Brexit: Resources for foundations

With the UK’s departure from the EU delayed, uncertainty continues to dominate post-Brexit plans. Amid this, foundations have been considering the implications of Brexit for themselves and for the communities and causes they support. On this page, you will find updates on ACF’s work on this issue as well as the latest resources to help foundations understand and prepare for possible outcomes.

ACF’s work

We’ve been representing foundations’ interests in a number of ways.

We have been engaging with our members to ascertain how Brexit will impact their work. We have been part of an informal group of foundations interested in matters relating to Brexit, where discussions have covered grant-making, policy development, and opportunities to coordinate and collaborate.

Funding is a primary concern for our members. With uncertainty around the future of EU funding streams, foundations’ independent resources may be under greater strain, and there are concerns about what changes to the funding ecosystem could mean for civil society organisations in receipt of EU funds. We have been part of a working with colleagues in the voluntary sector, led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), to advocate for the replacement of funding that currently reaches the UK from the European Social Fund, PEACE IV and others.

We have built on our engagement with government to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by Brexit. We’ve been in conversation with the Office for Civil Society (OCS) and the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) on issues including future funding, preparing for a no-deal, and other matters raised by our members.

In March, we held a Members’ Policy Forum event looking at how foundations might work with EU-based counterparts and institutions after Brexit. The session revealed a strong willingness for foundations to heighten engagement and stay closely connected with European networks and institutions post-Brexit. Some on the panel commented that it was more important now than ever that foundations are more active, more present, and more visible when addressing issues that span the EU.

To find out more about anything mentioned above, please email policy@acf.org.uk

Other resources

  • NCVO published guidance on preparing for no-deal Brexit, as well as an accompanying webinar that explores issues such as funding, workforce and data protection.
  • NCVO also posted a blog about plans for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
  • The OCS newsletter contains general guidance to help charities get ready for Brexit, with information on data protection and EU funding.
  • The Treasury has offered guidance on the government’s guarantee for EU-funded programmes if there is no Brexit deal.
  • While the future of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund may be affected by the results of the upcoming election, the government has published a research briefing paper detailing current thinking on its design from a range of contributors, including NCVO, the APPG on Post-Brexit Funding, devolved administrations and local governments.
  • The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on how potential replacement funding, such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, can best meet existing needs. It is open until 12 February 2020.
  • The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, OCS and the Charity Commission for England and Wales have put together guidance on how civil society organisations can prepare for Brexit.
  • The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) also has a page of Brexit resources for Scottish charities.
  • The Wales Civil Society Forum prepared a Brexit guide for third sector organisations in Wales.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has guidance and resources on data protection compliance after Brexit for small organisations.
  • Crowe, a financial advisory firm, has detailed further areas of impact that charities should consider in their strategic planning, budgeting and risk registers around Brexit.

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