Funding during COVID-19

New funding opportunities are opening up daily. Some funders are simplifying their processes for new applicants and providing flexibility for existing grantees. So that you can keep pace, we have curated the key resources you will need.

Our top tips for your organisation are:

Bucks Funding Search

Register for free to access full details of available funding.  This includes both coronavirus-specific funds as well as ongoing as more general funds.

Top tips:

  • You must enter the type of organisation, whether a registered charity or CIO, a Community Interest Company (CIC) or a voluntary and community group. All other search fields are optional.
  • Try a keyword search using ‘covid’ or ‘coronavirus’.
  • Once you have carried out a search, use ‘Filter by status’ to see only funds that are open for applications.
  • Save the search and set up an e-mail alert so that you get updates when funds are changed or new funds meeting your search criteria are added.
  • There’s a helpful Jargonbuster to help you understand funderspeak!
  • Check the “News” tab for new announcements and funds updated daily.
  • For more details on how to get the best out of the database check out the User Guide and the ‘Help & advice’ tab
  • You’ll find more useful information under the “Help” tab.

Top tips on making a funding application

Although funders are looking to be supportive and flexible during this period, remember the basics still apply to making a strong application:

  • Make sure that your organisation and project are eligible – most funders will have published eligibility criteria, sometimes called ‘what we won’t fund’
  • Understand what the funder is looking to achieve with their funding – is your project a good fit?
  • Provide the evidence of why your project is needed and the difference that it will make to your beneficiaries
  • Check the deadlines for making an application, how to submit an application and what additional information you will need to supply
  • For more help with making a good application

Latest COVID-19 funds

A range of new funds have been launched to help organisations deal with the crisis, as well as existing funds which have been refocused. The National Community Lottery have prioritised their funding on projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

A selection of the other latest funds is shown below.

Charity Excellence Framework is collating a national list of Coronavirus-specific funding. To access the list in a database register on the Charity Excellence Framework website, which also contains other resources and toolkits.

New fund announcements are also included in the “News” tab of the Bucks Funding Search database (top tip: you can set up an e-mail alert to get updates when new funds meeting your search criteria are added.)

Selection of the latest funds:

Local

Supporting the vulnerable

  • LGBT+ Futures Fund: small grants of up to £5,000 and large grants of between £5,001 and £15,000 for non-profit LGBT+ organisations to address the additional needs of LGBT+ people and communities most adversely impacted by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic
  • Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response: grants of £5,000 to £60,000 for organisations affected by COVID-19 to support them to develop the digital, data and design capabilities to serve the most vulnerable (deadlines 20th September 2020, 5pm Discovery Programme and 20th September 2020, 5pm Development Programme)
  • Independent Age Grants Fund: grants of £5,000 to £15,000 for smaller charities supporting older people living in complex and challenging situations and older people in danger of being out of sight and out of mind (deadline 11 Sep)
  • Phoenix Fund: flexible core funding for small (under £100k) BAME grassroots groups led by representatives of BAME communities and working within them to support participants and communities of any age (deadlines 16th and 30th September)
  • Volant Charitable Trust – COVID-19 Response Fund: Registered charities, CICs and community organisations may apply to alleviate social deprivation and support vulnerable groups affected by the coronavirus pandemic
  • Lloyds Bank Foundation Covid Recovery Fund: two-year unrestricted grants up to £50,000 for smaller charities between £25,000 and £1 million helping people with complex social issues e.g. mental health, homelessness and domestic abuse, with reserved funding for charities that are led by and for BAME people (11th September 2020)
  • Comic Relief COVID-19 Community Fund: grants of £4,000 for projects and £1000 for capacity building for local grassroots organisations responding to the needs of vulnerable individuals, families and communities in one of Comic Relief’s strategic themes which include mental health and gender justice 
  • Assura Community Fund: grants up to £5000 for health and wellbeing activities in areas local to Assura-owned healthcare buildings (see postcode checker) that help vulnerable and disadvantaged people who may have experienced bereavement, trauma or mental health issues arising from COVID-19 pandemic  (deadline 14 September 2020)
  • Comic Relief – Change Makers: grants between £150,000 and £600,000 for three to five years for proposals to make lasting change related to the social change themes of homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development in the wake of coronavirus/COVID-19 (deadline extended to noon 25 September)
  • Inspiring Futures Programme: grants between £10,000 and £80,000 for projects that work with young people aged 10 to 24 to improve the employment prospects of children and young people who face discrimination or disadvantage, exacerbated by Covid-19
  • The 7Stars Foundation: grants to support projects by organisations under £1.5m aimed at young people challenged by abuse and addiction, those who are young carers, and those without safe homes
  • Foyle Foundation Small Grants: One-year grants up to £10,000 for small charities under £150,000 delivering services to the young, vulnerable, elderly, disadvantaged or the general community either directly or through online support
  • Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund: grants of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups (deadline 18 September and some areas are closed for applications)
  • Persimmon Community Champions: grants of up to £1,000 to groups supporting over 70s
  • Barrow Cadbury COVID-19 Support Fund: reopens with grants up to £50,000 or three months’ expenditure, whichever is the smaller, to charities or CICs between £10,000 and £3 million that provide services and support targeted at refugees and migrants 

General

  • The Social Enterprise Support Fund:  grants between £10,000 and £300,000 for incorporated organisations mainly reliant on trading income supporting people at high health risk from COVID-19, or people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19 (opens 10 September and closes 1pm 17 September)

Other sectors

Government support

£750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities
On 8th April the Chancellor announced a £750m package to provide financial support to charities during the coronavirus pandemic. We are still waiting to hear the details. Here’s what we know so far:

  • A total of £750 million will be made available for frontline charities across the UK.
  • Out this pot, £360 million will go to charities directly, including St John’s Ambulance, Citizens Advice, hospices and organisations helping victims of domestic abuse.
  • £370 million of the funding has been designated for smaller charities working with vulnerable people. This will be distributed through the National Lottery Community Fund.
  • The Government will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser later this month, pledging a minimum of £20 million.When further details are available, we will advise on eligibility and the application process.

Coronavirus Job Retention scheme

The Government scheme applies to all UK employers with a PAYE scheme (including charities and Community Interest Companies) to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. The grant from HMRC covers wages equal to the lower of 80% of the employee’s regular salary or £2,500 per month, plus the associated employer NI and pension (minimum automatic enrolment) contributions.

For full details of the scheme see the Government guidance. Additional information is available from ACAS and CIPD.

For advice tailored to the voluntary sector, the Charity Finance Group has published a thorough Q & A to help charities better understand how the furlough scheme operates.

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Government has introduced a package of measures to assist businesses, some of which may also be applicable to charities. See the guidance here and the Charity Tax group’s Coronavirus information hub. You can also use the government’s business support finder tool.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

The Association of Education Business Professionals has produced a useful checklist which you can use to review your eligibility for Government-funded business support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While not specifically for the voluntary sector, the checklist covers the following areas which may be applicable to your organisation:

  • Income and employment support, including Job Retention Scheme
  • Business rates
  • Grants and finances
  • Taxation