What funding is available to charities during the Covid-19 pandemic

20 Mar 2020 Voices

In a time of increased pressure on the charitable sector, Civil Society News has collated some of the funding being made available for charities during the Covid-19 pandemic.


£2m London fund 

London's City Hall and City Bridge Trust have each contributed £1m to a fund for London charities affected by coronavirus. 

The emergency scheme will be coordinated by London Funders and available to organisations facing immediate financial pressures and uncertainty because of the coronavirus. These include increasing demands for services, higher staff absences, fewer volunteers and lower donations.

Full details of the new emergency support fund and how to apply will be published next week at www.londonfunders.org.uk.  

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland have launched the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund.

Grants will be given to local charities and community organisations across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland in two stages: response, then recovery. 

National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund has started reaching out to grantees, partners, and other vital civil society organisations to understand how it can support communities and the sector during Covid-19. The Fund aims to share what it learns over the coming period. 

The National Emergencies Trust

NET has launched a coronavirus fundraising appeal to raise funds for local charities. The British Red Cross will be managing donations. 

NET will award grants and distribute money raised through a number of charitable organisations, for example local community foundations. It released the first £2.5m to community foundations on 26 March.

Wellcome Trust

The Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust are each contributing up to $50m, and the Mastercard Impact Fund is committing up to $25m, to speed the development of and access to therapies. The Covid-19 Therapeutic Accelerator will coordinate research efforts and remove barriers to drug development.

Scottish and Northern Irish funders

A summary of how Scottish funders have responded can be found here. A Covid-19 community fund has also been set up in Northern Ireland.

The Scottish government has released £350m to allay the impact of the virus, including £20m to a third sector resilience fund. This is to help charities with immediate cash flow problems.

£1m Money Saving Expert fund

Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving Expert, has pledged £1m to support small charities.

In a statement, he said: "To try and help I'm going to release £1m from my personal charity 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."

The Indigo Trust

The Indigo Trust is making £2.5m available through emergency grants to help charities respond to the coronavirus emergency. The trust responded to an initiative from charity think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), which has published guidance for philanthropists on how to best support charities through to the crisis.

Steve Morgan £1m a week

Housebuilder Redrow’s founder Steve Morgan has also pledged £1m a week to charity, joining the list of celebrities and business people offering their support.

Cadent Foundation

Charities and community groups can apply for individual grants of between £100 and £100,000 as a new foundation, funded by the UK’s biggest gas network Cadent, opens for applications.

It committed £240,000 to the Trussell Trust last week to help food banks respond to challenges presented by Covid-19. 

Standard Life Foundation 

The Standard Life Foundation has launched funding for work directly related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Grants will be made to organisations which tackle financial problems and improve living standards for those on low-to-middle incomes in the UK. It is likely that grants will be made in the range of £5,000 to £50,000, however, there is no set amount that people can apply for.

£1m John Lewis and Waitrose 

The partnership has launched a £1m community support fund. Waitrose stores will local store will have these funds to support their local area based on the needs of the community.

Big Society Capital 

Big Society Capital is planning to launch an emergency loan fund for the sector. Around £100m is expected to be available and more details will be announced the week commencing 30 March.

Charities Aid Foundation

CAF has launched an emergency fund offering one-off grants of up to £10,000 to small charities and social enterprises that are struggling during the current crisis. Organisations with a turnover up to £1m can apply.

Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT)
TPT has launched a £500,000 emergency fund to support sight loss organisations which are providing vital services to blind and partially sighted people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

TPT has suspended its normal grant funding activities, postponed the launch of its revised grant programme and will use funds previously allocated to its normal grant programme to provide this essential support to partners in the sight loss sector.

Sport England

Sport England, which normally invest more than £250m of National Lottery and public money each year, has announced a package that totals £195m. This includes a £20m emergency fund and £55m to fund new ways of keeping people active. 

Sport England has published more details on its website.

National Heritage Lottery Fund 

National Heritage Lottery Fund has launched a £50m emergency fund. 

It aims to address immediate pressures over the next 3-6 months for those most in need as well as provide increased investment in essential digital skills across the sector. 

Grants of between £3,000 and £50,000 will be available to organisations that have received funding in the past and are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has published more information about its grants on its website.

Historic England

Historic England has launched an emergency fund to help tackle the impact of Coronavirus on the heritage sector.

The aim of the fund, which will be up to £2m, is to extend the safety net as far as possible for the sector by helping small heritage organisations both to survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and to prepare for recovery.


