Coronavirus update 6: still standing with the sector

5th November 2020

We recognise the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak continues to have on voluntary and community groups across the UK. As England goes into a month long lockdown, Scotland moves many areas into level three of the new five-tier system, and Wales and Northern Ireland are mid-way through national circuit breaker lockdowns, we have been hearing what this means for the people we work with; from more loss of fundraising opportunities and earned income, to additional need for support in their communities.

By signing the Still standing with the sector statement, we have reaffirmed our commitment to listen to the needs of communities, to learn about how we can support the groups we work with, and continue to think about the long-term. This means:

New applications

  • We are still open for new applications and will be into the future. There are no deadlines and we are trying to agree grants as straightforwardly and quickly as possible. Find out more about our guidelines and how to apply here.
  • Last year 92% of our funding, by value, went to core costs for things like key salaries, and day-to-day running expenses. We will continue to be flexible in what we fund, understanding the uncertainty that many groups now face.
  • We can still look at making longer-term grants during this uncertain period (in 2019-2020 48% of our revenue grants were made over three years or longer) but if we were able to fund your organisation with a longer-term grant we would fully expect that your use of our funding would change over time, in response to changing circumstances and priorities.
  • We will continue with our relational approach to grant making: making grants by building a relationship and developing a conversation with those applicants who progress to the second stage of our application process. Once a grant is agreed that conversation will continue, meaning that we can agree together how funds can best be used over the course of the grant.

Support for our grant holders

  • We continue to be flexible with grant holders around how funds are spent and how it is useful for you to report back to us. Please keep in touch as things change, or if you’d like to discuss further adjustments – email your grants manager directly.
  • This continues to be a rapidly changing situation and the needs of your community and organisation will be shifting too. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to provide further support, but if there is something you’d like to discuss, your first port of call should be your grants manager.
  • If you are thinking of applying for continuation funding, email your grants manager to arrange a conversation before starting work on a new application. Remember we can consider an application for continuation funding nine months before our current grant to you ends – check with us if you’re not sure about the timing.

For general enquiries, including new applications, please call the Information Team on 020 7727 8522. We are currently receiving a large number of calls, so please bear with us if the line is busy.

For more information on our funding in 2019-2020, take a look at our Grants Review here.

For current grant holders, please email your grant manager directly.