9th April 2020Covid-19 support for charities – current funding initiatives available

In the current circumstances we know a lot of charities are having to change the way they operate to ensure fundraising and funding can continue. In response to this, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a UK-wide £750m package to support charities during the coronavirus pandemic. The measures involve cash grants for charities providing key services during the crisis.

As part of the scheme, £360m will go directly to charities providing frontline including hospices, St Johns Ambulance and the Citizens Advice Bureau. Another £370m will go to small local charities, including those delivering food and essential medicines and providing financial advice. Some of this scheme will be distributed by the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

More information on Government support can be accessed here.

In addition to the measures announced by the Chancellor, we have put together a list of some of the new funding initiatives unveiled this week to support charities with details of how you can access them.

In the meantime, we encourage all charities to spend time strategising and putting the right plans in place, to manage the situation in the best way possible. You can read a short checklist of key points to consider during this period here.

Funding initiatives announced to date:

  • The National Emergencies Trust – this fundraising appeal had raised £16m. To date nearly half of it has already been passed to community foundations to distribute to local charities and grassroots organisations, providing vital support to individuals impacted by the outbreak. The Government last night has added another £20m to this fund.
  • The National Lottery Community Fund – this fund stands at £300m to address the Covid-19 crisis. This is available for projects aimed at supporting communities through the pandemic and/or to organisations facing financial difficulties because of it.
  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund – A £50m emergency fund has been announced to support heritage projects in crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The funder’s past and current grantees can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000.
  • Sport England – A £195m fund has been set up to help sporting organisations dealing with both short and long-term effects of the pandemic.
  • Charities Aid Foundation – A £5m emergency grant fund has been launched for small charities and social enterprises with a turnover of up to £1m. It is worth being aware that one-off unrestricted grants of up to £10,000 are also available.
  • Virgin Money Foundation – A fund of £850,000 has been announced for charities to replace lost income or meet additional costs incurred as a result of the pandemic.

Another initiative currently under proposal for Theatres and other cultural venues:

  • There is a proposal for theatres, recognised as charities, to be able to retain Gift Aid on payments that have been received for events cancelled due to the coronavirus.
  • Under the proposal, if patrons have agreed not to be refunded for the cost of the ticket, and if they confirm for the same amount to be treated as a donation, a Gift Aid declaration for their donation can still be obtained

We will of course keep you updated on any further Government initiatives announced and how you might be able to benefit from them. In the meantime:

  • Discussions with existing funders of your charities should be held as a priority to see if new funds or existing funds can be used to support your charity and ongoing projects.
  • These discussions should cover the freeing up of restricted funds.
  • Monitor your cash flow and forecast forward for at least six months.
  • Reappraise your reserves policy and in particular the ability to meet your obligations to your staff.

Contact Muneeza Baig for advice and support for your business during Covid-19.

9 April 2020
The information contained in this guidance has been obtained from public sources and every attempt has been made to ensure its accuracy at the date of publication. In this ever changing environment, this information is subject to change and we will not accept liability for losses arising from changes in the law or the interpretation thereof.


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