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Funding for charities and social enterprises

A list of funding for charities and social enterprises.

On 8 April 2020 the government announced a £750 million package of funding to support the work of charities during the coronavirus outbreak, this includes:

£370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support local organisations including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice. Further details of how the funding will be made available are yet to be announced.

£360 million to be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. These will include:
  • £200m hospices to help increase capacity
  • St John Ambulance to support the NHS, for Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice and for charities supporting vulnerable children.
  • Vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
  • Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during the crisis 
The government departments will be identifying priority recipients with the aim for charities to receive money in the coming weeks. We will update this page as details emerge.

In addition, the government has announced several smaller pots of funding for charities working in the following areas. This includes:
  • £2m for victims’ charities that provide domestic abuse helplines sand online support, to help with potential increase in demand
  • £20m to international development charities and a further £50m for the Red Cross for their work in difficult to reach areas such as those suffering from armed conflict
  • £5m for leading mental health charities and support services.

Arts Council England (ACE) has made £160m of emergency funding available to organisations and individuals working across the cultural sector are protected during the COVID-19 crisis. It has also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of funding.
Applications are currently open for the second round of submissions and are scheduled to close on 30 April.

For more details visit the Arts Council COVID-19 support page.

The newly launched Barclays Foundation will initially provide a COVID-19 Community Aid Package of £100 million to charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.

Big Society Capital is planning to launch an emergency loan fund for the sector. Around £100m is expected to be available and more details are still to be announced.

Grants targeted at improving the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people and their capacity to engage in education and learning. There is a particular focus on:

• maintaining educational activity and stimulus within the home environment
• establishing and/or maintaining internet access and communications
• household essentials.

Get more information on Buttle UK's fund.

The Cadent Foundation recently launched and is funded by the UK’s biggest gas network Cadent. UK charities or groups with charitable purposes can submit applications for grants of up to £100,000. Applications close on 31st May 2020.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a £5m Coronavirus Emergency Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of COVID-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. You can apply for unrestricted funding for core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable areas. Applications for the initial round of funding are currently paused.

The Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme (CECP) will award small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The programme is open for applications, please visit the Clothworthers' website for details on eligibility and key features of the fund.

Some of the money raised through Sport Relief 2020 will go to organisations on the frontline. Support for grantees through adapting activities, reviewing timeframes, or re-budgeting remaining funds.

A new fund has been set up to allow local councillors to support Leicester community groups that are helping vulnerable people in their wards. For more information please read the press release

Locality is the national membership network supporting local community organisations to be strong and successful. 

Local groups who are financially affected by additional demands on their resources and have expanded their provision for those experiencing homelessness can apply for £5k short-term response or £50k longer-term response grants.

Find out more about the emergency grants fund from Crisis.

EFF are currently concentrating on supporting the organisations they already fund.

Coronavirus resilience Fund appeal to help champion local communities and projects in West Midlands & Warwickshire.

The grants available will help organisations, voluntary groups and self-employed contractors survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and to prepare for recovery.

The John Lewis Partnership has launched a £1m Community Support Fund. Individual Waitrose shops will decide how to use their share to support their local community.

One-off grants up to £3,000, with a fast track application process. Available to UK registered charities supporting:

• the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless
• provision of food and essential supplies
• victims of domestic violence
• nursing care to vulnerable patients

Get more information about the Leathersellers' Company fund.

Magic Little Grants of £500 are available to local charities that support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise. Localgiving have announced that they will support projects that help people to stay active during social distancing, such as online fitness classes delivered via video conferencing software or YouTube.

This fund has now closed. Keep looking at the website link below for future updates.

Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving Expert, has pledged £1m to support small charities.

In a statement, he said: “To try and help I’m going to release £1m from my personal charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK – to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.”

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched an appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that have been impacted by Coronavirus. The trust is planning to distribute grants through a network of local community foundations. Organisations in need of funding will need to apply directly to a community foundation, not to the NET. To find your local community foundation please visit the Community Foundations website.

