In April the government announced a package of financial support for frontline charities during the current Covid-19 crisis. It pledged £750 million to ensure charities can continue their vital work supporting the country during the pandemic, including £200 million for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, along with an additional £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts.
Many charities have been able to access funding, including some of our clients who we have supported in the application process. We have seen various grants accessed, including funding of over £65k from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Whilst several funds are now closed, there are still some open to new applicants:
National Lottery Community Fund is accelerating up to £300 million of lottery funding to address the current crisis. This is not new money, but it will get funding quickly to frontline organisations to support communities and individuals affected by Covid-19. In England it is currently prioritising funding projects and organisations supporting communities through the Covid-19 pandemic. It has limited funding to support as many organisations as possible so requests that organisations only ask for what they need to support communities during this crisis. To help it distribute funding quickly and efficiently, some of its Covid-19 response funding is being awarded through a carefully selected range of specialist partners. Details can be found here.
National Lottery Project Grants has a budget of £77.9 million available until April 2021. Community and cultural organisations, museums and libraries as well as individual artists and practitioners can apply for arts, museums and libraries projects that engage people in England with creativity and culture.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. The scheme is open until 31 January 2021. It is important to note that there have been some changes to the rules, and as a result, charitable organisations are now exempt from the requirement to generate more than half their income from trading activities, making it more accessible.
In addition to benefitting from government support, charities should also consider alternative fundraising methods to counteract the drop in income from usual means. The Fundraising Regulator has issued advice on fundraising during this period as well as fundraising key principles guidance.
This is an ever-changing landscape and we recommend that you maintain contact and monitor key funders in your sector as many organisations have been updating access to support and applications as new Covid-19 restrictions come into force.
If you have any questions about applying for funding or need advice and support on your financial operations, please get in touch with our charities team.