COVID-19: Martin Lewis offers £1m fund for small and local charities

Empty shelves at Sainsbury's in March 2020 due to the coronavirus impact
Empty shelves during the first month of the pandemic. Photo: Howard Lake

Martin Lewis (the Money Saving Expert) has launched a £1m fund to provide grants to small and local charities who are directly helping with the COVID-19 response.
The money is from his own personal charity fund.
His fund is offering grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK who are directly helping with the COVID-19 response in terms of poverty relief.
Likely recipients will include:

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Lewis said “My hope is to get the money distributed within the next couple of weeks, and I’m looking for projects that are up and running, or are in the process of being set up – as we want to deliver help at speed.” 
The deadline for applications is appropriately urgent: it is less than a week away on 25 March. Fortunately the application process is very simple and does not require lots of information.
Lewis added: “Please ONLY apply for funds for specific coronavirus projects; there’s no point chancing your arm for other charity projects, no matter how good, it will just slow us down in making grants where needed.”
Details, including the application form, are on Money Saving Expert.

Matched giving from major donors

Lewis has also publicly invited other individuals or organisations to contribute matched gifts of “min £10,000 pls, max £100bn – well, I can hope”).
He explained: “That isn’t for a second to snub donations that are smaller than that, charities really do need them, but we don’t have the infrastructure to deal with them, so please do give directly to the charities yourself.”
He is also aware of the a National Emergencies Trust coronavirus appeal, announced by Prince William yesterday, but thinks the two appeals have different approaches so is maintaining his fund, not least because it gives eligible charities a second bite at the cherry.