Charities Support Package


08 Apr
08Apr

Unsurprisingly, charities across the board in the UK are struggling to maintain essential donations during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has acted (8th April 2020) to help this vital sector maintain operations.

Funding Support

The Chancellor announced (8th April 2020) a much needed package of financial support for the charitable sector.measures. This is on top of prospective financial savings to be made across the charitable sector by furloughing staff under the Job Retention Scheme and provides the prospect of a more immediate cash infusion.

Whether the measure goes far enough to plug the drastic downturn in donations is open to question, but it is at least a welcome start and it will help save vital charitable services from being terminated in the imminent future. The Chancellor warned that the Government could not match every pound of spending that the UK's 170,000 odd charities would have received this year. 

These are the essential details:

  • £750 million pot for: 
    • frontline charities across the UK 
    • hospices 
    • charities supporting domestic abuse  
  • £360 million to come direct from government departments
  • £370 million for smaller charities, including via a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund
  • Government to match £ for £  donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night on 23rd April with a minimum of £20m

Vital services' charities that will receive this financial aid include:

  • St Johns Ambulance 
  • victims charities, including domestic abuse
  • vulnerable children charities
  • Citizens Advice 

Government says: "Tens of thousands of charities providing vital services will benefit from direct cash grants to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day-to-day activities supporting those in need." and 

"Departments will now work at pace to identify priority recipients, with the aim for charities to receive money in the coming weeks."

For more details- HM Treasury announcement

The Charity Commission has issued the following guidance to help running charities during the COVID-19 outbreak: 

  1. Charity objects: understand if you can help with coronavirus efforts
  2. Government financial support for charities
  3. Using reserves and restricted funds
  4. AGMs and other meetings: postponing or cancelling meetings
  5. Holding meetings online or by telephone
  6. Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission
  7. Keeping people safe
  8. Working with a company or business to help with coronavirus
  9. Charity SORP guidance
  10. Information from other organisations

Charity Tax Group- Coronavirus information hub for charity tax and finance professionals

Other Financial Support for Charities

In addition to the direct Government support announced on 8th April 2020, the private sector is also stepping into the donations gap created by Covid-19 and here are some examples:

National Lottery Community FundCOVID-19 – how we are supporting our grant holders at this difficult time.

  1. Will the Fund continue to operate as normal and make payments?
  2. What are you doing to support me / grantholders?
  3. Will you still be able to make payments to grantees?
  4. Are you advising we should we cancel our events/activities?
  5. If we cancel or rearrange we will be charged a cancellation fee – can this be paid through our grant?
  6. Our key workers are ill so we can’t deliver services – will we be in breach of our grant terms?
  7. We want to purchase additional items not included in our budget so as to adapt to the situation – is that OK?
  8. We’ve just been awarded funding and want to delay the start of our project in view of the current situation – is that OK?
  9. We’re going to incur additional costs as a result of supporting our community through this health crisis – what can you do to help us?
  10. I applied for and received a #CelebrateNationalLottery25 grant and was planning to host an event some time over the next few months. Are you advising I don’t go ahead with this any longer? And if not, what are the implications for my grant?
  11. I have a meeting with someone at the Fund, is this still taking place?
  12. Are you providing any different or additional funding to help communities manage the impact of COVID-19?
  13. Can I still apply for funding?
  14. I recently applied for funding – will it still be considered? Will the decision be delayed?
  15. I can’t get hold of my funding officer and I understand you’ve made changes to your AdviceLine?
  16. Building Better Opportunities (BBO) grantees only

Small Charities Coalition

The SCC supports small charities to access the skills, tools and information they need to get going, and do what they do best. 

SCC's guidance for organisations 

 Asda – has donated £5m to its partners FareShare and the Trussell Trust. This will provide over 4 million meals to families in poverty, as well as more than 3000 charities access to free food over the next 3 months. That’s fantastic of Asda, but the need is huge – support the Trussell Trust by donating here.

Arts Council England – emergency funding package and Support for funded organisations and individuals announced. A summary on the Arts Council Emergency Funds Written by Simma Gershenson Head of Development at Scene & Heard can be downloaded Here, with guidance notes for individuals Here and organisations Here.

Cavell Nurses Trust – additional funding for grants designed to help nursing and midwifery professionals support their living costs like rent and utility bills.

Comic Relief – some of the money raised through Sport Relief 2020 will go to organisations on the frontline. Support for grantees through adapting activities, reviewing timeframes, or re-budgeting remaining funds.

Co-op – £1.5 million of essential food products to FareShare’s 23 regional centres, and then supplied to a network of local community groups across the country.

Indigo Trust – has donated £1m to the Trussell Trust for food banks.

John Lewis & Waitrose – launched a £1m Community Support Fund to be distributed by Waitrose shops to local communities, and a support fund to aid staff facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic.

Leathersellers Company – prioritise applications from UK registered charities supporting the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless, provision of food and essential supplies, victims of domestic violence, nursing care to vulnerable patients.

Make A Difference Trust – small pockets of financial assistance to those in theatre experiencing unexpected financial hardship due to theatre closures as a direct result of Government advice aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus.

Martin Lewis  has made £1m available to fund urgent coronavirus grants of £5k to £20k to small registered UK charities – community aid, financial advice help and more –  to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects. His hope is to get the money is distributed within the next couple of weeks. Applications close midnight 25 March.  Apply online.

Neighbourly – micro-grants of up to £400, to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the new Coronavirus outbreak.

The National Emergencies Trust – launching an to help those most effected by the outbreak. They collaborate with charities and other bodies to raise and distribute money and support victims at the time of a domestic disaster.

PRS For Music– PRS members globally – grants of up to £1000 each, depending on need.

Sport England: Community Emergency Fund – including those not currently supported by us, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000.

Sport England: Sector Partner Fund – Active Partnerships and national governing bodies, on bespoke measures that may be needed for any instances of immediate financial distress.

Sport England: Sector Stimulation Fund – will be rolled out in coming weeks.

Standard Life Foundation – work directly related to crisis, addressing challenges & helping to contribute to social change which tackles financial problems and improves living standards. 

Support for Theatre Professionals during Coronavirus  – collection of funds and sources of advice or support for those in the theatre industry. Funds are available from institution specific funders and from those that support the wider industry.

Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust – coronavirus funding announced, no details yet. Works with young people

Tech Force 19 – innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19 to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 to test their solution.

VocTech Now – part of Ufi’s response to support the vocational learning sector in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic.


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