Lloyds Bank Foundation launches £7.4m Covid recovery fund for small charities

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales has launched a £7.4m fund to help small and local charities recover from the coronavirus crisis.

The funds will go to 140 charities in total, which will receive two-year unrestricted grants worth up to £50,000. The focus is on helping charities to adapt their work and fundraising for the post-pandemic world.

Charities with an annual income between £25,000 and £1m and which are engaged in “tackling complex social issues such as mental health, homelessness and domestic abuse” will be able to apply.

Applications for the Covid Recovery Fund will open on 3 August and close on 11 September. 

Paul Streets, chief executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation, said: “These last few months have been immensely trying for the voluntary sector, yet small and local charities are continuing to help the people that need them most.

“They have been developing innovative ways of reaching people, adapting their service delivery models, forming strong partnerships with local agencies to coordinate support and so much more.”

Funders ‘have a responsibility’ to support BAME charities

The foundation said that 25% of funds will be ringfenced for charities led by and for BAME communities.

Given the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on BAME communities, campaign group #CharitySoWhite has been asking that at least 20% of all emergency coronavirus funding goes to BAME-led charities. A survey conducted in April by social enterprise The Ubele Initiative found that 87% of small and micro BAME-led charities risked closure within three months.

Streets said: “Covid-19 has also shone a light on the historic and structural inequalities of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. As a funder, we have a responsibility to respond to the needs of minoritised people by supporting the charities that know and understand them best.

“That is why we are ringfencing at least a quarter of our funding for Black, Asian and minority ethnic-led charities who are helping communities.”

Last month, Lloyds Banking Group announced it would be allocating £25.5m to its four charitable foundations in 2021, maintaining the same level of funding as last year.

The foundations, which operate in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and in the Channel Islands respectively, have also committed a total £3.3m in emergency funding for charities during the crisis. 

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