COVID-19 Emergency Funding for Charities and Social Sector Organisations

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Cash flow has been a growing cause for concern within the sector for a number of years.

As a result of the Coronavirus, many organisations are now in an extremely precarious position, often having to deliver additional services with fewer volunteers and staff members, while having to cancel fundraising activities.

Below is a list of emergency funds for charities and social enterprises that are experiencing difficulties. It will be updated as new opportunities are identified, so please do contact us if you are aware of any funds that should be included.

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This page was last updated on 05 May 2020.

UK wide funds

  • Government funding
    On 8 April the government announced a £750 million package of funding to support the work of charities during the coronavirus outbreak, this includes:

    £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support local organisations including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice. Further details of how the funding will be made available are yet to be announced.

    £360 million to be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. These will include:

    - hospices to help increase capacity
    - St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS
    - victims charities, to help with potential increase in demand
    - vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
    - Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during the crisis
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
    On 4 May the Government launched the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to enable businesses and charities to obtain a six-year term loan at a Government set interest rate of 2.5% a year. Loans will be from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower. The Government will cover interest payable in the first year. The borrower remains 100% liable for the debt. For more information and to apply please visit the GOV.UK website.
  • National Emergencies Trust
    The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched an appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that have been impacted by Coronavirus. The trust is planning to distribute grants through a network of local community foundations. Organisations in need of funding will need to apply directly to a community foundation, not to the NET. To find your local community foundation please visit the Community Foundations website.
  • National Lottery Community Fund
    All National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) funding decisions in the next six months (up to £300m of funding) will be devoted to responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The NLCF will prioritise existing grant holders and applicants with activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis, and helping organisations overcome liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.
  • CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund
    The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a £5m Coronavirus Emergency Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of COVID-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. You can apply for unrestricted funding for core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable areas. Applications for the initial round of funding are currently paused.
  • Leathersellers' Company Charitable Fund
    The Leathersellers' Company has launched a fast track application process for one-off grants of up to £3,000. It could be particularly useful for funding small projects or to cover unexpected costs arising from COVID-19. Applications are open to UK registered charities who support:
    – the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless;
    – provision of food and essential supplies;
    – victims of domestic violence;
    – nursing care to vulnerable patients.
    The application form for Stage 1 of the emergency small grants programme is now closed to new applicants. It is expected that applications will reopen in early August 2020.
  • The Yapp Charitable Trust
    The Yapp Charitable Trust has invited small UK charities affected by the impact of COVID-19 to apply for grants of up to £3,000. Registered charities in England and Wales, with a total annual expenditure of less than £40,000, can apply for funding for core costs and staffing. Grant fund open - for details on how to apply please visit The Yapp Charitable Trust website.
  • Heritage Emergency Fund
    The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced a £50m fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Fund is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage. Organisations which are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply. The fund is now open for grant applications of between £3,000 and £50,000 until 30 June. For more details and application criteria please visit the Heritage Emergency Fund website.
  • Cadent Foundation
    The Cadent Foundation recently launched and is funded by the UK’s biggest gas network Cadent. UK charities or groups with charitable purposes can submit applications for grants of up to £100,000. Applications close on 31 May. Visit the Cadent Foundation website for details on how to apply.
  • Standard Life Foundation
    The Standard Life Foundation has launched funding for work directly related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Applications are open to all organisations undertaking charitable work. It is likely that grants will be made in the range of £5,000 to £50,000, however, there is no set amount that people can apply for. The application process is currently open. For more details on how to apply, visit the Foundation's Coronavirus pandemic application page.
  • Barclays COVID-19 Community Aid Package
    The newly launched Barclays Foundation will initially provide a COVID-19 Community Aid Package of £100 million to charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.
  • Neighbourly Community Fund
    The Neighbourly Community Fund is offering grants of up to £400 to charities and community groups that are actively supporting communities affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The Fund is currently accepting applications. For eligibility criteria please visit the Neighbourly website.
  • Magic Little Grants 2020
    The Postcode Community Trust and Localgiving are providing charities and community groups with the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £500. Magic Little Grants are currently accepting applications until 31 October 2020. For eligibility criteria please visit the Localgiving website.

England funds

Sports England
Sports England will make up to £195m of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This includes the following:

  • A £20m Community Emergency Fund, available immediately for clubs and community organisations. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available.
  • A £5m pot for existing partners if they're facing specific financial difficulty.
  • A £55m pot to provide support during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust.
  • A £115m rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to established partners.

Arts Council England
Arts Council England (ACE) has made £160m of emergency funding available to organisations and individuals who will need it during the COVID-19 crisis. It has also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of funding.

The fund is now closed for applications for:

Applications for Financial support for NPOs and Lead CPP organisations open 12 May until 19 May. For more details visit the Arts Council COVID-19 support page.

National Lottery Awards for All England
The programme provides funding between £300 and £10,000, and is currently accepting applications from voluntary and community organisations in England. For eligibility criteria please visit the National Lottery Awards for All England website.