Starting with a contribution of at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust (NET), the government will also match public donations to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April.

This support builds on other measures announced by the government: the coronavirus job retention scheme, coronavirus business interruption loan scheme, and the deferment of VAT bills and business rates discounts for some types of charity.

The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) funding decisions in the next six months (up to £300m of funding) will be devoted to responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The NLCF will prioritise existing grant holders and applicants with activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis, and helping organisations overcome liquidity issues caused by COVID-19. More information on this fund.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced a £50m emergency fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Fund is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage. Organisations which are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply. The fund is now open for grant applications of between £3,000 and £50,000 until 30 June. Priority will be given where there is limited or no access to other sources of support and an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to covid-19. Fo+A2r more details and application criteria please visit the Heritage Emergency Fund website.

National Lottery Awards for All England
Grants of £300 to £10,000 with priority given to organisations:

  • supporting people who are at high risk from covid-19
  • supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the result of covid-19
  • with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of covid-19 
Get more information on th Awards for All England fund.

Neighbourly are launching a series of micro-grants of up to £400, to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the new Coronavirus outbreak. Grants will be awarded to existing members of Neighbourly in UK and Ireland whose work will involve supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill health as a result of the outbreak.

Power to Change have paused their current programmes for community businesses in order to turn their attention and funding towards the support and advice the sector needs now.

Find out more about Power to Change funding and support.

Details on grants and the application process can be found on your local community foundation’s website. You can find your local community foundation through UK Community Foundations.

Find out more from the Small Charities Coalition.

Sport England will make up to £195m of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This includes the following:

  • A £20m Community Emergency Fund, available immediately for clubs and community organisations. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available
  • A £5m pot for existing partners if they're facing specific financial difficulty
  • A £55m pot to provide support during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust
  •   £115m rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to established partners

Sport England: Sector Partner Fund
Active Partnerships and national governing bodies, on bespoke measures that may be needed for any instances of immediate financial distress. Find out more from Sport England

Sport England: Sector Stimulation Fund
To be rolled out in coming weeks. Stay updated via the Sport England website.

The Standard Life Foundation has launched funding for work directly related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Applications are open to all organisations undertaking charitable work. It is likely that grants will be made in the range of £5,000 to £50,000, however, there is no set amount that people can apply for. The application process is currently open. Funding is specifically for research, policy work and campaigning activities.

The largest grant giving charity in the UK for animal welfare charities is providing an additional £400,000 to local animal sanctuaries suffering as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. Grants range from £1,000 – £180,000.

Get more information on the Support Adoption for Pets fund.

A new short-term fund to support local communities. Successful applications will receive a single payment award of £500 (and food donations) to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups. Visit the Tesco website for eligibility details.

The fund is currently closed in selected areas, check the Tesco Community Grants website for details.

The Architectural Heritage Fund has a useful guide to support available to charities and social enterprises during COVID-19.

Grants ranging from a few hundred pounds to no more than £1,000 to current and past grantees who are supporting:

  • older people
  • hospital discharges
  • tackling domestic abuse
  • food and fuel support for families in North East England communities.
To register your interest, email

Funding for local community groups to supply craft materials, activities, communication tools and assistive technology to seniors to support them in their isolation.

Visit the foundation’s website for more details.

The Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust are each contributing up to $50m, and the Mastercard Impact Fund is committing up to $25m, to speed the development of and access to therapies. The Covid-19 Therapeutic Accelerator will coordinate research efforts and remove barriers to drug development.

Find out more about the Covid-19 Therapeutic Accelerator.

Support for charities working to produce significant impact in youth opportunities, general welfare, conservation, preservation in Africa or peace and humanitarian support. When considering applications, the charity is keen to know whether applicants have already explored all options for financial support, including the government schemes and emergency funds before seeking funding from the Trust.

