The MSIF COVID-19 Response Initiative

2020 has been a year like few others. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over a million deaths, and economic and social challenges worldwide. One of the impacts has been on MS patient organisations, which have seen huge losses in charitable income due to cancelled events and lost donors. For many organisations these losses threatened the vital support they provide for people affected by MS, and for some it even threatened their survival.

To help MS organisations through these difficult times MSIF put out a call to the healthcare industry, asking them to support the MSIF COVID-19 Response Initiative.

The goal was to secure funding to make grants to MSIF and European MS Platform (EMSP) member organisations in urgent need to help with one or more of the following:

  • Protecting organisational infrastructure needed to maintain essential programmes, projects or activities, whilst offering a reduced/adapted service because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Specific COVID-19 project work to cover the expansion of existing work in response to COVID-19 or a new project/activity to cover additional demand caused by COVID-19.
  • Preparations for future change and growth during and after COVID-19. This could be changes to staffing, funding for organisational development, redeveloped fundraising or adapted service models or programmes.

Who funded the initiative?

We would like to thank the following companies for their support of the initiative. It could not have happened without them.

  • Biogen£378,028
  • Roche£110,000
  • Bristol Myers Squibb£57,500
  • Coloplast£25,000
  • TOTAL£570,528

What is the process for awarding grants?

MSIF has invited MSIF and EMSP member organisations from around the world to apply, subject to meeting a number of criteria.

A panel has been established to review applications, which includes MSIF staff, board members and external experts. In addition to meeting the criteria, the grant-funded work will be considered in relation to the overall need of the organisation and the MS community they support, in the context in which they work. Consideration also given to ensuring that there is geographic diversity in recipients as allowed by the applications received.

Which organisations received grants?

The application process is still underway. MSIF will publish the names of the awardees here, once they have been notified.