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Funding to tackle COVID-19 and its impact

Funds and grants are already being established and made to tackle the impact of COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic.

This list features funding to help individuals affected, charities hit by a drop in income, and to support medical research into tackling or ameliorating the virus.

1. Funding for individuals and charities affected by coronavirus

Many community foundations have set up funds to help people in their region:


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.


Other UK funds

Scottish Government

The Scottish government has announced a £350m fund for councils, charities, businesses and community groups. Of this £45 million will be added to the existing Scottish Welfare Fund which makes community grants and crisis grants to those in immediate need.

In addition £20 million will be allocated to a Third Sector Resilience Fund, £40 million to the Supporting Communities Fund to support the rapidly growing and inspiring community efforts at a local level, a £70m Food Fund and a £50 million Wellbeing Fund which will help charities and others who require additional capacity to work with at-risk people.



Third Sector Resilience Fund

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is a £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland.


National Emergencies Trust coronavirus appeal

NET coronavirus appeal

The National Emergencies Trust launched an appeal on 18 March to raise funds to help local charities in their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Charities will be able to apply for grant aid through their local community foundation, rather than directly to the NET, and grant aid and how to apply will be available from 23 March.

The Big Give’s #DonateYourCommute appeal for the NET

The Big Give’s matched funding campaign is raising funds for the National Emergencies Trust’s coronavirus appeal, and is doubling the first £200,000 donated.

Partnering with the National Emergencies Trust (NET), all donations made through The Big Give’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal will go to NET’s appeal to be distributed to charitable organisations and community foundations serving those affected by the coronavirus across the country.

The Big Give will double the first £200,000 donated through its crowdfunding website, with matched funding provided by the Reed Foundation and the Reed family.

Julia and Hans Rausing Trust’s £2.5m fund for healthcare charities

Hans and Julia Rausing
Hans and Julia Rausing

The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust is donating £2.5 million pounds to support efforts dealing with the fallout from COVID 19.

The gift is being given to selected charities and organisations that are dealing with the immediate healthcare needs across the UK.

Steve Morgan Foundation’s £1m a week for charities

Martin Lewis’ £1m fund

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. It has a very short application deadline [which has now passed].

John Lewis Partnership’s £1m community support fund

The John Lewis Partnership has announced a £1m community support fund which will be distributed by partners/staff in shops to their locality.

Asda donates £5m to Trussell Trust and FareShare

Volunteers sort tins in a foodbank warehouse
Volunteers sort food in a foodbank warehouse

Supermarket Asda is donating £5 million to its partners FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help the country’s most vulnerable people through COVID-19.

The measures will provide over four million meals to families in poverty impacted by coronavirus as well as giving more than 3,000 charities the ability to access free food over the next three months as they fight to tackle the impacts of Coronavirus in their communities.

National Lottery Community Fund

National Lottery Community Fund
The National Lottery Community Fund is to commit up to £300 million over the next six months to helping charities tackling the coronavirus crisis.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Some foundations are pausing their current grantmaking activities in order to focus on work that supports organisations to survive the impact of coronavirus.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation is doing that, and has created a £20 million emergency fund to support the charitable sector.


Garfield Weston Foundation

The Garfield Weston Foundation has created a £500,000 resilience fund for small charities, in partnership with the Fore Trust.


Mind has created the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund.

Thanks to £5m support from government (the Department of Health and Social Care), grants of £20,000 or £50,000 are are available for projects lasting up to 12 months.

The Yapp Trust – for the smallest of charities

Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Culture, Creative and Night Time Economy team

Artists and creators and being invited to produce creative work about Greater Manchester’s response to COVID-19 and be paid to do so and survive the COVID-19 lockdown.


Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund

The Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund is offering grants of up to £3,000 for charities supporting specific activities related to the impact of coronavirus.

[Tweet at https://twitter.com/charityleather/status/1244654914330116096 no longer available].

Childhood Trust’s Champions for Children fund

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

To be clear, the funding is not available now. This is an opportunity to join a collaborative appeal and have donations matched/doubled at no cost to your charity.

Charities will receive comprehensive support from The Childhood Trust on how to be successful in the online campaign.


Society of Authors

The Society of Authors is one of the few organisations to make grants to writers for works in progress, currently awarding over £360,000 each year.  The Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust award grants twice yearly to writers whose book project is for a commercial UK publisher. 

Although the fund is not specifically for authors affected by the impact of coronavirus, its deadline has been extended because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Culture in Quarantine Fund – £250,000

Fleabag Support Fund for theatre freelancers

The Fleabag Support Fund from actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge will offer individual grants of £2,500 to help theatre workers in “urgent financial need and unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic”.

Ms Waller-Bridge is also streaming her Soho Theatre ‘Fleabag’ performance at £4 per view to raise funds for her new fund, together with the National Emergencies Trust, NHS Charities Together and Acting for Others.

CAF Coronavirus Fund

The CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund is offering one-time grants up to £10,000 to small charities, organisations and social enterprises that are struggling to survive. This fund is open to registered charities, community groups, social enterprises and other organisations with a charitable purpose that had a turnover of less than £1 million last year.

The funds are designed to enable them to carry on their vital work as the crisis unfolds.

Neighbourly Community Fund

Neighbourly logo

With the support of its partner businesses M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Danone and Coca-Cola European Partners, Neighbourly is offering a series of micro-grants of up to £400, to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the new coronavirus outbreak.

Grants will be awarded to existing members of Neighbourly in UK and Ireland whose work will involve supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill health as a result of the outbreak. This may include, but not be limited to, elderly people, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity.

Grants are unrestricted and can go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials.