Northern Irish funds

Coronavirus Community Fund (Northern Ireland)

The Coronavirus Community Fund is open to constituted organisations based in Northern Ireland that are supporting isolated people over 50. Projects must help to:

  • Reduce isolation and vulnerability of older people who are physically self-isolating due to COVID-19;
  • Support the ongoing wellbeing of older people;
  • Ensure older people remain connected with the outside world during the current crisis.

Grants will typically be £1,000, but larger grants of up to £2,500 may be available for some projects. The money can be used for a variety of purposes, including running costs. Examples given of suitable projects include those enabling older people to keep warm, access a nutritious meal, access technology, or stay connected via telephone or technology.

The fund is currently open to applications and will remain open on a rolling call basis. For further details on the fund and to apply, please visit Coronavirus Community Fund page.

National Lottery Awards for All Northern Ireland
The programme provides funding between £300 and £10,000, and is currently accepting applications from voluntary and community organisations in Northern Ireland. For eligibility criteria please visit the National Lottery Awards for All Northern Ireland website.

Scottish funds

Scottish Government initiatives

The Scottish Government has announced several initiatives to support communities affected by COVID-19. These include:

  • A £70m Food Fund to help address issues of food insecurity, especially for older people and families in receipt of free school meals. This will be distributed through Local Authorities.
  • A £50m Wellbeing Fund for charities and other organisations that work with at-risk people who may be badly affected by the crisis, including homeless people and those experiencing fuel poverty. The Wellbeing Fund is currently closed and it is expected to open again on 7 May.
  • A £40m Supporting Communities Fund. This will be used to support community efforts that are deemed to be vital to national resilience, including projects supporting people at risk because of age or isolation, along with those supporting carers, homeless people and asylum seekers. The fund will be allocated through community anchor organisations and you do not need to be a registered charity to apply.
  • A £20m Third Sector Resilience Fund. This will support social sector organisations affected by cash flow and other issues as a result of the Coronavirus. It will be delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation and will provide grants of between £5,000 and £100,000. The fund is currently open, to check eligibility please visit the Third Sector Resilience Fund on the SCVO website.

National Lottery Awards for All Scotland
The programme provides funding between £300 and £10,000, and is currently accepting applications from voluntary and community organisations in Scotland. For eligibility criteria please visit the National Lottery Awards for All Scotland website.

Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme
The Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme provides a range of support for social enterprises in response to COVID-19. The deadline for applications has been extended to 1pm 7 May. For details on eligibility criteria, please visit the School for Social Entrepreneurs website.

Welsh funds

Welsh Government initiatives

  • The Welsh Government has announced a £400m grant pot to provide support to Welsh businesses, social enterprises and charities affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This includes:
    • Grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to 9 people.
    • Grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees.
    • Support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales.

Applications are now open and invited through local authority websites.

National Lottery Awards for All Wales
The programme provides funding between £300 and £10,000, and is currently accepting applications from voluntary and community organisations in Wales. For eligibility criteria please visit the National Lottery Awards for All Wales website.

International funds

Regional funds

Please note that many of the organisations below will also be distributing grants on behalf of the National Emergencies Trust.

  • Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation
    Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation has launched the Bedfordshire Coronavirus Emergency Fund, which is aimed at helping local community organisations to ‘deal with emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of Coronavirus’. The emergency fund is currently open, please check the Foundation's website for eligibility criteria.
  • Cambridgeshire Community Foundation
    The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund is open to constituted community organisations throughout Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough) that are supporting isolated older and vulnerable people. Grants will mostly be between £1,000 and £5,000, although larger grants will be considered for groups working in partnership. The community fund is currently open on a rolling call basis, please check the Foundation's website for eligibility criteria.
  • Community Foundation for Calderdale
    Grants of up to £3,000 are available from the Community Foundation for Calderdale. To be eligible for the Community Resilience Fund, you need to be a local charity supporting vulnerable people in Calderdale through the COVID-19 crisis. The Community Resilience Fund is currently open, please check the Foundation's website for eligibility criteria.
  • Community Foundation for Merseyside
    The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Metro Mayor has launched an appeal to support communities impacted by COVID-19. Grants will be distributed by The Community Foundation for Merseyside. The LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund is currently open and accepting applications. For details on eligibility criteria visit the Community Foundation for Merseyside website.
  • Community Foundation for Staffordshire
    Grants of up to £1,000 will be made to registered charities, constituted community or voluntary groups, social enterprises, other not-for-profit organisations, and local businesses running projects that clearly benefit the local community. Funding is available across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The application process is currently open. For further details on eligibility criteria visit The Community Foundation for Staffordshire website.
  • Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
    The Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund will help to support local charities and community organisations across Tyne & Wear (Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland) and Northumberland. The fund is targeted at organisations supporting older people and other vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19. Applications are not being accepted as the Foundation is identifying recipients using its current database. However, there will be a second phase of funding to support a wider group of local charities and community organisations.
  • Cumbria Community Foundation
    The Cumbria COVID-19 Response Fund has been set up to assist groups and organisations that are supporting people affected by COVID-19. The fund will prioritise ‘charitable projects across the county that are supporting people affected by the virus, helping to keep them safe and supported in their homes and reducing pressure on the NHS’. There is no maximum or minimum award amount, but the foundation aims to offer smaller grants (circa £250) to community-based groups and larger grants (over £1,000) to organisations offering district or county level support. The application process is currently open. For further details on eligibility criteria please visit the Cumbria Community Foundation website.
  • Devon Community Foundation
    The Devon Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund is supporting local charities and community organisations in two stages. Firstly, the fund will focus on organisations that are supporting vulnerable groups affected by Coronavirus. At a later date, grants will be available for other organisations whose operations have been affected by COVID-19. The application process is currently open. For further details on eligibility please visit the Devon Community Foundation website.
  • Dorset Community Foundation
    The Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund is providing grants for charities, community groups and other organisations working in Dorset who support vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. The community fund is currently open and inviting applications. For details on eligibility please visit the Dorset Community Foundation website.
  • Foundation Derbyshire
    The Coronavirus Fund is supporting foodbanks and befriending services in Derbyshire with grants of £1,000. The fund’s remit may then be increased to include other charitable organisations tackling the impact of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Fund is currently open and accepting applications, please visit the Foundation Derbyshire website for details.
  • Greenham Trust (Berkshire and Hampshire)
    The Greenham Trust has launched an emergency fund to support local charities and voluntary organisations that are assisting elderly and vulnerable people in west Berkshire and north Hampshire. The emergency fund is open and applications must be made through The Good Exchange.
  • Heart of Bucks Community Foundation
    The Bucks Coronavirus Response Appeal is aiming to support people and charities in Buckinghamshire who are most affected by COVID-19. The Coronavirus Response Fund is now accepting applications, with grants up to £5,000. For eligibility criteria visit the Heart of Bucks website.
  • Heart of England Community Foundation
    The Coronavirus Resilience Fund is making grants of up to £1,500 to constituted groups whose services are seen as vital for local communities in the West Midlands and Warwickshire. Examples include food banks, emergency food parcel deliveries, befriending services and outreach activities. The Coronavirus Resilience Fund is open, for eligibility criteria visit the Heart of England website.
  • Hertfordshire Community Foundation
    Grants of up to £5,000 will be available to offer emergency funding for charities, community groups and other voluntary organisations. The focus is on supporting elderly and vulnerable people impacted by Coronavirus. The fund is accepting applications, please visit the Hertfordshire Community Foundation website for eligibility criteria.
  • Kent Community Foundation
    Community organisations in Kent and Medway are being offered emergency funding of up to £10,000 to tackle the impact of Coronavirus on older people. Priority will be given to constituted community groups (e.g. charities/Community Interest Companies (CICs)) with an average annual income of under £200,000. The Kent Community Foundation Coronavirus Emergency Fund is open, for eligibility criteria please visit the Kent Community Foundation website.
  • London Fund
    A £2m fund for London charities affected by Coronavirus is being set up by the Greater London Authority and City Bridge Trust. Grants will be available to organisations facing COVID-19 related challenges, such as increasing demand for services, higher staff absences, fewer volunteers and lower donations. The London Community Response Fund is operating two application waves, for more information please visit the funding website.
  • Salford Crisis Fund
    The Salford Crisis Fund is a responsive fund offering VCSE organisations grants of up to £500 to help address immediate need arising from the Coronavirus crisis. The fund is currently open, for eligibility criteria please visit the Salford CVS website.
  • Somerset Community Foundation
    The Somerset Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund will be used to provide grants up to £10,000 on a rolling basis. The intention is to combine funds raised locally with money received through the NET appeal. The fund is open and accepting applications, please visit the Somerset Community Foundation website for eligibility criteria.
  • Steve Morgan Foundation
    The Steve Morgan Foundation has committed up to £1m a week to support charities and not-for-profit organisations in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales that have been impacted by COVID-19. The foundation is accepting applications and the application form can be found here.
  • Suffolk Community Foundation
    The Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund is providing grants for a variety of Coronavirus related projects, including those supporting the ongoing needs of vulnerable people, foodbanks and community response co-ordination. The fund is open and accepting applications, for more information on eligibility criteria visit the Suffolk Community Foundation website.
  • Two Ridings Community Foundation
    The Coronavirus Community Fund will support community organisations to deliver new and existing projects, including advice and initiatives for vital community services. The fund is open and accepting applications, for more information on eligibility criteria visit the Two Ridings Community Foundation website.
  • Wiltshire Community Foundation
    The Wiltshire and Swindon Coronavirus Response Fund will be delivered alongside the NET funding. Grants will be distributed to local charities and organisations by the Wiltshire Community Foundation. Priority will be given to organisations supporting individuals who are most affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in Wiltshire and Swindon. The Wiltshire Coronavirus Response Grants Programme is open and accepting applications. For information on eligibility criteria, please visit the Wiltshire Community Foundation website.

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