Coronavirus: Charity funders pledge to offer support to sector during outbreak

Funders from across the charity sector have signed a joint statement, pledging to offer support to charities affected by Coronavirus.

An alliance of funders from across sectors – coordinated by London Funders, the membership body of funders of London's civil society – has declared Covid-19 an 'exceptional event', which will 'almost certainly affect charity staffing' and will require extra support for beneficiaries.

The funders said that in order to support charities affected by the outbreak, they will commit to 'four main ways of working', which are as follows:

1. Adapting activities: acknowledging that agreed outcomes may not be achieved in the time-frames originally set.

2. Discussing dates: not adding pressure on organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines.

3. Financial flexibility: allowing organisations to use money differently e.g. buying equipment and covering staff sickness.

4. Listening: encouraging frank conversations between funders and grantees, with funders being supportive of their needs.

"We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that civil society groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities," London Funders said in a statement.

"We understand that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when beneficiaries may need services to be provided in different ways, or when systems need to be flexible to ensure that needs are met.

"We also recognise that there may be further shocks to the system caused by covid-19 that may impact on your other income streams, or require a more urgent response from funders."

“We believe that working together at this time to provide assurance and support to civil society is essential during this difficult period for the sector," Chair of the membership body, David Farnsworth added.

The membership body has stressed its commitments to the sector are not strictly for its members and is encouraging other funders to come forward as signatories.

Current signatories include:

- BBC Children in Need,
- The Berkeley Foundation,
- Camden Giving,
- City Bridge Trust,
- Cloudesley,
- Cripplegate Foundation,
- Greater London Authority,
- Islington Giving,
- Joseph Levy Foundation,
- John Lyon's Charity,
- Lankelly Chase,
- Lloyds Bank Foundation of England and Wales,
- London Borough of Camden,
- London Borough of Southwark,
- London Catalyst,
- Mayor of London,
- Metropolitan Migration Foundation,
- MOPAC,
- Paul Hamlyn Foundation,
- Social Investment Business,
- Trust for London,
- Tudor Trust,
- Wimbledon Foundation
- Young Barnet Foundation,
- Young Camden Foundation,
- Young Hammersmith & Fulham Foundation.

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