Banking group Barclays has set up a foundation with £100m. The Barclays Foundation will be giving out half of the £100m in the form of direct funding for charities, while the other half is a commitment to match employees’ donations, including senior figures in the corporate pledging a third of their salary.


TechSoup, a nonprofit network facilitating distribution of technology solutions to civil society organisations globally, has launched a Covid-19 Response Fund to help grassroots nonprofits make critical technology investments while continuing to serve the most vulnerable communities through the crisis and into the future.

The Childhood Trust

The Childhood Trust is seeking applications from charities working with disadvantaged children and young people living in London to join its new £2.5m Champions for Children matched fundraising campaign launching in June 2020.

Participating charities will take part in an online fundraising campaign that doubles donations using a matched fund provided by The Childhood Trust, The Westminster Foundation and the charities major donors.

British Muslim Fund

The British Muslim Covid-19 Fund has been launched and kickstarted with the coming together of three charities: Peace and Relief, Rahma Mercy, and Drop of Compassion. They have together contributed £100,000 and are hoping to build on this.

Power to Change

Power to Change is launching up to £12m of emergency support to provide both immediate and medium-term help for community businesses facing a loss of trading income during the coronavirus crisis.

The new emergency support includes £7m in rescue funding for community businesses, offering grants up to £25,000 to contribute towards trading income losses incurred between April and June 2020. It also includes £5m in recovery funding, to be made available later this year, based on learning from the first pot to help community businesses rebuild and recover strongly from the crisis. 

North Face 

The North Face brand has opened its application process for the Covid-19 Explore Fund. The €1m fund provides critical financial support to anyone who makes exploration possible, from the mountain guides to climbing coaches, from Urban climbing gyms to Ski schools.

The Youth Endowment Fund

The Youth Endowment Fund has opened a new £6.5m grant round to support vulnerable children in England and Wales at risk of youth violence. 50% of the total funding available will be reserved for charities and social enterprises. 

Ofgem Energy Fund

The Ofgem Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme  (Energy Redress Scheme) has opened its latest funding round for applications to charities that support vulnerable energy consumers.

The Main Fund contains £2.1m and is aimed at projects seeking grants between £50,000 and £500,000. The Small Grants Fund contains £450,000 and is aimed at projects seeking grants of between £20,000 and £49,999. The Innovation Fund contains £450,000 and is aimed at projects seeking grants between £50,000 and £450,000, that will develop innovative products or services to benefit energy consumers.

The deadline for applications to the above three funds is 5pm on Thursday 28 May 2020.

The Homelessness Response Fund

A £6m fund has been opened for homelessness charities in England dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Homelessness Response Fund is being funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, using money from the government’s package of support for the charity sector. It will be distributed by Homeless Link, the membership body for frontline homelessness charities. Grants will be available to charities with an annual income of under £5m, and where more than half their beneficiaries are homeless people.

The Gannochy Trust

The Gannochy Trust has just launched a £500,000 new fund to help local charities during the Covid-19 outbreak. Local charities can apply for one of three grants.

Small grants will provide up to £10,000 of funding; main grants offer up to £30,000 of financial support; and a major grant can provide up to £50,000. The fund is available from 1 June 2020 and will remain in place until June 2021, or until the allocated funds are exhausted. 

NatWest and Social & Community Capital
NatWest has launched a £1m grant fund to help social enterprises survive the coronavirus crisis. The £1m Coronavirus Response Fund is launched by Social & Community Capital; an independent charity funded by NatWest.
Grants worth between £5,000 and £50,000 are available for social enterprises, charities and community business that employ people from vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.

£10m Julia and Hans Rausing Trust

The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust has set up a Charity Survival Fund, in response to ongoing concern about Covid-19’s economic impact on charities. 

This £10m Fund aims to provide core funding to help charities, especially small and medium sized, to offset lost income in the current financial year. The size of the grants on offer range from £1,000 to £250,000, with the aim of supporting approximately 200 charities across the country. 



The Association of Charitable Foundations is hosting a webinar for its members, in an effort to update its guidance, which will be shared. It has also produced a blog explaining how funders have reacted to the pandemic.

Funding list

Ian McLintock has also put together a list of more than 50 sources of charity funding, which can be viewed here.

Foundation flexibility

Several foundations are also offering flexibility in terms of adjusting reporting requirements. The Charity Commission has also said charities may be able to ask for extensions on filing annual returns.



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