From March to December 2020, we gave more than EUR 105 million to social causes to fight the pandemic. The funds helped buy essential healthcare equipment and supplies, support the most vulnerable and sponsor research into the virus in close collaboration with governments, universities and other institutions.

To support global efforts to fight coronavirus in 2020, Santander set up a fund to provide healthcare workers with essential equipment and supplies.

€105 mn

donated to social causes to fight covid-19

€105 mn

donated to social causes to fight covid-19

The Together Solidarity Fund launched in March with €25 million. It was initially financed with donations from Ana Botín, Grupo Santander executive chairman, and CEO José Antonio Álvarez, of 50% of their fixed and variable compensation for 2020, in addition to 20% of non-executive directors’ pay and voluntary contributions made by employees. The fund swelled to €54 million on the back of donations from employees and third parties in our geographies (€26.9 million), and other funds contributed directly by group subsidiaries (€1 million).

We also ran two digital fundraisers to providing medical equipment and supplies to those most in need; they were LaLiga Santander Challenge and LaLiga Santander Fest, in which Santander collected almost €1.2 million. 

We put fund donations towards the purchase of medical equipment and coronavirus research at universities and other organizations in all of Santander’s countries

Grupo Santander also contributed another €21 million by redirecting project funds to protect vulnerable groups hit hard by the disease in several countries. 

Through Santander Universities, Santander also mobilized almost €20 million in funding for education to support partnerships with universities and CSIC to tackle medical and educational challenges arising from the covid-19 crisis. The goals of this initiative included collaborative research projects to develop vaccines, medicines and tests; support for disadvantaged students in finishing the academic year; and studies of scenarios for recovery from this crisis.

Through international subsidiaries as well as the global network of universities, Santander allocated an additional €10 million to social, medical and educational projects in our geographies. We were in constant contact with governments, public institutions, regulators and supervisors to help find solutions to the crisis and make sure government measures provided the intended support for customers in the financial system and for communities at large. 

Santander created "Overcome Together", a space open to any person or company, even if they were not customers of the bank. It provided digital resources, details about volunteering, official information, leisure ideas and tips for remote working to help people cope with the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

To support the student community amid restricted mobility, Santander launched #ImStayingAtHome online scholarships for more than 20,000 young people and university staff through Santander Universities. This scholarship programme supported undergraduates and graduates in learning digital skills, languages and other abilities. This enhanced their competitiveness in the jobs market while making it easier for lecturers to teach in a more digital environment.