We are curating a weekly Guide for Donors, Philanthropists and Family Foundations which provides information on the funding options for private individuals who wish to donate funds to organisations tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Download the latest issue HERE.

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Check back here for all the latest news and developments regarding how British Philanthropists and the UK Philanthropic sector is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 31st March – Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland’s Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund has hit a total in excess of £500,000. Grants will be given to local charities and community organisations across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland in two stages: response, then recovery.
  • 30th March – James McAvoy has donated £275,000 to a crowdfunding campaign that aims to provide equipment for NHS staff who are battling the coronavirus pandemic. The #Masks4NHSHeroes campaign has now raised in excess of £1.1 million including this contribution.
  • 30th March – Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a £5 million 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 to help them to continue to deliver much-needed support to communities across the UK.
  • 24th March – New Philanthropy Capital releases the State of the Sector 2020 report. In light of the COVID-19 crisis and the likelihood that charities will form a big part of the response (and be adversely affected), this report gives a picture of the challenges charities were facing just before the crisis, so these factors can be included in the targeting of funding and support from philanthropists and government, as well as the planning of any response, to maximise its effectiveness for the country, and for the sector. Important findings include:
    • Charity leaders reported doing more in almost every area than 2017 and so may have been spread thinly when the crisis hit. For example, in 2017 83% of charities said they were delivering services or products. In 2019/20 this rose to 89%.
    • Less than half (47%) of charities believed that independent funders offered the flexible core funding which NPC expects will be vital to keeping them afloat in the crisis.
    • Charities’ confidence on their ability to use digital technology has dropped by 11 percentage points to 59% from 70% since 2017. This may leave them struggling to shift services online to reach isolated people during quarantine and social isolation.
  • 22nd March – Comedian, Kevin Bridges, has donated £20,000 to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) to assist with the difficulties during the pandemic and urged other Scots to contribute to other struggling charities during this time.
  • 20th March – The Reed Foundation and the Reed Family is match funding The Big Give’s online fundraising campaign by doubling the first £200,000 raised.
  • 20th March – Steve Morgan has pledged £1m a week for the next 12 weeks to charities to help some of the most vulnerable sectors of society in the Steve Morgan Foundation’s catchment area impacted cope with coronavirus – and he’s called on other entrepreneurs and philanthropists to follow suit.
  • 20th March – Indigo Trust is taking immediate action to more than double its annual expenditure to alleviate suffering from the COVID19 crisis. To that end, and thanks to an additional donation of £2,750,000 from Fran Perrin (founder) and William Perrin (Trustee), the Indigo Trust will be making grants over the course of the next few days that represent 250% of the value of their normal annual giving. This is the first step in a three-stage process of initial relief, ongoing support, and recovery. Indigo Trust is making three initial grants, totalling £2,500,000, to help alleviate immediate need at both a local and national level:
    • £1,000,000 to the Trussell Trust to support running foodbanks nationwide. Disruptions to supply chains, the impact of Covid-19 on volunteers and an anticipated rise in demand for their services as a result of economic hardship make these very difficult times for foodbanks up and down the country.
    • £1,000,000 to National Emergencies Trust to support their Coronavirus Appeal. The trust will disburse money through community foundations across the UK.
    • £500,000 to the Oxfordshire Community Foundation to re-grant to organisations most in need in the local area.
  • 20th March – Julia and Hans Rausing Trust gives £2.5 million to healthcare charities tackling COVID-19. The gift is being given to selected charities and organisations that are dealing with the immediate healthcare needs across the UK. The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust is a charitable fund that supports organisations and initiatives that “provide benefit to society in the UK”. The donations include:
    • £500,000 to CW+, the charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, money which will go towards their Rapid Response Fund, to provide equipment, technology, staff relief and volunteer recruitment for the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • £500,000 to Helpforce, a charity which works with hospitals and health services to provide volunteers and enable people to volunteer in this sector.
    • £725,000 to FareShare, a network of charitable food redistributors which will be providing food parcels for direct delivery to those in need across the country. FareShare aims to provide an additional 8 million meals to vulnerable people in the coming year.
  • 19th March – Martin Lewis, Founder of Money Saving Expert, has launched a £1 million fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK – to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.
  • 18th March – The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pledged £1 million to a new emergency support fund to help London’s community and voluntary organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus. The Mayor has joined City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, and London Funders, a network of investors of London’s civil society, to launch the new fund – with an initial £1 million provided by City Hall and £1 million from City Bridge Trust.
  • 14th March – London Funders has coordinated an alliance of funders from across sectors to sign a joint statement pledging to offer support to civil society groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The full list of signitory organisations can be viewed on the new Covid19funders website. The alliance of grant funders have committed to four main ways of working:
    1. Adapting activities – acknowledging that agreed outcomes may not be achieved in the timeframes originally set.
    2. Discussing dates – not adding pressure on organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines.
    3. Financial flexibility – allowing organisations to use money differently e.g. buying equipment and covering staff sickness.
    4. Listening – encouraging frank conversations between funders and grantees, with funders being supportive of their needs.