Updated 31st Mar 2020

Funder responses in light of the Covid-19 virus

27/03/2020 

We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation for the UK in modern times, as communities, voluntary organisations and funders navigate their ways through social-distancing, self-isolating and home working to a scale few people are used to.

NB: If you are looking for funds to apply to, see our dedicated Coronavirus page on Funding Wales

A large number of England based funders (many funding projects across the UK) are taking a coordinated approach to their response to the Covid-19 virus and its impacts on voluntary sector organisations. The essential points are that these funders are committed to supporting their grant recipients by being flexible with grants and reporting deadlines and listening to the needs of their recipients.

The full statement and list of funders involved can be found here. It includes key funders including (with their individual statements accessible by following the links in brackets):

If you are funded by any of the organisations on the full list, you are encouraged to contact them as and when you need to.

Below is a summary of the statements being made by key funders for Wales. We will update the summary regularly. If your funder isn’t listed here and you haven’t heard from them, please contact them directly (email is probably the best method if we assume all funders are currently working remotely). Funders are listed alphabetically: 

Architectural Heritage Fund Wales

Continuing taking applications and assessments as advertised. They are encouraging grant holders, loan recipients and applicants to contact them directly if they have any concerns.

Arts Council for Wales

The Arts Council have begun conversations with Welsh Government about how additional financial support can be made available to the arts sector in Wales. They have made the below adjustments. Officers will be in touch with grant recipients in the coming days.

  1. Funding to the Arts Portfolio Wales – organisations will continue to receive funding but funding conditions that specify types and levels of activity will not apply for at least three months.  This comes into force with immediate effect. Advance grant payments are available to assist you with cashflow.  In exchange for our support, we ask you to honour contracts agreed with freelancers and artists and to think about what help you can offer to your communities.
  2. Project funding awards – Project activity can be deferred to later dates. However, if this isn’t possible, all funding awards already committed to covering your costs will be honoured – regardless of whether the funded activity is cancelled, reduced or rescheduled.
  3. Applications currently submitted and being assessed – we’re continuing to assess, and make decisions, on applications already received, taking a flexible approach to the activities and deadlines outlined in applications.
  4.  New Funding Applications – They will not be accepting new applications for the next three months whilst they establish how they can best meet the urgent needs created by the pandemic. This situation will be kept under review with announcements made regarding any changes.

The Arts Council are encouraging organisations to honour contracts made with freelance professionals. If the organisation is funded by the Arts Council, they expect this to be the case.

They are also engaged in conversations with Welsh Government about support for individual artists and freelancers. 

Community Foundation Wales – Updated

If you are in receipt of a grant from CFW and need to delay or make changes to project delivery due to the Covid-19 outbreak, then please get in touch with them by e-mailing grants@communityfoundationwales.org.uk adding the name of your organisation and the fund from which you have been offered a grant in the subject line.

The Foundation have funding that they are making available to support charities and community groups continue to support their communities and vulnerable people. To ensure the funding they distribute goes to where it’s needed, they are consulting with the Welsh third sector to assess their immediate and ongoing needs. You can complete this short survey here.

Applications are now open for the Wales Coronavirus Resilience Fund. Apply here.

Clocaenog Community Fund

The Fund has made funding available for groups providing support on the front line. See Funding Wales for further information and how to apply.

Gwynt y Môr Community Fund

The Fund has made funding available for groups providing support on the front line. See Funding Wales for further information and how to apply.

National Lottery Community Fund – Updated

Following consultation with grant holders, the fund has made two decisions.

  • Firstly, all the funding decisions we make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis.
  • They will accelerate the cash part of this funding as much as we can, so that we can get money to where it needs to be. This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.

To reach those groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time, we will prioritise the following faster payments for existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

  • Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
  • Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.

NB: The National Lottery Community Fund are responding as one funder as opposed to four devolved offices. As such, the £300m figure is across the whole UK.

Full statement and updates

National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund are interested to hear from grant recipients about how they are being affected by the virus to inform how they can best support the heritage sector and have shared a survey to allow groups to contribute to this. Further announcements will come about their funding approach as they get a better picture of how grant recipients are being impacted.

Full statement and updates

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund CIC recognises that Coronavirus (COVID-19) will have a big impact on communities across The Fund area.  We want to reassure you that we will do whatever we can to support you in the coming weeks. All meetings and appointment days are being done remotely via telephone, video calls and email.

Full statement

Sport Wales

The Sport Wales team are now working from home and continuing to process the grants currently in their system.

‘We’re aware that sport in Wales at all levels has been hit with a near blackout in activity. But we still want to support clubs and volunteers to be ready and prepared when the green light comes to resume activity in the future.’

Grant processes are subject to change as Sport Wales works to get grants approved as quickly as possible.

Questions or queries should be sent to: grant.applications@sport.wales. 

 WCVA

The health and wellbeing of all is the most important thing at this time which means if you have to reduce or stop project activity to safeguard staff and/or those that you work with, we fully understand. We continue to make representations to funders, including Welsh Government and WEFO, that they will need to show understanding and flexibility.

The responses to date to these representations have been supportive and appreciative of the difficult circumstances that we find ourselves in. We ask that you keep us informed and then at a point in the future when things are clearer, we can work through the impact and changes to your project.

Waterloo Foundation

The Waterloo Foundation team are working remotely; normal communication lines remain open. Phone calls will be passed on to grantees’ normal Fund Manager.

They will be making grant payments and reviewing applications in line with their funding criteria as usual. They are also encouraging current grant holders to contact their Fund Manager about how they can help, for example by moving payment or reporting dates, or anything else.

Full statement

Steve Morgan Foundation

Suspending normal applications in order to focus on delivering their Emergency Fund. £12m being made available over next 12 weeks for charities delivering additional emergency services and those experiencing a loss in fundraised income to stay operational.