Charities and voluntary organisations in Wales are facing challenging and uncertain times during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
We’ve seen an amazing response by people wanting to volunteer and by voluntary organisations across Wales. They are doing vital work, giving people and communities the support they need in the face of this crisis – and for the longer term.
Sadly, as demand soars for their services, many voluntary organisations are under threat due to income streams drying up across the board. Fundraising is severely reduced as many marathons, charity concerts, and bake sales have been cancelled. Other income generators such as community centres, retail and hospitality services are also no longer possible.
To help voluntary organisations stay in business, working with Welsh Government we’ve introduced the Third sector resilience fund for Wales to provide cash flow support to help organisations through the current crisis.
WHAT DOES THE FUND INCLUDE?
The fund is 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.
This fund is designed to support those voluntary sector organisations that need financial support to survive the current crisis primarily because of an unprecedented fall in their fundraising and donation income. We realise that many organisations will have a mix of fundraising/donation income and trading income. If your financial situation is predominately because of a loss in trading income, your first port of call should be the grant support made available by Welsh Government rather than this funding.
There may also be certain sector specific funds available to you e.g. Arts Council of Wales, Sport Wales, etc. However, if there is a reason why you can’t access this support as a voluntary sector organisation then we may still be able to support you.
Regardless of the reason for the fall in your income, on top of this the fund offers a bridging loan option of up to £25,000 to tide voluntary organisations over while waiting for furlough reimbursements from the Government.
PRINCIPLES OF THE FUND
- This is a Wales-wide support fund for those affected by COVID19 and specifically tailored for the voluntary sector, to complement the various other schemes already announced here and UK-wide
- It is designed to ensure that voluntary sector organisations stay in business – it is an aid to survival
- It is not intended to duplicate provision offered elsewhere and applicants will be required to confirm that there is no ‘double funding’ taking place
- It is not about replacing lost income – it is about providing sufficient funds to cover essential expenditure not covered by any residual income or by other supportive interventions. ‘The funding of last resort’
- The fund is part of the £24m of support announced by Welsh Government Defrayment of funds will be in two phases: –
- Stabilise – covering the immediate needs over the first three months. Maximum 75% of the award can be spent in this phase
- Sustain and Recover – up to a further nine months. Continue ‘intensive care’ if necessary but also to support transition back to a more normal trading environment. Minimum 25% of the award can be spent in this phase
- Of the total award, 75% is grant and 25% repayable patient capital
- Money to be spent over a maximum period of 12 months according to the needs of the applicant as outlined in their application. We will accept proposals that include a tapering off in support over a prolonged period, using the assumption that income levels will recover in a gradual fashion rather than overnight
- Maximum award £75,000 per organisation (or group where there is a subsidiary)
- Funds will be released quarterly, in advance, in line with the expenditure template submitted
- No repayments or interest charged for 12 months on the repayable portion
- Repayments on the 25% repayable patient capital: –
- commences in month thirteen after the initial defrayment date
- repayment schedule set in agreement with organisations based on affordability within cash flow
- maximum term 5 years upon commencement of repayments
- interest rate of 2% (accrues from month thirteen). Calculated daily on outstanding balance
- In the event of the award not being defrayed in full, the amount to be repaid will be 25% of the funds defrayed
- Where the bridging option covering HM Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is utilised, that portion will be 100% repayable on receipt of the final payment under that scheme
- Beneficiaries will be asked to provide an updated income and expenditure template at the end of the first quarter after first tranche of funding. Provision of that will be a pre-condition for release of second tranche
- Same requirement at the end of the funding period and will be a condition for fulfilment of the conditions of the grant
FURLOUGH WAGES BRIDGING LOAN OPTION
- Some of those applying in the early stages may also be taking advantage of HMG’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Given the work still needed to see that scheme operational and paying out funds, the option exists for applicants to apply to use some of their support in bridging receipt of those moneys
- A sum of up to £25,000 can be used for this purpose. Any such moneys will be fully 100% repayable (no grant element) upon receipt of the final such support payment
- This funding is in addition to the £75,000 maximum sum available through the main part of the scheme and is available to organisations regardless of the nature of their drop in income (i.e. whether from trading or donations)
ELIGIBILITY AND HOW TO APPLY
A list of current recipients can be found below.
MORE ON FUNDING AND COVID-19
- Voluntary Services Emergency Fund – A new grant scheme designed for delivery in a fast and robust way to enable the voluntary sector to continue and expand their work, especially with volunteers
- How to claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- funding.cymru – the latest funds supporting the sector with the effects of coronavirus
- WCVA Emergency fast-track loans – for voluntary sector organisations in Wales to help see them through the effects of coronavirus and recent flooding
- A list of various funders’ responses to the virus
- Coronavirus: advice for corporate fundraisers (English only)
- Information for fundraisers about coronavirus (English only)