Coronavirus – guidance for charities and not for profit

Published by Peter Barton on 13 May 2020

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Last updated 13 May 2020

The charity and not for profit sector, accustomed to helping others, are now under incredible and unprecedented pressure. As a firm, we actively work with and support many charity clients. Many of our partners and staff are active trustees of charities and school governors and we also have our own charitable foundation which gives us powerful insight and empathy.

The Government have assured charities that their approach to regulation during this uncertain period will be as flexible and pragmatic as possible in the public interest, whilst helping trustees to be aware of and think about the wider or longer impact of their decisions on their charity.

View their guidance here.

We have also identified some useful weblinks below:

Advice for employers

Everything is changing rapidly in our working lives. The ACAS website (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) carries up to date and accurate advice for employers and employees.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Charities can now access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

On 20 March 2020 the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that all UK employers, including charities, can claim 80% of workers’ wages from the Government.  The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means charities will have access to support to continue paying part of their employee’s salary IF they would otherwise have been made redundant.

Reporting incidents

The Charity Commission has withdrawn its Covid-19 guidance advising charities they may have to report a serious incident if affected by the pandemic. Issued last week, the original guidance said if a charity had to stop all or a significant part of its work due to the coronavirus as well as the cancellation of an event resulting in a significant loss of expected funds and/or insolvency issues, a report may have to be made.

You can see the revised guidance which covers:

  • Cancelling or postponing your charity AGM or key meeting
  • Use of video teleconferencing in place of face to face meetings
  • What you need to report

Community Foundation emergency funds

A number of our local Community Foundations across the South East have set up emergency funds to help local charities and community groups, supporting people suffering as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Kent Community Foundation – Priority given to constituted community groups with an average annual income of less than £200,000, who are supporting isolated older people at this time. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. Find out more.

Sussex Community Foundation – Grants of up to £5,000 are available to organisations who are immediately able to respond to the crisis; organisations with critical funding needs; and at a later point, depending on the success of the fund; larger grants of up to £10,000. Find out more.

The London Community Foundation – Grant details are still being finalised. You are encouraged to sign up for their ebulletin or follow the organisation on Twitter to stay up to date. Find out more.

East End Community Foundation – Grant details are still being finalised. If you are in the need of funding to deliver emergency or immediate response activities please email brief information to Find out more.

Please visit your local community foundation website for more information on their funding and activities. They play a highly valuable role throughout the year supporting local charities and community groups.

Charities Aid Foundation emergency fund

The Charities Aid Foundation has announced a CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of COVID-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.

Digital help

The Charity Digital Code of Practice site has been re-launched to make it more user friendly and provide extra resources for charity leaders at a time of uncertainty.

We will be regularly be updating this section of our website so do keep visiting.  You can also subscribe to our charity and not for profit updates here.

Online accounting and forecasting

There are now a number of tools available which allow charities to look into the future.  It’s this forward-thinking advice that should form the key element of your monthly financial meetings rather than the traditional historical reporting.

Importantly it allows you to access data wherever you are and helps you simply share the information with our other trustees.  We assure you that this isn’t a product sell but an important area that can help you see in real time how your charity is being impacted.  It also allows you to scenario plan which is incredibly useful as things change day by day.


The Charity Commission has issued guidance about Coronavirus related financial difficulties in charities and how to work through them.  This guidance can be accessed here. As always, if you have any specific queries or concerns, please get in touch with your usual Kreston Reeves contact by telephone or email.

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