How should funders respond as COVID-19 begins to take its toll on those organisations and projects that they support?
Here is UK Fundraising’s summary of resources, reactions, ideas and responses by funders. We also list some new or amended funds established to help tackle the novel coronavirus and its impacts.
Discussion on #Covid19Foundations
Funders are discussing and sharing issues related to their work and the coronavirus using the #Covid19Foundations hashtag.
— Max Rutherford (@MaxRutherford_) March 16, 2020
What are funders doing?
Many funders are sharing details of new or different approaches to their grantees.
THREAD #coronavirus: At JRF we know we are a just + compassionate society, we rely on one another for support. People on low incomes face particular challenges. Here are initial steps we’re taking to play our part as part of the wider efforts across the community: 1/
— Claire Ainsley (@claire_ainsley) March 16, 2020
Funders in many countries are announcing that they are extending grants, or relaxing reporting requirements or making other adjustments to help those they support.
In addition to obvious operational advice (with a human rights dimension) @assifero has taken action in respect of the impact of Coronovirus by encouraging grantmakers to extend grants and support on-going core costs required during lock-down #LocalAction4GlobalGood
— ECFI (@ECFInews) March 13, 2020
Wm Grant Foundation just converted all existing revenue grants to unrestricted funding for current year.
Huge, bold statement of support from a funder. https://t.co/B3hvtuUGTP
— Ross McCulloch (@ThirdSectorLab) March 17, 2020
Many are simply reassuring grant recipients:
We've spent most of today contacting grant recipients to reassure them we've got their back during #covid19 Great to see so many other funders and foundations doing the same. https://t.co/ouV4QaRQV3 #covid19foundations
— vicki sellick (@vsellick) March 13, 2020
There is plenty of collaboration and partnership underway amongst funders, often based on long-established networking and collaboration systems and meetings.
➡️ *THREAD* – over lunchtime we've had 1⃣5⃣ funders from across sectors (and geographies) signing up to the pledge & committing to supporting civil society organisations in this time of crisis. https://t.co/2JPRLRsKKh pic.twitter.com/RR3Zylm2vK
— London Funders (@LondonFunders) March 16, 2020
— ukfundraising (@ukfundraising) March 17, 2020
Funding restrictions or reduced community fundraising income is a huge challenge for charities when normal practice is disrupted. It's good to see some positive responses for some charities from their funders. Everyday running costs don't reduce even when WHA https://t.co/W3psQnvLQQ
— Liz Carroll (@Liz_HaemoSoc) March 13, 2020
There is also a great deal of collaboration going on between funders and sector bodies to ensure that the government recognises the value of the sector and its contribution to dealing with a health and economic crisis during and beyond the impact of COVID-19:
Huge amounts of coordinated work going on from the infrastructure bodies to urge government to give our sector the support it needs both to survive and to contribute positively to the current crisis. So grateful for the levels of sharing, collaborating and sheer hard work.
— Vicky Browning (@browning_vicky) March 18, 2020
Grants related to coronavirus
Funds have already been established to help those affected by COVID-19. These include:
- Northern Ireland Community Foundation opens coronavirus fund for older people (16 March 2020)
- WHO sets up COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund (16 March 2020)
- Coronavirus Relief Fund – from GlobalGiving’s Disaster Relief Network, with a target of £3,969,248
We are launching the #coronavirus response & recovery fund for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to help small local charities and community groups help vulnerable people and recover from impact. Please consider supporting the Fund Community Foundation https://t.co/Czf6ZqhoKd
— Community Foundation (@CFTyneWearNland) March 18, 2020
Today we launch a new fund to urgently raise funds to help #Hertfordshire's voluntary groups providing care & support for elderly & vulnerable people hit by the social and economic impact of the #coronavirus. Please support our appeal if you can: https://t.co/4ZXBPDY0Bh pic.twitter.com/p9SXsCh0wi
— Herts CF (@HertsCommunityF) March 19, 2020
Because of the volume of funds and grants established in response to the pandemic we have now created a separate page listing them.