Coronavirus – guidance for charities and not for profit

Published by Susan Robinson on 6 January 2021

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Last updated 6 January 2021

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

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means charities will have access to support to continue paying part of their employee’s salary.

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The Charity Commission has withdrawn its COVID-19 guidance advising charities they may have to report a serious incident if affected by the pandemic.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 on 29 September, 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

Funding opportunities

Whilst a number of funding opportunities have closed listed below are fund open for applications:-

Lloyd’s Bank Foundation COVID Recovery Fund

This £7.4 million COVID fund is aimed at supporting charities to recover beyond the immediate crisis. The Fund will offer around 140 charities a two-year unrestricted grant of £50,000 alongside a Development Partner to help charities navigate a tumultuous future.

Yapp Trust

Yapp Trust offers grants towards the running costs of small charities (maximum £3,000 per year, for up to three years) they don’t have COVID-19 emergency funding opportunities.

National Lottery Community Fund

Latest updates from the National Lottery Community Fund for organisations they fund and their projects.

Community Foundations

Sussex Community Foundation

There are three main rounds of grant-giving each year. Upcoming deadlines for applications (unless specified otherwise) is 5:00pm (1700 hours) as follows:

  • Friday 7th May 2021 (Decisions in Summer 2021)
  • Friday 10th September 2021 (Decisions in Autumn 2021)

The grants programme is made up of a range of funds which help to address disadvantage and deprivation and build resilience in Sussex communities. They are particularly keen to support grassroots community groups and small-to-medium sized voluntary organisations.  For more information visit their website.

Kent Community Foundation

Grants are available for up to £7,500. Applications are currently suspended.

London Community Foundation

Funding details can be found on the London Community Response  London Funders.  All emergency funds coming to or managed by LCF – including the National Emergencies Trust and the London Communities Coronavirus Appeal – are being allocated through this portal.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.

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.  The website is regularly update and 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.

Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has launched a new set of simple, easy to understand guides, designed to help trustees run their charities in line with the law.

The new guides cover five key aspects of charity management – a ‘core syllabus’ covering the basics that the regulator expects all trustees to be aware of.

They explain the basics of:

This ‘gateway’ level guidance will make it easier and quicker for all trustees to check what is expected and to find more detailed information if needed, which is all the more important as charities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charity webinars

Over the past few months we have run webinars on a variety of topics to support the sector.

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