Funding guidance - COVID-19
Covid-19 is not just having a huge impact on our everyday lives. The financial impact on the charitable, voluntary and community sector is immense and is affecting organisations of all sizes, from local community groups to some of the biggest and most recognisable national charities. Many of these are also playing a vital part of the UK’s response to the crisis and will be struggling to cope with financial concerns whilst striving to deliver the support required.
Carefully planned fundraising strategies and calendars have been totally sideswiped and charities and organisations are now facing the prospect of thousands, and possibly millions, of pounds being lost because of coronavirus.
The good news is that funders are acutely aware of these facts and are already making changes to help as the situation evolves. Find out what funders and you should be doing if income has been affected but services still need to run to support communities.
Face-to-Face Fundraising (community/corporate and events)
With gatherings of any size now impossible, many of these traditional and successful funding streams will have been put on hold and need to be rescheduled or even cancelled completely. The Institute of Fundraising has a wealth of information for fundraisers on its website that is being updated regularly as things evolve.
Trust & Foundations funding
Funders are taking a supportive approach to both new applicants and those they fund at this stage. Communicating with your funders is vital to keep them up to date and consulted about anything that may need to change – don’t just assume that you can change things without checking first!
- If you have to make adjustments to any areas of service delivery or activities that form part of a funding agreement, contact the relevant funder to ensure they are happy to make any adjustments. Make a note of any concerns in order to cover these in any reporting.
- Look ahead at what funding reports are due and if deadlines are looking unrealistic contact funders to ask if these may be extended.
- Establish whether you have any monies due which funders normally pay by cheque. With most offices now closed and remote working the reality, contact each funder to ask for payments to be sent electronically for the next 12 weeks at least.
- Assess what the impact of COVID-19 may be on any targeted or planned applications. Are the funds being applied to still being considered, what increased demand will there be and what impact will this have on your chances of success?
- Take the opportunity to review and amend your pipeline for the rest of the year and identify how to fill any gaps as far as possible.
What funders are doing
Emergency funding is being released all the time, and many funders, large and small are making adjustments to help and support charities through any difficulties. A growing list of sources of emergency funding can be found here
Other updates from funders
- The National Lottery Community Fund will continue funds to support people, communities and organisations.
- The Garfield Weston Foundation is continuing to support its grantees and will be as flexible as possible regarding projects and timelines.
- Esmée Fairbairn is offering flexibility with payments and reporting dates and is offering grants plus support.
- The Paul Hamlyn Foundation are adjusting reporting requirements and/or suspending them.
- The Association of Charitable Funders have encouraged funders to contact their grantees and discuss how they can best support them.
- Arts Council England will refocus grant programmes to support artists and freelancers who have lost income.
- The Blagrave Trust has written to grant holders to reassure them of their continued support and flexibility around awarded funding and how it can be used.
- Good Finance has released a joint statement from social funders stating their continued support and flexibility for all the organisations that they invest in.
- JRF is focusing its efforts to support people on low incomes by working closely with people with direct experience of poverty and listening to their concerns.
- Nesta will continue to support grantees and will be flexible if grantees need to stop work or change the work they are doing.
- The UK Community Foundations is coordinating its network of community foundations and partners to respond to the impact covid-19 will have on those they support. Somerset Community Foundation has issued its response and support, details of which can be found here
- The William Grant Foundation has converted all existing revenue grants to unrestricted for the current year.
Information and advice is also available from The Fundraising Regulator
We'll keep this page updated, so check back regularly.