Further support announced to assist charities during the coronavirus outbreak

9th April 2020

We were delighted to see the emphasis placed on the role of charities in the Government’s coronavirus briefing on 8 April.

As Chancellor Rishi Sunak rightly highlighted, one of our greatest strengths as a country is our civil society, and it is vital that we celebrate and support the work charities do in order to enable them to help us all through this most difficult of times.

Funds available to charities

Mr Sunak announced in yesterday’s (8 April) briefing that the UK Government would make £750 million available to the charity sector to help those struggling with the crisis. The Chancellor’s speech indicated that £360 million will come directly from government departments and will be allocated to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people. £370 million will be made available to small- and medium-sized charities through National Lottery grants.

In addition to this, the Chancellor promised that the Government would match the total donations made by members of the public through the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser. The fundraiser is due to take place on Thursday 27 April at 7pm and will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Funds raised by the event will go to the National Emergencies Trust.

Huge shortfall in funding

Although the Government has already put in place measures from which charities can benefit, such as the deferral of VAT bills and the availability of furlough, these have not always been appropriate or sufficient to provide the assistance many organisations in the sector require.

Whilst the government funding will of course be welcomed by those charities that will be able to benefit from it, the sector more broadly anticipates a shortfall of up to £4 billion in funding, and faces many greater challenges ahead. It may be the case that the amount of support offered is insufficient to prevent all charities from struggling financially in these difficult times, but ultimately it is better than no support at all.

The government summary of the support to be provided can be found here and a transcript of the Chancellor’s speech can be found here.

If you would like any support or assistance with the above, or with any other challenges your charity is currently facing, please let us know. Blake Morgan has a wide range of skills and teams that can help you with managing the challenges presented by coronavirus. Our charity team has a particular expertise in risk management.

The Charity Commission has been providing coronavirus-specific guidance for charities and a summary of the Commission’s guidance can be found in our blog post here.

If you have any queries about the guidance above, or there are any other issues we can help you with, please do get in touch with Ben Brice or Laura Sherratt.

This article has been co-written by Laura Sherratt and Rob Carter.

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