Briefing note: Government support to charities & the wider funding picture

Posted on: April 16, 2020

Prepared for the Volunteering Coordination Group, Essex Resilience Forum
15th April 2020
Sarah Troop, MDCVS Director, Chair Volunteer Essex, Co-chair Essex Alliance. Written in consultation with ECVS Chairs Clive Emmett and Jemma Mindham.

Government Funding for charities

On 8th April Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a funding package for the voluntary and community sector. This came after weeks of campaigning from national representative bodies such as NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) and NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations).

The funding announced was £750 million. It was referred to by Karl Wilding CEO of NCVO as a “good start” and it is 1.2% of the amount of financial support provided to businesses.

  • £360 million of the £750 million has been identified for specific purposes. Of this £200 million will go to hospices and this has been welcomed by the Hospice association. The remaining £160 million is intended for named charities such as St Johns Ambulance and Citizens Advice Bureaux and charities working in the specific areas of children’s charities ad charities supporting victims. This funding will not be available for grant applications but will be centrally allocated by Government departments.
  • £370 million has been made available to small to medium charities. In England, this will be channelled through the National Lottery Community Fund. It will support locally-focused charities doing most during the outbreak – such as delivering food and medicines and providing financial advice. This will be managed through the Awards for All process for grants with a maximum value of £10,000 although the NLCF have stated that efforts supporting the Coronavirus are the main focus of all their funding including the larger Reaching Communities fund.
  • £20 million will be match funding for the “Big Night In” fundraising appeal due to take place on the 23 rd April. Funds raised on this night will be split between Comic Relief and Children in Need for distribution through an open grant process, again focusing on corona virus response.

Central government funding is not available for charities affected by loss of or threats to funding for business as usual to shore themselves up and stabilise. NCVO estimate the loss to the sector over a 3 month period is around £4 billion. Over half the charities that responded to a survey by the Directory of Social Change said that they will collapse within six months if they don’t get additional help. A useful summary of the findings of this survey
can be found here:

Other Funding options

A number of grant makers have announced support for charities to respond to the Corona outbreak including

  • The National Lottery Community Fund prioritising coronavirus response for the next six months on all funding programmes
  • The National Emergencies Trust have distributed over £5 million across the UK. In Essex this is being managed by the Essex Community Foundation who have set up the Essex Coronavirus response and recovery programme and has to date given grants of a quarter of a million pounds. They will consider applications that include some sector stability elements
  • The Charities Aid Foundation announced a £39 million pound fund for community response. This is now closed to applications
  • Barclays have announced the creation of the Barclays Foundation initially to provide a COVID-19 Community Aid Package of £100 million to charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.
  • Tesco bags of help are making grants of £500 to support communities to provide supplies to people affected by coronavirus
  • Nationwide have announced a community grants scheme opening in June to help further support the housing emergency, particularly focused on the impact of the coronavirus
  • Persimmon Housing have announced 2 special grants schemes around the coronavirus – one for the over 70s and one for children and young people specifically around health, sport, education and the arts.
  • The Charity Excellence Framework has published a Covid-19 Funder Toolkit for the sector, which can be found here.

Flexibility for grant holders

Covid19 funders is a website that has been set up to enable grant making bodies to pledge to be flexible during the corona outbreak. This includes:

  • Adapting activities
  • Discussing dates and timescales
  • Financial flexibility
  • Listening to grant holders

The full list of funders who have signed up to this pledge can be found here:

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

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