Foundations and coronavirus
This page will be updated as the situation develops.
Last updated 27 March 2020
We have closed our office but are all working from home and can be contacted by phone or by email as usual.
Events: We think it is essential that we continue to bring foundations together to share good practice and build knowledge, skills and confidence – perhaps now more than ever. Many of our other events will take place online, while some will be postponed.
Webinars: We ran a successful webinar on 19 March about the impact of coronavirus on foundations; members can view it here. We'll be looking to host more webinars on issues relating to the outbreak, and members will be notified as and when these are scheduled.
Communications: We will provide timely and relevant information to members through our usual communications channels (Funders’ News, Trust & Foundation News, Twitter). Register on our website and update your communications preferences to make sure you receive everything electronically.
Collaboration: We are in constant communication with other infrastructure bodies and members to ensure needs are being met and, importantly, that civil society’s voice is being heard within government. We’ve already taken a number of actions together and we continue to support one another in whatever ways we can.
What foundations are doing
Supporting civil society
- This ACF blog summarises five key ways foundations are responding – deploying expertise, creating new funds and realigning programmes, offering flexibility, converting grants, and engaging in advocacy.
- More than 230 funders have signed Covid-19 Funder Statement and commitment to supporting civil society (open to funders everywhere).
- This ACF blog outlines three initial areas of consideration for foundations – the impact on operations, the impact on causes and communities, and the impact on investments.
- This Twitter thread includes some examples of what foundations have been doing to respond.
- NPC has produced a guide on how it thinks philanthropists should respond.
- IVAR has written a blog on what funders can learn from previous emergency responses, and another blog on what foundations can do this week.
- This blog explores learning from ACF's Stronger Foundations initiative and its importance in the current context.
- This blog links themes from ACF's Stronger Foundations funding practices working group to the coronavirus response.
- 360Giving is encouraging grant-makers to publish grants data with the word 'COVID19' so that it can be easily tracked.
- This podcast from CAF discusses some of the issues facing civil society and the philanthropic response.
- NCVO has made all resources on Knowhow Nonprofit free to access. Here you can find support with things like building a digital workforce and creating new HR policies.
- Acas has lots of information about how to work from home.
- Working Families also has information on working from home.
- For foundations that raise funds from the public, the Institute of Fundraising is helping charities think through the challenges posed.
- The National Cyber Security Centre also has guidance for organisations working from home.
- This blog from Dafne has some ideas for working from home.
- National Emergencies Trust has launched an appeal.
- Scottish Government has launched a £20m Third Sector Resilience Fund.
- Mayor of London, City Bridge Trust and London Funders have launched a fund with an initial £2m, which has seen further contributions from other foundations.
- Many foundations have launched dedicated funds, including Community Foundation Northern Ireland and Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.
- Crowdfunder is making it free to fundraise on its platform for projects during the crisis.
- This article lists funding opportunities that foundations may wish to signpost organisations to.
Government and regulation
The Westminster government is working with charities to galvanise volunteers.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales has assured it will be flexible in its approach to regulation during this time. It has provided guidance for charities including a Q&A which covers issues from AGMs to safeguardning, and said annual return deadlines can be extended.
The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is updating its website regularly with resources from SCVO and ACOSVO as well as answering charities’ questions.
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has also offered assurances that it will understand where there are delays or missed deadline, as well as warning that delivery of its own services may be delayed.
The SORP-making body has published new guidance to help charities account for the implications of the crisis.