Coronavirus update: 30th March 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak continues to have a major impact on voluntary and community groups, and the individuals and communities they support. Many of the groups we support are already working in different ways and are continuing to change and adapt in response to changing circumstances. Our grants managers made contact with all our grant holders over the last week and have been moved and impressed by their commitment to their communities and the creativity and thoughtfulness of their responses.

Tudor has also moved into new territory with all the staff team now working from home. However we are continuing to accept applications (by email only) and we are still making grants, with our trustees meeting each week so that we can make decisions quickly. We are also prioritising getting payments out to our current grant holders: 28 payments went out last week.

This update is intended to give you an overview of our response across three key areas:

1. Support for our grant holders

  • Our grants managers have contacted all of our grant holders, and where helpful have already agreed flexibility around things like how our funding is used and funding timescales. Please keep in touch as things change or if you’d like to discuss further adjustments – email your grants manager directly.
  • This is 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.

2. Short-term emergency funding

  • Tudor is a national funder, working to build trusting relationships with our grant holders. This means we are not well placed to deliver quick emergency grants to groups we are not already supporting. Our trustees’ view is that we haven’t got the established relationships and local networks which are required to do this properly.
  • On 25th March Tudor’s trustees agreed a first donation of £500,000 to the National Emergencies Trust, which is working with community foundations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to get funding to local charities. Applications will be handled by the individual community foundations, not the National Emergencies Trust. You can find the community foundation covering your area here:
  • This grant represents Tudor’s first response to the immediate crisis. We are therefore not considering individual requests for emergency funding, or responding to emergency appeals, from groups we are not currently supporting.

3. New applications

  • We are still open for non-emergency applications from organisations we are not currently supporting. Our trustees want to provide support to voluntary and community groups in the medium term, beyond this first emergency phase, as they focus on how they might carry their work forward.
  • We will be assessing applications against our usual criteria – so prioritising smaller-scale organisations working with marginalised individuals and communities in a responsive and relationship-based way. You can find our funding guidelines here.
  • We understand that the way you work will almost certainly have changed in response to the Coronavirus crisis. It may make sense for you to share something of this with us, but we are also keen to understand what is at the heart of the work you do. What remains unchanged in terms of your values and approach? What will you be building on when we come through this immediate crisis? But alongside this, how might things have changed for you and your community?
  • We can still look at making longer-term grants during this uncertain period (many of our grants are made over three years) 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.
  • Please apply to us in the normal way, following the guidance given on our website here. However we do NOT require that the organisation details sheet is signed by your Chair, Vice Chair or Treasurer – we understand that it may be hard to get a trustee signature in current circumstances.
  • Send your application to us by email: We are not accepting applications by post at the moment.
  • At the moment it is impossible for us to be definite about timescales. In normal circumstances it takes around a month for us to give a decision on a first-stage proposal. Once an application has progressed to second stage it takes on average three months to receive a final decision. We may be able to operate more quickly as we settle into our new way of working, but this is not yet certain: we will update you on timescales when we have a sense of how things are developing.
  • It is important to understand that, as a national, open-access funder Tudor receives many more applications than it can take forward: in normal circumstances just around one in ten of the applications we receive go through to second stage. This is likely to continue to be the case as we make grants over the next few months.

Issued 30th March 2020

Any questions?

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 current grant holders, please email your grant manager directly.