City Bridge Trust gives grants of over £25 million a year to organisations across the capital, but the cash must usually be used for specific projects. However, due to the current circumstances, it is telling over 400 of its active grantees that they can use up to 12 months of this funding for core day-to-day running costs such as paying staff, renting premises and covering essentials such as energy and phone bills.
It is also urging other funders to follow suit and to offer more flexible support to charities and voluntary organisations to help them through the crisis.
It has also donated £6 million to the London Community Response and given over £1.7 million in one-off grants to 202 organisations it already supports to help them offset lost income resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“At this time of national crisis, charities and voluntary organisations are needed more than ever, and the selfless work of their volunteers on the frontline is an inspiration to us all. The sudden drop in income experienced across the voluntary sector means many organisations face an existential threat, which has worrying implications for the communities and vulnerable people who rely on their services.
“We hope that giving our grantees the choice to direct funding to where they feel it’s most needed will provide a lifeline to help them get through the crisis, and I really hope other funders will consider making the same offer if they can.”
Jo Hardy, Head of Services at Gingerbread, which supports single parents and runs groups across London and England and Wales, said:
“We responded to the pandemic by scaling up our services as quickly as possible while cutting all the costs we could. We didn’t furlough anyone as everyone was needed to support the single parents reaching out to us. All our fundraising efforts are directed towards applying for Covid-19 emergency funds.
“We very much welcome this gesture by City Bridge Trust, which helps ease the financial pressures we face and gives us the flexibility to continue to be the solution for single parents to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.”
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