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£20m CAF coronavirus fund opens to charity applications

20 Oct 2020 News

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has opened a £20m fund to distribute its share of the government’s coronavirus support package.

Small and medium-sized charities in England have until 10 November to apply to the CAF Resilience Fund, which will make grants of between £10,000 and £100,000.

CAF says that its funding will be flexible, allowing charities to spend grants on core costs.

The latest phase of ‘emergency’ funding

The fund will make grants to organisations working on a broad range of social issues, including helping survivors of domestic abuse, people in poverty, children and young people, the unemployed, and people with physical or learning disabilities.

CAF told Civil Society News that it aims to notify all successful applicants by the end of December. All grants will then need to spent by the end of March 2021.

The money is part of the £750m coronavirus support package for charities announced by the Treasury more than six months ago.

Match-funded

The £20m was awarded to CAF by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) through the Community Match Challenge, and was the largest grant in a process which will also see funds distributed by organisations including The Greggs Foundation and the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Each funder will match the amount given to them by government, and CAF expects to announce more details about a further £20m of funding in spring 2021.

The application process will include “due diligence checks” by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, according to the CAF website.

Charity leaders have previously criticised the role of private auditors in “vetting” charities before they receive funding from other parts of the government’s support package.

‘These long, difficult months’

Monica Brown, head of charity advisory at CAF, said: “This fund represents an opportunity for CAF to help get desperately needed funds to the charities that have been at the very heart of the response to this pandemic, the ones that have been there for those most in need.

“This money will be spent to help the areas of the country where the need is greatest, including communities that have struggled to access earlier funding, those that face cultural barriers, and those that have lacked a voice through these long, difficult months.

“Be they charities or other organisations helping the homeless, those serving Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, assisting the elderly facing isolation, or providing urgent shelter to those fleeing abuse, this CAF Resilience Fund will provide a lifeline to as many organisations as possible.”

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