On 8th April, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a financial support package specifically for charities, following weeks of campaigning by charity sector umbrella organisations such as NCVO, ACEVO, and Charity Finance Group, amongst others.
The package is a £750 million pot for frontline charities across the UK, including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims, although not all charities will be eligible.
An additional £150m of funding was subsequently announced to be funded from dormant bank and building society accounts.
- £360 million direct from government departments by way of cash grant to charities providing key services and supporting the vulnerable. This amount includes up to £200m to go to hospices, with the balance being spread across various charities to be identified by the Government, including: ◦St Johns Ambulance and Citizens Advice;
- victim support charities, including those working in the field of domestic abuse;
- vulnerable children charities, so that they can continue to deliver vital services
- charities working with disabled people.
- £370 million for small and medium-sized charities aimed at organisations at the heart of local communities such as food banks, and those providing essential medicines and financial advice.
- Match funding for whatever the public raised from the BBC’s Big Night In, on 23 April, with a minimum amount of £20 million, to be paid to the existing National Emergencies Trust appeal. The latest fundraising total is over £35 million. The first £20 million of match funding went to the National Emergencies Trust appeal for smaller, local VCSEs. The 47 local Community Foundations across the UK, including Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland will then grant funding to eligible organisations within their community. Match funding above the first £20 million is split between Children In Need and Comic Relief. The Government has committed £200 million of this funding for small and medium sized charities and social enterprises. Funding will help maintain and enhance services for vulnerable people affected by the current crisis, where delivery organisations are experiencing income disruption and/or increased demand. Funding is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, alongside its own funding. Applications opened on Friday 22 May 2020. Several specific funds have now been announced, including:
- a Covid-19 Food Charity Grant Scheme,
- support for the Citizens Advice service to boost advice provision,
- a Zoos Support Fund,
- support for charities providing meals for those in need,
- a funding package for charities working with Domestic Abuse Survivors and Survivors of Sexual Violence,
- a fund for modern slavery charities,
- a fund to support health charities including mental health, ambulance, social care, learning disabilities, autism and dementia charities,
- a fund to support work to safeguard vulnerable children including children with disabilities, those who are critically ill, care leavers and children in the early years,
- support for Armed Forces charities and Community Interest Companies (CICs) who are delivering services to veterans, Armed Forces families and others from the Armed Forces community
- support for charities providing legal advice.
- a number of other sector-specific funds have also been announced, with details for all the available funds and how to apply for them, listing the current funding opportunities open for applications can be found on the government website.
What does this mean for the charities
It has been estimated that through the enforced closure of charity shops and cancellation of fundraising events, coupled with the inability of many charities to obtain support under other government support schemes, charities stand to lose a minimum of £4.3 billion over a 12 week duration as a result of the crises.
So whilst any additional funding for the sector is welcome news, there are already serious questions as to whether this support package will be remotely sufficient to address the severe funding shortfall faced by many charities, and may be “too little too late” for some organisations.
Funding news for larger community relief charities
Barclays Bank have launched a new package of funding support for charities providing on the ground relief for vulnerable people the community as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak. Charities with an income of over £1m can apply for one of the 10 £100k packages on offer. Applications must be made online and close on 22 May 2020 with funds expected to be distributed in June to the successful applicants. For more information visit Barclays Bank support hub.
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