Helping federal workers during the shutdown

Nonprofits and donors help federal employees make ends meet

lending a helping hand

Many federal workers are struggling to pay bills and buy groceries after more than a month without pay due to the government shutdown. More than 800,000 workers have been impacted by furloughs, and nonprofits in the capital region and around the country are mobilizing to support those trying to make ends meet during this period.

Many donors have asked how they can help federal workers in need. Fidelity Charitable has developed the following list of charities helping workers impacted by the government shutdown. These organizations are highlighted because they have an established presence or connection to the impacted communities and transparent finances, programs and operations. 1

  • United Way Worldwide (TIN: 131635294) has launched the United for U.S. Fund, which will distribute one hundred percent of individuals’ donations to local United Ways serving communities with a significant number of federal workers, contractors and others impacted by the government shutdown. This fund will address vital needs, including food, rent or mortgage payments and other basic expenses. Donors can also give directly to local United Ways such as United Way of the National Capital Area (TIN: 530234290) in Washington D.C., which has established the Emergency Assistance Fund.
  • Greater Washington Community Foundation’s (TIN: 237343119) Resilience Fund is providing emergency cash and food relief for local workers, contractors and small business owners impacted by the shutdown. All donations made to the Resilience Fund through the end of the shutdown will support nonprofits providing aid or assistance to local residents.
  • Donors can also support the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (TIN: 521465583), a nonprofit that helps federal public servants in need. It is providing loans to furloughed employees.
  • Coast Guard Foundation (TIN: 042899862) is accepting donations to support the men and women of the Coast Guard during the shutdown.
  • Feeding America (TIN: 363673599) is accepting donations to provide meals to families impacted by the government shutdown, working with a network of food banks. World Central Kitchen (TIN: 273521132) is also providing free meals to federal workers.


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TIP: Fidelity Charitable grant recommendations

Fidelity Charitable donors can recommend grants by logging in and by searching for charities using the charity name or TIN number.


Donors should know that in times of great need there can be an increased risk of fraud committed by individuals preying upon the good intentions of people wanting to help; donors should take care that the organizations they are supporting are legitimate. Fidelity Charitable makes grants only to IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charities, such as the organizations above.

Updated January 23, 2019

1Please note the organizations listed in this guidance do not represent the full list of organizations supporting federal workers. Fidelity Charitable does not endorse these organizations, and provides this list for reference purposes only. All grant recommendations are subject to review and approval by the Fidelity Charitable Trustees. For approved grants, Fidelity Charitable will communicate all grant designation recommendations for support of federal workers to grantees.

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