This letter was originally printed in the Financial Times. To add your name, email info@thinkNPC.org.

Given the overwhelming scale of this crisis, the government must provide the overarching response needed. But government alone is not enough. Charities are providing critical support to help communities, and vulnerable people across society, cope. But they are staring into a funding chasm. This virus is shaking society to its core. What emerges afterwards will be fundamentally different to what we took for granted before.

Many philanthropists and foundations are already responding brilliantly, upping their giving and making their grant-making more flexible. But we need more to join. As organisations that work with or represent philanthropists, we have a duty to help maximise the response from the philanthropic world and support people to target their giving as effectively as possible; this includes a guide from New Philanthropy Capital on flexible funding and how specific sectors will be affected.

Charities need to be able to provide for people hit hardest by this crisis, and to expand their services to those who have suddenly become vulnerable. But we must also remember the wonderful work done by other charities unrelated to coronavirus. Who will help their beneficiaries if these charities go under? So philanthropists need to think broadly, be clear and straightforward in their giving, and encourage charities they fund to be open about where the challenges are.

We want to work with government to help unlock the generosity of potential philanthropists across the country. We also believe strongly that the government’s rescue package needs to recognise the central place of charities in keeping communities thriving through coronavirus, and in the life of our civil society more broadly.

Dan Corry – Chief Executive, NPC (New Philanthropy Capital)

Carol Mack – Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundations

Cath Dovey – Co-founder, the Beacon Collaborative

Sir John Low – Chief Executive, Charities Aid Foundation

John Pepin – Chief Executive, Philanthropy Impact

Anna Josse – Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Prism the Gift Fund

Rosemary Macdonald – Interim CEO, UK Community Foundations