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Will £750m be enough of a lifeline for charities to survive coronavirus?

Easter has brought a welcome announcement for British charities, with the government pledging £750 million in a support package to help ensure they can continue with their vital work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chancellor Richi Sunak said funds would be sourced from government departments as well as a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, with £360 million earmarked for smaller charities.

He also promised a minimum £20 million donation as a match fund for the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser (planned for later this month) in aid of the National Emergencies Trust.

Many charities are working through this crisis on the frontline, providing support to those in need during the coronavirus fight – It’s crucial for these charities to stay afloat.

To ensure that key charities are able to continue their vital work that so many people across the country are relying on, Sunak said, “It’s right we do everything we can to help the sector during this difficult time, which is why we have announced this unprecedented £750 million package of extra funding.”

Front Line Charities

The necessary lockdown restrictions are causing considerable financial strain on many charities. So which ones are going to be getting help from this fund? Charities that continue to provide vital services, as well as helping those deemed vulnerable during the pandemic will be allocated some of the £360 million government sourced money. These include:

  • Hospices – This will give some much-needed stability to the medical sector as well as increase capacity.
  • St John’s Ambulance – In order to be able to support the NHS.
  • Victims charities – There has been an increasing demand for these charities’ services, particularly those supporting domestic abuse victims.
  • Vulnerable Children’s Charities – Another vital service in this climate, continuing to work alongside local authorities.
  • Citizen’s Advice – Again, an increased demand of people needing advice during the pandemic is necessitating an increase in staff allocation.

These charities rely on fundraising, often from large events which have had to be postponed and cancelled, leaving a big dent in donation levels. These charities operations rely on charitable donations, and when you’re having to cancel lucrative fundraising events this is a very real concern.

Before the government announced its rescue package thousands of charities including St John’s Ambulance were at risk of having to shut down their doors for good.

The Future of Charities

The future certainly seems to look uncertain. Whilst this funding in support of charities doing vital immediate work is undoubtedly a big lifeline for many, there are numerous other charities whose work is also very important now and after we get through this unprecedented time.

There are other funds out there aiming to try and help those charities that are struggling, like the Charities Aid Foundation, but their Coronavirus Emergency Fund is already oversubscribed having been inundated with nearly 5000 applications in just one week.

Charities which help so many different people, but not necessarily deemed vital at this moment, are at risk of not benefitting from funding and subsequently may not be able to prevent them having to shut their doors. This could then cause further problems down the line after the coronavirus crisis is over.

Other Charity Funding Options

The government/lottery package detailed above isn’t the only fund available to help though. Charities can also turn to the following to apply for assistance during this time:

  • he Prince’s Trust and Natwest: The Prince’s Trust and Natwest have announced a £5million fund to help young entrepreneurs aged 18-30. The grants can be used to maintain core business operations and help to meet existing financial obligations.
  • Charities Aid Foundation: The CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund had over 5,000 applications for its £5million fund, which is giving one-time grants of up to £10,000 to small charities.
  • Axa UK: Axa UK has donated £1million to charity Business in the Community’s new initiative, The National Business Response Network to help provide a springboard to help communities across the UK recover as quickly as possible.

Of course, there is also the public to appeal to. Whilst many have sadly lost their jobs completely, or been temporarily furloughed on lower pay, there are also people who are still able to work from home on their normal salary and find themselves suddenly with lower outgoings. No coffees on the way into the office, no yoga class in the evening, or after-work drinks on a Friday.

With the right appeal, these people could be the source of vital new donations to charities.

And let’s not forget other methods of taking donations – Many charities are taking their fundraising efforts online. Their events may have been postponed or cancelled, but that doesn’t mean that fundraising has to stop!

We are all taking the most positive steps forward we can, however small. Perhaps the most important ones to take right now are in our own homes – And what easier way could there be to donate than from our sofa’s.

Stay home, stay safe.

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