Funding round-up: November 2020

Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer survey

The results of the first covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer have been published, showing that:

  • two in five (39%) voluntary organisations report that their financial position had deteriorated in the last month
  • more than half (56%) of respondents expect demand for their services to increase over the next month
  • 60% of organisations said that covid-19 related safety measures have increased their operating costs
  • 8 out of 10 (80%) anticipate covid-19 to negatively impact the delivery of their planned objectives over the next 12 months
  • 1 in 10 (10%) organisations expect they are likely to have stopped operating by this time next year
  • 92% of organisations report an increase in delivering their services online.

For more information read the full report and press release.

The next survey is now open to responses until 10 November and we’ll share the findings in the week of 23 November.

Extension of Job retention scheme and further economic support

Responding to the second lockdown, the government has extended its Job Retention Scheme to March 2021. Furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Business premises forced to close in England are also eligible for grants of to £3,000 per month and £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

The Charity Tax Group has published a useful summary which provides more details on the schemes.

Spending Review 25 November

The next Spending Review will be on 25 November. Due to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it will only be a one-year review, rather than the anticipated three-year plan. The announcement will prioritise the Covid-19 recovery, job protection and infrastructure spending.

Along with other sector bodies we wrote to the chancellor with a set of proposals on how the government can support communities during and beyond the pandemic. These include:

  • strengthening the long-term financial sustainability of local authorities
  • ensuring the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is appropriately designed
  • releasing dormant assets and repurposing the National Fund.

More details on our proposals can be found via the Charity Finance Group’s website.

CAF UK Giving Report 2020

CAF has published its latest UK Giving Report analysing the impact of the pandemic on people’s giving behaviours. The report finds that Britons gave £800m more than usual to charity as the pandemic hit, driven by a large increase in the number of people donating or sponsoring ‘hospitals and hospices’ causes. However, CAF says other charities have suffered during the same period with ‘medical research’ charities among the hardest hit, losing out about £174m at the start of 2020. Issues covered by the report include:

  • levels of donations
  • the causes that people give to
  • trends in cashless giving
  • trends in fundraising.

The full report can be viewed here.

Fundraising Regulator publishes fourth Annual Complaints Report

The Fundraising Regulator has published its fourth Annual Complaints Report, which analyses complaints received by the regulator over the past year, alongside complaints reported by some of the UK’s largest charities.

Complaints from members of the public have increased marginally by 13% compared to last year. In total, the regulator received 836 complaints, compared to 737 in 2018/19. The methods of fundraising most complained about  were charity bags (22%), online fundraising (11%) and face-to-face fundraising (11%).

The sector’s role in the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda

NCVO has published two related papers on the voluntary sector’s role in the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda:

  • Levelling up: the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is endorsed by a range of charities and sets out our thoughts on how the UKSPF – which is expected to replace EU funding worth at least £258m per year to charities – should be designed and delivered. More details on the UKPSF are expected to be published at the Spending Review 25 November.
  • Creating inclusive growth: LEPs’ engagement with the voluntary sector explores the extent to which charities are involved in determining local economic, skills, job creation and other priorities within the local area. Among our findings is that approximately two-thirds of LEPs’ engagement with the voluntary sector is either inadequate or requires improvement.

National Joint Council pay rates

An increase of National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC) pay rates has been announced, with 2.75% on all pay points and allowances covered. For charities that link salary and other employment conditions to NJC, minimum annual leave is increased from 21 to 22 days for employees with less than five years’ service. More details can be found on the Local Government Association (LGA) website.

Law Family Commission on civil society

Pro Bono Economics has announced the commissioners that will head the Law Family Commission on civil society, chaired by former Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell.

The 17 commissioners – which include NCVO’s CEO Karl Wilding – are drawn from all three sectors of the economy – private, public and social. This will enable the commission to deliver on its aim getting all sectors to work together and build inclusive growth, and enable civil society to reach its full potential. Find out more about the commission here.

Impact evaluation of Coronavirus Community Support Fund

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) are working with Ipsos MORI to evaluate the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund. The £200m Fund is part of the government’s £750m rescue package for the charity sector, and is being distributed to small and medium charities by the National Lottery Community Fund. The evaluation results are expected to be published in Summer 2021 and will be helpful for funders wanting to improve how they make emergency grants in times of crisis.

PM’s promise to support the sector more

Responding to a question by the shadow charities minister, Rachael Maskell MP, Boris Johnson has promised to do “much more to support the voluntary sector” over the winter as it deals with the financial fallout of the covid-19 pandemic. NCVO and other sector bodies will be urging the prime minister to make good on his pledge in the coming weeks. Follow me on Twitter for updates.

Guidance on restructuring and redundancy 

The financial pressures caused by the pandemic mean many organisations are having to make difficult decisions about staffing and services. Our Knowhow guidance covers the main things to consider and signposts you to other useful sources of advice.

Funding opportunities

Increasing Access Fund

The Peter Sowerby Foundation has launched a £1.4m fund aimed at increasing access to key services and activities for beneficiaries who have struggled with access due to covid-19. The fund is open to organisations working nationally within four key areas: Healthcare Innovation, Community, Environment, and Arts. Applications must be in by 5pm on Monday 16th NovemberMore details here.

Comic Relief Global Majority Fund

Comic Relief has launched a £3m fund for charities supporting people facing racial inequalities. The new fund is encouraging applications from organisations taking an intersectional approach, working with communities experiencing racial inequality and other inequities, including those with other protected characteristics or lived experiences. Applications close 30 November 2020 at midday. More details here.

UK Aid Match scheme

the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office have launched UK Aid Match funding – a scheme which sees the UK government double donations made by the public. The scheme aims to help developing countries combat covid-19, tackle malnutrition and malaria, and boost girls’ education. The FCDO is inviting applications for charities by 18 December 2020. More details can be found here.

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Paul joined NCVO over seven years ago after working for a leading public affairs agency. Since then he’s led our policy work on a variety of issues, including welfare-to-work reforms, volunteering, the Compact, public service commissioning and procurement regulations. He now leads our work on funding and finance with a particular focus on charity tax relief and safeguarding EU funding post-Brexit.

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