The Coronavirus is spreading

Help us fund those who can control it.

You have a promising solution to tackle the COVID-19 crisis? Submit your idea and win up to USD 1m

We're looking for solutions with the following outcomes in the context of COVID-19:

  • Sustained maternal and child health outcomes, i.e., stable levels of antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, immunization rates, etc.; no increases in maternal mortality or mortality from malaria, pneumonia, and/or diarrhea
  • Sustained learning outcomes (literacy and numeracy), attendance rates, and access to education
  • Improved life skills, socio-emotional skills, etc.
  • Job placement and/or retention among youth
  • Prevention of child labor and trafficking
  • Prevention of children being separated from families due to reasons such as poverty, violence, abuse or lack of access to basic health and education
  • Increased local food production, improved food system governance and participation of vulnerable groups

You have what it takes? You have demonstrated or you're seeking to demonstrate rigorous evidence of one or more of the above mentioned outcomes? Great, learn more and be sure to apply before the November 15, 2020 deadline! 

As the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on people's health, education and livelihoods continue to reverberate around the globe – and likely will for some time to come – it's important to take stock of which approaches to addressing these impacts are working.

At the UBS Optimus Foundation we're identifying and replicating evidence-based interventions that increase the resiliency of children, youth, and communities affected by the direct or indirect impacts of COVID-19.

We'll award one or more grant prizes of up to USD 1m to organization(s) that demonstrated or are seeking to demonstrate rigorous evidence of achievement of one or more of the above mentioned outcomes through an intervention implemented in the context of COVID-19.

  1. Before you start, make sure to read this document (PDF, 121 KB) 
  2. Fill in this Excel document (XLSX, 46 KB)
  3. Write your expression of interest (in Word or PDF format, as described in step 1)
    Please note: UBS Optimus Foundation reserves the right to disregard any Expressions of Interest that do not meet the guidelines as described in step 1.
  4. You're also invited to submit a 90-second video (optional) highlighting your intervention
    All videos will be eligible for participation in the People's Choice Award contest, the winner of which will receive a USD 50,000 prize.
  5. Send us your application to by 11:59pm Central European Standard Time on November 15, 2020

We're looking forward to receiving your application.

UBS Optimus Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund

Building on our experience in responding to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the UBS Optimus Foundation is working with strategic healthcare partners to implement a strategy that – with support from UBS clients – could save millions of lives:

  • Prevent the spread of the virus: educating communities regarding signs, symptoms, transmission, and preventative measures like hand hygiene and social distancing – including supporting livelihoods to make social distancing possible. 
  • Detect cases as they emerge: supporting frontline health organizations to identify symptoms, and also help facilitate testing.
  • Respond as the situation unfolds: increasing capacity for emergency treatment among health organizations and making sure primary health services remain functional.

Donate now, we'll match 10%

The situation is changing rapidly so funds are needed as soon as possible. To make your gift please contact your UBS Client or Financial Advisor today, and start saving lives right now.

Ask your UBS Client or Financial Advisor or send us an email choosing your local UBS Optimus Foundation representative office

Why giving to the UBS Optimus Foundation COVID-19 Response Funds is the best way for you to save lives

We're here to help you maximize your impact locally, nationally and globally.

  • UBS Optimus Foundation will match 10% of your donation.
  • We have expertise in responding to an outbreak gained from success in the 2014 Ebola crisis.
  • All programs are carefully vetted by our team of experts, making sure your gift has the greatest possible impact. 
  • Well-established partnerships with health organizations both global and local means we can offer support where and when it’s needed to provide a well-rounded response.
  • The flexible nature of the Fund allows us to respond quickly as the situation changes, so we can get on top of localized outbreaks as they occur.
  • Regular, relevant feedback allows you to see how your money is being used and to witness the impact you’re having.

There has never been a better time to give

"With a gift to the UBS Optimus Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund, you could help save 20 million lives in low and middle-income countries."

A word from Phyllis Costanza, Head UBS in Society and CEO
UBS Optimus Foundation

A well-rounded response

You’ll support the best global and local organizations.

Our global emergency response partners have extensive emergency experience. They include:


Building on their extensive experience, you can support them to build capacity for infection prevention and control, protect health care workers, and strengthen supply chains for lifesaving supplies.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

Using their expertise in frontline emergency medicine, you can help them procure and ship medicines and essential supplies such as protective masks and allow them to send their expert doctors and nurses to support overwhelmed health centers.

Our local, frontline health organizations have valuable community relationships and in-depth experience of the regions in which they work. They include:

Beijing United Charity Foundation

Has ongoing programs in Wuhan, including collaborations with the Wuhan Union Hospital and the Maternal and Child Hospital in Hubei province as well as a strong relationship with the Wuhan government. Their connections will help facilitate the timely distribution of needed medical supplies, reducing the exposure of medical personnel to infectious diseases and ultimately decreasing the risk of hospital infection as well as preventing disease transmission.

Hewa Tele

Hewa Tele ("Plentiful air in Swahili"), is a social enterprise, focused on saving lives through addressing the shortage of affordable, and accessible quality medical oxygen solutions at healthcare facilities in East Africa.

Integrate Health

Provides healthcare to people in Togo through their nine health centers, and through community health workers in public clinics.

Last Mile Health

Trains and supports a network of community health workers to reach even the most remote villages in rural Liberia.


Supports community health workers and rapid-access clinics to proactively provide care to vulnerable people across Mali.

Swiss Red Cross

The Swiss Red Cross supports the population in Switzerland quickly and competently. Among other things, your donation helps to ensure a shopping service where volunteers shop for people who belong to the high risk group and have to remain home. It also ensures support in the hospital, where volunteers support the staff by carrying out corona tests (in accordance with the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH/BAG guidelines) and thus relieving the burden on the nursing staff.

Other ways you can get involved to help fight COVID-19

The 17 United Nations Global Goals are the way to a sustainable future. We've joined forces with BOTTLETOP, a sustainable accessories brand who created #TOGETHERBAND to raise awareness and funds for the goals.

If you buy a TOGETHERBAND now 50% of funds raised will go help the fight against COVID-19. The remaining funds will be divided between #TOGETHERBAND beneficiaries who continue to work diligently to achieve the Global Goals.