One in five charities faced closure without government’s Covid-19 funding, report reveals

Just under one in five charities say they would have had to close or stop providing services altogether without Covid-19 funding provided by the government, an independent report has revealed.

Analysis of the impact of the government’s £200m Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) found that 17% of charities who received funding were at immediate risk of closure.

This proportion rises to nearly one in three among charities who used the funding exclusively to continue to operate.

“Liquidity issues appeared to be particularly significant for nearly one in five (17%) grant holders who reported that they would have had to close or stop services altogether without their CCSF grant,” says the analysis carried out by Ipsos Mori, New Philanthropy Capital and the Tavistock Institute.

Half of charities who received grants used the funding to ensure they could continue operating, found their research, which has been published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Meanwhile, one in ten used the funding exclusively to remain open.

One charity respondent said closure was likely within six months without the funding.

“We've got 1,500 beneficiaries a day. In a day. So, [if] we're not there, where do those 1,500 people go? And that really scares me,” they added.

Another said that the main purpose of the funding “if I'm being completely honest, was survival for us”.

They added: “The grant provided six months' salary costs of four support workers, and six months' of our counselling costs as well, as well as the support staff, our coordinator and services manager”,

“We were able to ensure that they didn't go on furlough, and that our service users had that support that they could turn to.”

A total of 8,200 charities were supported to help 6.5m people during the health crisis due to the funding, which was distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund.

More than 6,200 charity workers were brought back or prevented from being furloughs and 4,200 new employees were recruited through the funding, the report estimates.

Grant holders mobilised 136,000 existing volunteers to support communities and recruited 47,000 new volunteers.

Minister praises 'heroic' charities

“I’m immensely grateful for the volunteers and charity staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, said Nigel Huddleston, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister who oversees civil society.

“They have been truly heroic, and the backbone of our communities. Today’s results demonstrate the significant role the Coronavirus Community Support Fund has played in towns and cities across the country.

“As part of our wider £750 million of direct support for charities during the pandemic, this government funding meant organisations could continue their vital work helping more than six million people in need.”

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