The Government has announced a £750 million Coronavirus Fund for Charities.
Charities play a vital role in supporting communities, in particular through the current Coronavirus crisis. The Government has set out a new £750 million package of support for charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.
Many charities and social enterprises will benefit from the existing measures announced to support employers and businesses. Under these measures, like other businesses, charities can defer their VAT bills and pay no business rates for their shops next year. All charities are eligible for the job retention scheme and the right answer for many charities will be to furlough their employees with the government paying 80% of wages.
However, it is recognised that some charities are providing critical services and wider support to vulnerable people and communities during the pandemic. They have never been more needed than they are now. This new package of support will enable such organisations to continue providing essential services to those most in need.
The package comprises three elements:
- £360m will be allocated by central government to charities in England based on evidence of service need. This will include up to £200m support for hospices, with the rest going to organisations like St Johns’ Ambulance and the Citizens Advice Bureau as well as charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse, or disabled people.
- £370m will support smaller, local charities working with vulnerable people. In England, this support will be provided through organisations like the National Lottery Community Fund. We will allocate £60m of this funding through the Barnett formula so the devolved administrations are funded to provide similar support in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This will provide support for thousands of charities on the frontline of helping vulnerable people affected by Covid-19.
- The Government will match whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC Big Night In fundraising event on 23rd April, starting with a contribution of at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.
This funding package will help charities providing essential services to continue their operations and to weather the storm until we return to more normal times. Funding for charities will be made available in the coming weeks and further information will be announced on Gov.uk. The aim is to get funding to those in greatest need as soon as possible.
Where charitable services are devolved, the UK Government has applied the Barnett formula in the normal way. The devolved administrations are therefore being funded to provide a similar level of support to charities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.