Key points

  • Charities and volunteers are stepping up to help communities deal with the devastating impact of the coronavirus.
  • This increased demand for their services is happening just as the sector loses a significant proportion of its revenue.
  • Charities stand to have lost out on an estimated £4bn in the 12 weeks since the start of this crisis[1].
  • The financial measures announced for business are proving to be of limited benefit to charities, although they are eligible to apply for them.
  • The Chancellor’s £750m support package for charities is welcome, but it will not be enough to prevent good charities around the country from closing their doors. Even many that survive will look very different in a few months’ time, with a severely reduced capacity to provide the support that people rely on.
  • Even with the announcement of this funding for charities and the Communities Secretary’s announcement of the distribution of £76m among government departments, the criteria for eligibility remain unclear, and we are as yet unaware of any money having left government.
  • We welcome the newly-published Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee report on the financial impact of covid-19 on charities. It highlights the range of needs that will not be met if charities are unable to survive this crisis, and that government support announced so far is not sufficient to protect the scale and diversity of charities that exists today.

Our asks to government

  • The priority now is to get the money made available by government out of the door swiftly and effectively. Funding needs to be used to meet everyone's needs.
  • It is also important that Treasury officials work with civil society and DCMS to address the medium and long-term scale of the financial challenge ahead, and to ensure that the critical support civil society provides will continue to be able to meet need both in time of crisis and beyond.
  • Government must publish the eligibility criteria for charity funding, ensuring a transparent and equitable process.

Footnotes

  1. £4bn of income over the coming 12 weeks is a conservative estimate. It assumes that government income remains stable, but there is no guarantee of this.