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Funder responses in light of the COVID-19 virus

Published : 20/04/20 | Categories: Funding |

We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation for the UK in modern times, as communities, voluntary organisations and funders navigate their ways through social-distancing, self-isolating and home working to a scale few people are used to.  

NB: If you are looking for funds to apply to, see our dedicated Coronavirus page on Funding Wales

A large number of England based funders (many funding projects across the UK) are taking a coordinated approach to their response to the Covid-19 virus and its impacts on voluntary sector organisations. The essential points are that these funders are committed to supporting their grant recipients by being flexible with grants and reporting deadlines and listening to the needs of their recipients.

The full statement and list of funders involved can be found here. It includes key funders including (with their individual statements accessible by following the links in brackets):

If you are funded by any of the organisations on the full list, you are encouraged to contact them as and when you need to.

Below is a summary of the statements being made by key funders for Wales. We will update the summary regularly. If your funder isn’t listed here and you haven’t heard from them, please contact them directly (email is probably the best method if we assume all funders are currently working remotely). Funders are listed alphabetically:

Architectural Heritage Fund Wales – Updated

Continuing taking applications and assessments as advertised. They are encouraging grant holders, loan recipients and applicants to contact them directly if they have any concerns. AHF have now produced a guide of support and funding available for organisations.

Arts Council for Wales 

On 7 April, Arts Council for Wales announced more information on their Arts Resilience Fund, including the support available for individuals and organisations to help them through the Coronavirus crisis.

Together with the Welsh Government, they’ve reallocated money from existing budgets to create an urgent response fund of £7.0 million with £5.1 million coming from National Lottery derived sources.

On Tuesday 21 April 2020  applications will open for the Stabilisation Fund for Organisations.

Further details about the resilience fund can be found here. 

Community Foundation Wales – Updated

If you are in receipt of a grant from CFW and need to delay or make changes to project delivery due to the Covid-19 outbreak, then please get in touch with them by e-mailing adding the name of your organisation and the fund from which you have been offered a grant in the subject line.

The Foundation have funding that they are making available to support charities and community groups continue to support their communities and vulnerable people. To ensure the funding they distribute goes to where it’s needed, they are consulting with the Welsh third sector to assess their immediate and ongoing needs. You can complete this short survey here.

The total funding available through the  Wales Coronavirus Resilience Fund has now reached £1m. As such, CFW have been able to expand the eligibility criteria and spend for the fund to:

  • Grants of between £500 and £2,000 are available for groups with an annual income of up to £200,000
  • Grants of up to £5,000 are available for groups with an annual income of between £201,000 and £500,000

Organisations can apply here.

Clocaenog Community Fund

The Fund has made funding available for groups providing support on the front line. See Funding Wales for further information and how to apply.

Gwynt y Môr Community Fund

The Fund has made funding available for groups providing support on the front line. See Funding Wales for further information and how to apply.

National Lottery Community Fund

Following consultation with grant holders, the fund has made two decisions.

  • Firstly, all the funding decisions we make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis.
  • They will accelerate the cash part of this funding as much as we can, so that we can get money to where it needs to be. This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.

To reach those groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time, we will prioritise the following faster payments for existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

  • Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
  • Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.

NB: The National Lottery Community Fund are responding as one funder as opposed to four devolved offices. As such, the £300m figure is across the whole UK.

Full statement and updates

National Lottery Heritage Fund – Updated

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As well as the Heritage Emergency Fund, they will also support the sector in the following ways:

  • Accelerating the provision of their £1.2m Digital Skills for Heritage initiative to help the sector through the crisis and beyond.
  • By continuing to support the 2,500 projects they have already committed to funding.
  • By being as flexible as possible for their existing grantees.
  • By providing bespoke advice and support.
  • A £2m commitment to their network of ROSS consultants in the new financial year. They will direct that support to organisations in need. In doing so they are also helping several hundred freelancers and self-employed people.
  • Working closely with the Government, other funders and heritage organisations to bring together support for the sector.
  • In the longer term, going ahead with the £4m invested in two Enterprise Development programmes across the UK for heritage leaders, and Business Support Programmes in all four countries.

