributed via the meal kits, as well as 151 turkeys for soup kitchens in the area. In Massachusetts, FamilyAid Boston, the leading provider of solutions to family homelessness in the Greater Boston area, delivered 250 meal kits, 200 of which were funded through a grant from Gerstner Philanthropies, to 800 unstably housed or homeless children and parents this Thanksgiving. Gerstner Philanthropies is proud to support families in need through meaningful programs such as these. (Photo Credit: Treasure Coast Food Bank)

    Learn more about Treasure Coast Food Bank
    Learn more about FamilyAid Boston
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Reflections on Helping Hands

Lou Gerstner shares the origin of and his vision for the emergency grants program, lessons learned over the past decade, and his belief in the critical importance of the work.

Watch the video