“Charities teach us the lesson that the simplest acts have the potential to change lives. At this time, when many are hurting, tired and confined, we need the gentleness of charities in our lives. It gives us hope, makes us stronger and reminds us we depend on each other.”

This was the praise given by the Chancellor to the charities sector last week – an uplifting recognition of the brilliant work that charities are doing across the UK in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Thank you from all of us here at Anthony Collins Solicitors for all that you are doing to help others in such difficult circumstances.

There was some good news too (for some charities), as the Chancellor unveiled a £750 million package for UK charities to support them through the next few months. We have the details below in our latest news round-up.

For practical advice on the issues charities are facing, see our charities e-briefing, which contains a link to our guidance note or, if you are a church charity, see our briefing here.

UK Government announces £750 million funding for charities

On 8 April, the Chancellor announced a £750 million pot of cash for frontline charities across the UK. £360 million will be directly allocated to charities by government departments, whilst £370 million will go to smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund. The Chancellor also promised to match the donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser, pledging a minimum of £20 million. Catch up with the details here.

Charities will also be able to access many of the measures that the Chancellor previously announced for businesses: click here to see the latest guidance from the Government.

More funding to support charities

It isn’t just the Government that is promising to help charities keep afloat. Here are some other organisations who are providing financial help and support to charities:

  • Last week, we mentioned that the National Emergencies Trust would provide funding to charities through local community foundations. The National Emergencies Trust fundraising appeal has now raised £16 million. Half of this sum has already been passed to community foundations to distribute to charities.
  • The National Lottery has set up a £50 million emergency fund to help British heritage sites weather the coronavirus shutdown. There will be grants of £3,000 and £50,000 available to sites already funded by the organisation.
  • Barclays has launched the Barclays Foundation to support charities during the coronavirus crisis and has already committed £100 million to it. £50 million will be directly awarded to charities helping the vulnerable, while the other £50 million will go towards a donation-matching programme.
  • The BBC has announced plans for a special fundraising night for Children in Need and Comic Relief. Funds will be given to Children in Need and Comic Relief, and will then be distributed to local charities and projects to help those most in need.
  • Other funders include Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, who has pledged £1 million to support small charities.

Civil Society News has a great list of all the emergency coronavirus funding currently available. Click here for more details.

Furloughing

Last week, we highlighted furloughing as the key issue of the week. Since then, we have continued to see charities furloughing large numbers of staff. See our employment e-briefing for more information about furloughing and who is eligible. The Government also updated its guidance on its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme last weekend: click here to see the latest version.

Practical considerations

The Charity Commission continues to assure charities that its approach will be as flexible and pragmatic as possible in the current situation. Follow this link for the Commission’s most recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector.

One area that charities will need to be mindful of in the current situation is the need to adhere to data protection regulations, especially where meetings are being held online. In particular, it is important that those who are invited to online groups give their consent for their information to be held by the charity and that they are aware of how their information may be used.

You can also read our data protection e-briefing on our website.

For more information

If you would like more details about anything in this newsletter please speak to or email your usual ACS contact or contact Edwina Turner.

Edwina Turner is a senior associate in the charities and social business team and has over 16 years’ of experience in charity governance and mergers, particularly in the health and social care sector and with Christian based charities. Away from the office (and when not in lockdown!), Edwina attends her local church where her husband is the pastor and enjoys leading backstage tours at the Birmingham Rep.