The charity sector has a vital role to play in responding to the Covid-19 crisis. Below is our guide to funding projects to support people in need, plus funds to keep your organisation afloat at this difficult time.
£750m Government Support for UK Charity Sector
On 8 April Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, announced that the Government will provide £750 million to frontline charities across the UK so that they can continue their services to those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
£360m will be allocated directly by central government to large charities such as hospices, St Johns Ambulance, Citizens Advice and victim’s and vulnerable children’s charities. A further £370m will be directed to small- and medium-sized charities.
Refocusing Lottery Funding
Prior to the Chancellor’s announcement on 8 April 2020 (see above), The National Lottery Community Fund announced that it has turned its focus to responding to the coronavirus crisis. In a press release dated 27 March, it explained that “all funding decisions for the next six months (up to £300m…) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis.” It also states that the turnaround for applications will be much faster than before. In order to do this, it will prioritise “existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:
Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.”
The press release also states, “This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.” As such, organisations considering applications for other purposes may want to delay their application and/or contact TNL Community Fund before submitting.
Charitable Funders “Stand with the Sector”
Hundreds of UK funders have signed a joint statement, committing to being supportive and flexible about existing funding throughout the outbreak. If your organisation is unable to deliver services for which you are being funded, need to delay or want to adapt your activities to respond to coronavirus, the statement serves as a reassurance that these funders are sympathetic. When you are ready, contact your existing funder to discuss the best way forward.
0% Commission on Crowdfunder Campaigns
Crowdfunder.co.uk has waived its usual 3% commission on campaigns to fundraise via online donations. Current campaigns in Cambridgeshire include raising £24,000 for Hamerton Zoo Park, £5,000 for Soham’s South Angle Farm and £750 for Fenland Light Railway, all of which are struggling due to lost income during lockdown.
Funding for Organisations Responding to Covid-19
Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund
Grants of £1,000 to £5,000 for constituted community organisations throughout Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), who are supporting isolated older and vulnerable people through the Covid-19 crisis. Projects must either:
- Support ongoing needs of people, to ensure that their well-being is maintained,
- Reduce isolation and vulnerability during any isolation period
- Help people remain safely connected with the outside world
The National Lottery Community Fund
Please see the above News report regarding the refocusing of TNL Community Fund’s operations for the next six months.
Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund
Grants of £5,000 to £100,000 to registered charities, CICs, CIOs and limited companies with track record of delivering services for people with, or at risk of developing, mental health problems, in order for them to respond to an anticipated increase in need as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Morrisons Foundation – COVID-19 Homeless Support Fund
Grants of up to £10,000 for registered charities working directly with homeless people during the coronavirus outbreak to ensure help gets to those who need it most. Eligible expenditure includes outreach and support for rough sleepers, provision of essentials, delivery of services in hostels and shelters, information and advice.
Rapid Action by the Fore and Trusts Fund (‘‘RAFT’’) will provide grants for high-quality, well-managed small charities and social enterprises with great leadership doing vital work in their communities. The £1m pot will be open to the first 500 applicants from 22 April until 6 May 2020.
Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme
Grants of up to £5,000 for registered charities, CICs, exempt charities and special schools for the purchase of essential capital items required to adapt or increase a charity’s services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yorkshire Building Society – Coronavirus Response Fund
Grants of £250 to £2,000 for registered charities helping local communities (with a maximum income of £100,000) to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes including activities for people who are self-isolating, supplies for foodbanks, small captical costs and loss of income for charities providing support for vulnerable groups.
Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund
Grants of up to £500 to support a wide range of non-profit organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups during the coronavirus crisis. Due to demand some areas as closed for applications (including Cambridge as of 23 April).
Norrsken Foundation: Action Against Corona
Grants of up to €1m for projects or startups around the world helping in the fight against the coronavirus. It funds efforts supporting victims of the virus, improving the health care system or otherwise helping the “billions of people whose lives are, or will be, affected” around the world. This news story is a useful primer.
And there’s more…
There are many more new funds set up to respond to Coronavirus. Please check out the following websites for more suggestions and links:
- Coronavirus Funder List on LinkedIn by Ian McLintock of Charity Excellence Framework
- You can also visit the Support Cambridgeshire Funding Portal and conduct your own detailed searches.
Funding for Organisations Struggling Financially as a Result of Covid-19
National Lottery Heritage Fund – Heritage Emergency Fund
Grants of £3,000 to £50,000 to current or previous recipients of a grant directly from the Heritage Lottery, in order to support the immediate actions required to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks. Applications are being accepted from Wednesday 15 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.
Arts Council England
This fund, which directs National Lottery funding to arts and cultural institutions and projects, is “making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and we have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding, to help alleviate pressure on them as best we can.” The fund is divided into £90m for “National Portfolio Organisations”, £50m for other organisations and £20m for “creative practitioners and cultural workers”
Sport England Community Emergency Fund
Grants of £300 to £10,000 to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the coronavirus crisis. It doesn’t cover new activities or events, capital works or costs already covered by government funding. Costs must be incurred from 1 March to 31 July 2020.
Yorkshire Building Society – Coronavirus Response Fund
Grants of £250 to £2,000 for registered charities helping local communities (with a maximum income of £100,000) to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes including loss of income for charities providing support for vulnerable groups.
Youth Music Emergency Fund
Grants of up to £10,000 for music-making organisations whose primary activity is inclusive music-making with children and young people, and who are affected by coronavirus. Funding can help with cashflow, maintaining or adapting services, and supporting children and young people through the crisis. Core and staff costs, equipment and training are all acceptable expenditure.
Job Retention (furlough) scheme
The well-publicised furlough scheme allows employers to put certain employees on temporary leave due to coronavirus.
The government will cover salaries up to 80% and £2,500 a month. It currently runs from 1 March 2020 for four months and may be extended. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including charities. It is not intended for public sector or other organisations where staff costs are covered by public funding, although the guidance does allow exceptions.
Statutory Sick Pay
The government will pay for 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for organisations that employ less than 250 staff.
COVID-19 Capital Grant Scheme
The Capital Grant Scheme provides a flexible capital subsidy to help Registered Limited Companies (including charitable companies) create or protect jobs. It is open to Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority area. Eligible projects are those which involve the outright purchase of capital equipment (up to 80% for grants from £2,000 to £49,000, up to 50% for grants from £50,000 to £150,000). Applicants must be able to demonstrate how the purchase of grant funded equipment will protect and/or generate new jobs, with one job per £25,000 of funding.
Financial support for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors (including village halls)
One-off Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants (RHLG) are available for businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector including community buildings (but not church halls or halls run by town and parish councils unless the council is the sole trustee of a charitable hall). Premises with a rateable value up to £15,000 are eligible to receive £10,000. Premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 can access £25,000. Contact your district council for more information and to apply.
Expanded Business Rate Relief
Most village and community halls should also be eligible for 100% business rate relief in 2020/21 through the Expanded Retail Discount, which is available to places of public assembly. All local authorities are working on issuing revised bills showing the correct relief entitlement, there is no need to make a claim.
Small business grant funding
The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding via local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
Eligible businesses should receive a letter from their district council. Please visit your council’s website or call them for more information.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A loan rather than a grant – up to £5m is available to businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.