For further information on the fund(s) and how to apply, visit Funding Wales or the National Lottery Heritage Fund website. NB: applications are completed online and must be completed in one session. Organisations must make use of the application support online in order to be fully prepared to complete the application form.

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund CIC recognises that Coronavirus (COVID-19) will have a big impact on communities across The Fund area.  We want to reassure you that we will do whatever we can to support you in the coming weeks. All meetings and appointment days are being done remotely via telephone, video calls and email.

The Fund is making emergency, fast-track funding available for organisations in the Fund area. There will be two strands:

  • Survival Fund: to provide emergency cashflow funding for organisations at risk of closure
  • Project Fund: to support additional services that meet immediate community needs

Our funding will not replace any Government support available – we will ask you to tell us what other assistance you have explored or will be receiving from all other sources, and we may signpost you to other more relevant and applicable funding support.

Full statement

Sport Wales

Sport Wales have announced a £400,000 Emergency Relief Fund to support not-for-profit sport clubs. The funding is formed from £200,000 investment from Welsh Government which has been matched with an additional £200,000 from Sport Wales.

Sport Wales and Welsh Government have worked together to identify an initial fund of up to £8.1million in addition to the Emergency Relief Fund. This will be used to support sports clubs and our well-established partner networks who are so vital in ensuring the nation is able to remain active and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that sport brings. Sport Wales will continue to seek the views of the sector to shape further requirements and ensure that this fund compliments the other support programmes available from Welsh Government.

Details on how to apply are currently being finalised. For further information about the fund, please visit the Sport Wales website.

Questions or queries about existing grants and applications should be sent to:

Steve Morgan Foundation

Suspending normal applications in order to focus on delivering their Emergency Fund. £12m being made available over next 12 weeks for charities delivering additional emergency services and those experiencing a loss in fundraised income to stay operational.

WCVA – Updated

For grants/funds:

The health and wellbeing of all is the most important thing at this time which means if you have to reduce or stop project activity to safeguard staff and/or those that you work with, we fully understand. We continue to make representations to funders, including Welsh Government and WEFO, that they will need to show understanding and flexibility.

The responses to date to these representations have been supportive and appreciative of the difficult circumstances that we find ourselves in. We ask that you keep us informed and then at a point in the future when things are clearer, we can work through the impact and changes to your project.

New Funds:

The Voluntary Services Emergency Fund is part of the Welsh Government’s Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund which was announced on 27 March 2020. The fund is for voluntary organisations with costs associated with the increase in volunteering activities and adapting service needs in response to Coronavirus. This fund will ensure that voluntary organisations have the resources needed to deliver vital services for their communities at this time.

The Third Sector Resilience Fund for Wales is now open. The fund is also part of the £24m of support announced by Welsh Government and will involve a blend of 75% grant and 25% initially interest free loan to be available to incorporated voluntary sector organisations towards the costs of ongoing revenue expenditure, including salaries. Organisations can apply for up to £75,000.

WCVA welcomed the announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer pledging funding to the voluntary sector across the UK although knows that this commitment won’t come close to addressing the significant loss in income being experienced by organisations across the board. WCVA is continuing to work together with organisations from across the voluntary sector in Wales to identify and gather evidence how the sector and our communities are being impacted by the Coronavirus.  WCVA will use this evidence in discussion with Welsh Government to help inform how Wales’ share of this financial support can be used most effectively.

Applications to all grant schemes being delivered by WCVA in response to the Coronavirus crisis will be done through MAP. Groups and organisations are encouraged to register with MAP.

Waterloo Foundation – Updated

The Waterloo Foundation team are working remotely; normal communication lines remain open. Phone calls will be passed on to grantees’ normal Fund Manager.

They will be making grant payments and reviewing applications in line with their funding criteria as usual. They are also encouraging current grant holders to contact their Fund Manager about how they can help, for example by moving payment or reporting dates, or anything else.

The Foundation has made a £200,000 contribution to Community Foundation Wales’ Wales Coronavirus Relief Fund to support Welsh community groups responding to the crisis.

Full statement

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