Short video platform TikTok today announced it is pledging more than $250 million to support front-line workers, students and local communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an estimated $125 million in promotional grants to public health agencies and restoring companies. Some of these funds are aimed towards major health agencies, such as the CDC and WHO, while other funds are geared at helping individuals or small businesses.
There are three different funds in the $250 million: the TikTok Medical Heroes Relief Fund, the TikTok Society Relief Fund, and the TikTok Creative Education Fund.
The first is the most important initiative, as it offers $150 million in support to healthcare personnel for issues like medical services, equipment, and relief of poverty. These contributions include $15 million for the CDC Foundation to help surge resources for local response activities by state and municipal governments and $10 million for the Unity Response Fund for WHO COVID-19.
Additionally, TikTok, operated by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, said its employee matching system would offer assistance to organizations such as the Red Cross and Immediate Relief.
TikTok also said it’s partnering with global and local partners to supply masks and other personal safety gear, among others, to hospitals in India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, and the U.S. For example, TikTok revealed earlier this month that it had donated 400,000 hazmat medical protection suits and 200,000 masks in India to protect doctors and frontline medical personnel.
Whereas, the TikTok Community Relief Fund especially works on disadvantaged populations impacted by COVID-19.
The initiative includes allocating $40 million in cash to local groups that support TikTok’s customer population representatives — including singers, writers, teachers, educators, and families. The fund has already been used to contribute $3 million to All-Stars after Graduation, which provides food for families who had formerly relied on school lunches and $2 million to MusiCares, which helps musicians, songwriters and music workers whose livelihoods have been affected.
TikTok would now coordinate $10 million in contributions from its partners, as part of the Mutual Support Fund.
The third initiative, the Creative Education Fund from TikTok, will include $50 million in grants to students, technical and non-profit leaders focused on distance learning projects. TikTok views itself as a future platform for innovative online learning activities but on that front has not revealed any concrete plans.
TikTok provides marketing credits to health-care agencies and SMBs independently of the funds themselves.
The organization is supplying Charities, reputable information outlets, and local authorities with $25 million in popular “in-feed” advertisement space, enabling them to exchange their important messages with millions of people, it added.
TikTok noted that it has also partnered to disseminate educational information in other areas, featuring live streams from members of WHO, IFRC and other popular public health and science personalities like Bill Nye the Science Guy. There is also a dedicated site with other services in TikTok: the COVID-19 Resources Tab on the Protection Center at TikTok. And it’s collaborated with producers on projects such as # HappyAtHome, which airs live programming on Fridays at 8:00 PM ET/ 5:00 PM PT and has other thematic events scheduled over the weekdays.