Young Women’s Emergency Fund

Young Women's Trust

The Young Women’s Trust has launched an emergency fund to help young women struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The fund will provide relief payments of £150 to young women aged 18-30 struggling to afford essentials such as food, utilities and rent for themselves and their families.

The Young Women’s Trust has donated £85,000 of its own money to the fund and is seeking to raise a further £50,000 to help women in England and Wales.

Childhood Trust’s Champions for Children fund

The Childhood Trust’s new campaign is raising funds for charities working with children and young people in London affected by coronavirus.

Applications for funding close on 22 April 2020.


Crisis’ fund for local homelessness charities

Crisis is offering grants of up to £50k for local homelessness charities who are coping with the coronavirus emergency.

MAD Trust Hardship Fund – Coronavirus COVID-19

The Make A Difference Trust will offer one-off crisis payments to any of its MAD family who have worked in any capacity on West End Bares, West End Christmas, A MAD Drag Night, West End Eurovision or MAD Cabarets.

A small charity itself, it aims to provide small pockets of financial assistance to those who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship due to theatre closures as a direct result of Government advice aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus.

Theatre Support 

Support for Theatre Professionals during Coronavirus is a collection of funds and sources of advice or support for those in the theatre industry. Funds are available from institution specific funders and from those that support the wider industry, including the Actors Benevolent Fund, the Royal Theatrical Fund, Actors Childrens’ Trust, Equity Charitable Trust, and the Grand Order of Water Rats.

Greenham Trust’s £250,000 COVID-19 emergency funding

Greenham Trust has put in place £250,000 of emergency funding which is available for local charities and voluntary organisations who are supporting the elderly and vulnerable people through the COVID-19 crisis in West Berkshire and north Hampshire.

[Tweet at https://twitter.com/Greenham_Trust/status/1242735610500124672 no longer available].

Three campaigns from the National Funding Scheme

DONATE coronavirus appeal for the elderly - poster

The National Funding Scheme has launched three campaigns via its DONATE platform to enable people to donate to particular groups of people affected by COVID-19:


Arts Council England

Arts Council England will announce details this week of how it will “refocus” some of its grant-giving to support individual artists and freelance workers who are losing income because of coronavirus.

It has confirmed that its National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) and Creative People and Places (CPPs) projects would continue to receive funding. It added that funding conditions will “not apply for at least three months with immediate effect”.


Techforce19 is a new £500k fund for technology companies who come up with digital support solutions for people who need to stay at home because of coronavirus. 


Funding for virtual arts fundraising networks

Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy has launched a new fund to support arts fundraisers who have created virtual networks of support for fellow fundraisers.

The Rainy Day Trust

The Rainy Day Trust is offering funding for home improvement industry staff in need as a result of COVID-19 and are fundraising for the fund too.

Funding for NHS staff

Various NHS hospitals are fundraising to provide grants to their staff as well as for patients in need:

Imperial Health Charity says: “With your support, we’ll provide emergency funds to help hospital staff cope with the extraordinary demands of fighting the virus. At the same time, we’ll come to the aid of those vulnerable patients who face sudden and unexpected financial difficulties as a result of their hospital stay.”

2. Campaigns to secure government funding for charities

The UK government has proven very slow to provide direct support to charities themselves. It focused initially of course on supporting for-profit companies but did not follow up quickly to address rapid and large-scale funding to the charity sector.

Consequently charities, umbrella bodies, funders, philanthropists and others have been calling on the government to act quickly and decisively.

Peter Lewis, CEO of the Institute of Fundraising, has written the speech that the Prime Minister should have made to indicate his practical interest in and support for the survival of so many charities that no doubt the government will be expecting to continue their vital role in helping the UK population through this crisis and in the hard times to come.



3. International funds

These funds have been set up by international organisations and might cover some UK workers or organisations.


Netflix Coronavirus Relief Fund is offering $100m to help members of the creative community who have been left unemployed and without a way to earn an income during the coronavirus crisis. $15 million of the Netflix fund will go to third parties and non-profits that offer emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in countries where there’s a large production base. The company is also working with industry organisations to support relief efforts in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Amazon Relief Fund

The Amazon Relief Fund was “created to help individuals who are facing financial hardship immediately after a natural disaster or an unforeseen personal hardship. The Fund relies primarily on individual donations from individuals and support from Amazon.com Services LLC to fund this program.”

Spotify funding for artists

Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief project will match donations up to $10 million and use them to fund the work of artists.

Facebook business grants

Facebook Small Business Grants Program information (text)
Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. “We’ll share more details as they become available” says the company.

This appears likely to be relevant to eligible UK and Irish social enterprises but it is not clear whether Facebook will include charities in this programme.

Other funds are working on an international basis

4. Funds to tackle the coronavirus itself

Coronavirus under the microscope - source: Centers for Disease Control, via Unsplash
Coronavirus under the microscope – source: Centers for Disease Control, via Unsplash

1. Oxford Vaccine Group

Researchers from the Oxford Vaccine Group and Oxford’s Jenner Institute have identified a vaccine candidate for COVID-19.

Because Oxford’s COVID-19 research requires unprecedented speed, scope and ambition the University’s Medical Sciences Division is inviting donations.

2. LifeArc’s £10m research fund

UK-based medical research charity LifeArc has created a £10 million fund to support research to accelerate the development and testing of therapeutics that can be rapidly deployed to treat the symptoms of COVID-19.

3. FastGrants

If you are a scientist at an academic institution currently working on a COVID-19 related project and in need of funding, FastGrants invite you to apply for a Fast Grant. Fast Grants are $10k to $500k and decisions are made in under 48 hours. 

FastGrants is a part of Emergent Ventures, a project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Other coronavirus fund listings