01 October 2020
I’m sure many of us will remember the 1968 master piece “Oliver” staring a bumper cast of big names and have the image of a very scared Oliver Twist, bowl in hand asking for more, only to be chased round the dining hall and finally sold to an undertaker for having the audacity to ask for more than his allocated share. In many ways, this is the scenario faced by many charities presently. Very few charities will not had their funding impacted by Covid-19 in one way or another.
For some, this will have been a positive impact; I am working with one CIC set up to provide a platform for linking people in need of a little support to people who are able to give that support. This particular CIC has been able to access a grant from Innovate UK due to its development of, and use of technology which was required to be developed, as well as donations from the wider public, and of course, donations of volunteers time.
For others, this has been a negative time; most charities, irrespective of their charitable purpose, are still providing their services despite many sources of funding now drying up; the annual fundraisers have been postponed, offices and work places supporting a charity each year have been closed and clearly that monthly coffee morning won’t have been able to happen for most of this year.
So where does that leave charities right now?
For many, good governance over past years will have built up a reserve which can now be used to continue their works, but for many that have low levels of reserve through no fault of their own and rely on a steady stream of fundraising activities through the year, there will be an air of concern right now. Even those charities with reserves, will have seen them eaten into and be thinking about the urgent need to build them back up.
What can be done to assist?
There is the obvious source of support provided by the government which has been covered in depth previously, but for completeness, a guide can be found here. For those charities with shops, there is also the possibility of the retail grants provided and also the furlough scheme.
But have you asked for more?
Many local authorities have discretionary grants which can be actively applied for at present and there are a number of funds which have now widened their remit to provide additional funding to charities. A little time conducting a search could yield some good assistance, though many have short windows to apply, so action may need to be taken quickly to access these. Additionally, whilst many firms are closed for the moment, many of these are working from home and may be only too happy to host a virtual coffee morning and a raffle as a way of helping remotely working teams engage, whilst raising some much needed funding. Have you made a call to your local contact with firms that have provided support? Finally, a recent blog considered a JustGiving page as a fundraising method.
Whilst the funding position of many charities may be looking bleak, much like the bowl of gruel, as the old adage says, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
For more information on what options are available to your charity, please get in touch with your local UHY adviser.