Further details are available on the website.

The Rapid Action by The Fore and Trusts (RAFT) Emergency Fund offers grants of up to £5000 to help organisations address the changing needs of their beneficiaries and increase their organisational resilience in the current crisis. It is currently only open to existing grantees but might be extended to other organisations if sufficient funds are raised.

Learn more about the RAFT Emergency Fund.

The Indigo Trust is making £2.5m available through emergency grants to help charities respond to the coronavirus emergency. The trust responded to an initiative from charity think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), which has published guidance for philanthropists on how to best support charities through to the crisis.

Find out more about Indigo Trust funding.

The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund will enable social lenders, including Charity Bank, to provide emergency loans to affected charities and social enterprises. No personal guarantees and no fees or interest for 12 months.
This is part of a £100m package of support announced by Big Society Capital loans and investment. It includes small, emergency loans with no fee and no interest for 12 months.

Applications are expected to open in the second half of April. Those interested are encouraged to email or to complete the standard loan form on our website.

Get more information on this programme.

Grants up to £5000 for supporting:

  • education and young people
  • health
  • communities
  • environment and conservation
  • heritage
  • arts and culture
  • international development
  • the armed forces
Get more information on the Schroder Trust's fund. 

Grants of up to £1,500 for eligible small charities. Requests are considered for contributions to core funding or for specific projects. There are no reporting requirements.

Get more information on the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust's fund.

Support for teachers, teaching assistants, nursery workers, caretakers and lunch supervisors who have worked within the education sector for at least five years. Grant can be used to help with bills, household costs, travel or other essentials.

Get more information on the Teaching Staff Trust's fund.

The Yapp Charitable Trust has invited small UK charities affected by the impact of COVID-19 to apply for grants of up to £3,000. Registered charities in England and Wales, with a total annual expenditure of less than £40,000, can apply for funding for core costs and staffing.

Grant fund open - for details on how to apply please visit The Yapp Charitable Trust website.

Grants up to £1000 available to local people, groups and organisations supporting neighbourly volunteering, especially where it’s helping those finding it difficult to access other support. Or positive activities that help keep people, healthy, happy and connected despite the challenges of social distancing. 

Get more information about the William Morris Big Local fund.

Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 to fund capital and revenue costs for organisations who can redistribute surplus food from retailers, wholesalers, and food manufacturers, to people in need or those considered vulnerable.

Get more information about the Wrap Emergency Surplus Food Grant.

The Foundation’s rolling grants programme is now live. The new fund will be distributed to organisations across England that have a promising track record of supporting young people (aged 14-24) who face barriers to accessing employment. The Foundation is also calling for government to unlock an emergency support package for charities and social enterprises working with children and young people.

Find out more about Youth Futures Foundation funding.

The Sports Organisation Support Covid-19 fund aims to deliver immediate funding to those sports clubs, organisations and businesses most in need and require an injection of cash to help them emerge from short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus.

The funds available will be directed to those most in need. LRS is eager to help organisations where possible to sustain themselves and be ready for business as usual when the lockdown period ends.

It is specifically targeted at organisations in the sport and physical activity sector who have a role in enabling and supporting the communities of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland to get and stay active. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £3,000.

More information about this fund.

Coronavirus Emergency Support Fund appeal to help charitable and constituted groups who are supporting those who live and work locally and who are struggling as a result of the pandemic. 

Find out more information :

CrowdFund Leicester is the City Mayor’s crowdfunding initiative to connect people, communities and businesses to turn their ideas into reality. It provides an online platform to share your ideas with the public who can pledge their support. Projects can also pitch to the City Mayor’s Community Engagement Fund, Ward Community Funding and Business Funds as part of their crowdfunding campaign.

Spacehive, the crowdfunding platform that hosts CrowdFund Leicester, are waiving fees and relaxing eligibility criteria for projects created during the coronavirus lockdown.

Find out more about CrowdFund Leicester.