Government Pledges Charity Support
On 8 April 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Government will provide £750 million of funding to support charities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This will be allocated as follows:
- £370 million to support small local charities working with vulnerable people.
- £360 million to charities providing essential services and supporting vulnerable people. Up to £200 million of these grants will support Hospices, with the remainder going to charities such as St John Ambulance and Citizens' Advice Bureau in addition to charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse or disabled people.
The Government has also pledged to match, pound for pound, public donations made to BBC's Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, with at least £20 million for the National Emergencies Trust Appeal. Charities are also eligible for the Job Retention Scheme and many charities may already have furloughed their employees
The announcement has been broadly welcomed, but some charities and representatives of the Charity Sector have warned that it is not sufficient. There is also uncertainty about the speed with which the funding will be available and the application process.
The Charity Commission has recommended that charity trustees consider their charity's short, medium and longer-term priorities in the light of the Covid-19 situation and, if necessary, amend their financial planning. It has also encouraged charity trustees to consider stopping or putting on hold projects, spending or activities so that they can focus on essential spending only
The Charity Commission has a helpful checklist: Charity Commission: charity governance finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask
Charities are by their nature innovative and resourceful organisations. Whilst the Covid-19 situation inevitably brings serious challenges it also brings opportunities for charity trustees to review their charity's finances, operations and purposes, which may result in longer-term benefit to the charity and its service-users.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.