Foundations and covid-19
This page will be updated as the situation develops.
Last updated 13 May 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. Check our events listings regularly for updates.
Webinars: We ran a 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 working on a collaborative Hub to enable collaboration between funders; find out more here. 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
- ACF has published a series of blogs looking at the impact of covid-19 on foundations and charities, and sharing what our members are doing in response:
- Covid-19: Results of ACF's survey on foundations' responses
- Covid-19: Foundations must play our part
- Five key ways foundations are responding to the covid-19 outbreak
- The crisis in charities, and the response (including early results from a survey of ACF members)
- Responding to the coronavirus crisis: Lessons from ACF's Stronger Foundations initiative (published in Alliance)
- Stronger Foundations? The response to the covid-19 crisis
- Foundations and coronavirus: three considerations
- More than 250 funders have signed Covid-19 Funder Statement and commitment to supporting civil society (open to funders everywhere).
- 360Giving has developed the covid tracker to monitor grants made in response. It is encouraging grant-makers to publish grants data with the word 'COVID19' so that they can be easily tracked.
- IVAR has published a range of resources to support foundations in responding, including a briefing on the challenges voluntary sector leaders are facing, and a blog on what funders can learn from previous emergency responses.
- This blog explores how larger foundations might taken on seconded charity staff
- 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.
- 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.
- Cranfield Trust is offering free remote business support for charities.
- Digital Candle has free and advice and resources for charities adapting to working digitally.
- Acas has lots of information about how to work from home.
- Working Families also has information on working from home.
- This article highlights some considerations for how to handle the year end, which for many charities is 31 March.
- 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 on staying safe online when working from home.
- This blog from Dafne has some ideas for working from home.
- The Westminster government has announced £750m in funding for the charity sector; you can read ACF's response here.
- National Emergencies Trust has launched an appeal, which has raised over £40m, a large portion of which from foundations.
- Scottish Government has launched a £20m Third Sector Resilience Fund, and a £50m Wellbeing Fund.
- Welsh Government and WCVA have announced a resilience fund for Welsh charities.
- The London Community Response Fund, launched by the Mayor of London and City Bridge Trust with an initial £2m, has seen further contributions from other foundations and is being coordinated by London Funders.
- Many foundations have launched dedicated funds, including Community Foundation Northern Ireland and Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.
- Directory of Social Change (DSC) is collating a list of funding programmes relating to covid-19.
- Crowdfunder is making it free to fundraise on its platform for projects during the crisis.
- This article lists hundreds of funding opportunities that foundations may wish to signpost organisations to.
Government and regulation
The Westminster government announced a package of £750m to support charities, of which £370m will support small local charities, and £360m to charities providing essential services and supporting vulnerable people. The Chancellor also acknowledged that foundations are already doing their part. We look forward to finding out more about the details of this funding package.
A number of parliamentary select committees are taking evidence on the impact of covid-19 on various sectors and groups. ACF has a briefing for foundations on how and why they might engage with select committees.
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 which covers changing charitable objectives and other issues from AGMs to safeguarding. It has also 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.
- Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)
- Charity Finance Group
- Association of Chairs
- Dafne, the Donors and Foundations Network in Europe
- Charity Tax Group
- Alliance magazine
- Charity Bank
- Good Finance
- #CharitySoWhite (2020) Racial injustice in the covid-19 response
- Centre for Homelessness Impact - Covid-19 response
- Equally Ours - The equality and human rights impacts of covid-19
- NPC - How philanthropists can respond to the urgent needs of people seeking asylum
- UK Youth - The impact of covid-19 on young people and the youth sector
- Carers UK - Caring behind closed doors: Forgotten families in the coronavirus outbreak
- CAF - Covid-19: What it means for giving
- Vision Foundation - Living in a lockdown: the experiences of London's sight loss community