Coronavirus updates for charities, voluntary organisations and community groups

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We are continually rounding up all the latest coronavirus news, advice and guidance for charities below.

Friday 26 June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Fundraising key principles guidance – 

– Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19, and in particular fundraising organisations should consider the risks to their workers and supporters.

Friday 5 June 2020

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme –

– UPDATED: Claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Thursday 4 June 2020

Funding during COVID-19 –

– For now we’re prioritising funding projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are reviewing the situation on an on-going basis and will share any updates or developments on our website. We have limited funding to support as many organisations as possible.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Plans drawn up to reopen charity shops –

– Charity shops re-opening in June will quarantine donated items for 72 hours with customers required to use hand sanitiser before browsing the clothes rails and handling the bric-a-brac on the shelves.

Monday 18 May 2020

Third of donors giving more during lockdown –

– A third of people who have supported a charity during lockdown have donated more money than usual while 15% are volunteering more of their time, according to a report from Opinium.

Friday 15 May 2020

Analysis: What does mutual aid mean for the charity sector? –

– Thousands of people have signed up to help their neighbours during the coronavirus crisis through mutual aid groups. Rebecca Cooney asks what charities can learn from these informal community support groups.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

NCVO demands ‘immediate clarity’ on small charity coronavirus funding –

– Emergency government funding for charities has been “bedevilled by delay and a lack of transparency”, according to NCVO.

5 Covid-19 appeal updates –

– With many appeals raising funds for Covid-19 related causes, here is an update on five of them, from Sainsbury’s appeal for Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need, to the Big Give’s Covid-19 match funding campaign.

Tuesday 12 May 2020

A quarter of charities cannot take digital donations, CAF poll finds –

– A survey of almost 400 charities finds that 23 per cent of them do not have the facility to receive any kind of digital donation

Wednesday 6 May 2020

MPs urge ministers to set up a job-retention scheme for charities –

A report from the DCMS committee today also suggests the creation of a new stabilisation fund to ‘prevent charities from folding’.

Trust in charities has risen since January, report finds – 

The Trust Barometer Spring Update from the PR firm Edelman says public trust in NGOs has risen by six percentage points since January.

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Ian Bruce: How charities can use marketing effectively in times of crisis –

Professor Ian Bruce provides five tips on how charities can utilise marketing to effectively overcome obstacles presented by Covid-19, and how more traditional charities can embrace digital channels to help generate income during these uncertain times.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Third Sector’s Fundraising Conference to be run free online –

– Third Sector’s annual Fundraising Conference will be held virtually this year and will be free for delegates from charities to attend.

Funders award more than £11m in Covid-19 grants –

– Funders have awarded more than £11m in Covid-19 grants, according to data from 360Giving. The organisation’s coronavirus response grants tracker is based on data published by UK grantmakers in the 360Giving Data Standard.

Friday 24 April 2020

Free business help to charity sector – 

– BRISTOL-based marketing expert, Ros Conkie, is offering her unique marketing strategy workshop free to charities, community interest companies and social enterprises.

Thursday 23 April 2020

Some charities could receive coronavirus funds next week, culture secretary says –

– The government could start distributing emergency coronavirus grants to charities next week, according to the government minister in charge of civil society.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

More virtual fundraising ideas when you are stuck at home – 

– Last month we shared over 20 ideas for fundraising for charity when you are stuck in lockdown at home. Since then we have come across even more inspiring creativity so have plenty more ideas to share for your charity and its supporters.

Applications for the Aviva Community Fund open – 

– Applications for the Aviva Community Fund are now open, with important changes to criteria in response to COVID-19.

Tuesday 21 April 2020

The British Heart Foundation has furloughed around 80% of its staff –

– The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has furloughed around 80 per cent of its staff, the “vast majority” of whom work in the charity’s shops.

Monday 20 April 2020

Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund – 

– To help VCS organisations based in England continue to provide mental health services – or provide additional support – organisations can apply for a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund (CMHRF) grant.

Thursday 16 April 2020

CharityCheckout launches Strava integration with virtual events & fundraising product –

– CharityCheckout has integrated Strava with its virtual events and fundraising product to help charity supporters record and share their indoor or outdoor fitness activity, and update with videos and pictures.

Save the UK’s Charities campaign aims to raise £67m this month –

– Organisers of mass-participation events across the country have today launched a new virtual fundraiser to support UK charities during the Covid-19 crisis.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

National Emergencies Trust’s coronavirus appeal reaches £25m –

– The National Emergencies Trust (NET) coronavirus appeal has now raised £25m, the organisation announced on Sunday. The government has pledged a further £20m in the form of match funding, bringing the total to £45m.

Quarter of a million people register to volunteer for local charities during Covid-19 –

– More than 250,000 people have registered at charity volunteer centres since the start of the coronavirus crisis, according to the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA).

Thursday 9 April 2020

Coronavirus: Government funding ‘not enough’ to keep some charities afloat – BBC

– The government’s £750m package to support charities through the coronavirus pandemic will not be enough to prevent some being forced to close, organisations have warned.

Wednesday 8 April 2020


– Karl Wilding, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which represents charities, has given a statement about the Government support for charities.

Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities –

– Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today (Wednesday 8 April).

Tuesday 7 April 2020


– With many organisations taking decisions about whether to furlough their staff, we set out below what this means for those who may wish to volunteer. We also consider what the furloughing rules mean for charities wishing to take on new volunteers who have time to give due to being on furlough leave

Backbench MPs, including Tracey Crouch, call for emergency fund for small charities –

– MPs have urged the government to “save the small charitable and community sector from impending collapse”.

Webinar: Finance and Your Charity: Navigating the Government Schemes; Managing Solvency‘ – Bates Wells

With charities coming under immense financial pressures as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, Bates Wells is partnering with NCVO and CFG on a webinar to discuss the financing options currently available, employment issues (including the government’s job retention scheme), and managing through the crisis.

Monday 6 April 2020

Funding and investment guidance –

– UPDATED: Funder updates, articles, programmes and schemes supporting charities and social enterprises with financial resilience. 

Friday 3 April 2020

Some charities can claim Gift Aid on payments for cancelled events –

– Some charities will be able to retain Gift Aid on payments that have been received for events cancelled due to the coronavirus, the government has confirmed.

GivingTuesday announces extra May date in response to Covid-19 –

– GivingTuesday has announced an extra day of global action, #GivingTuesdayNow, in response to Covid-19.

Tuesday 31 March 2020

‘It is frustrating that charities are not seen as part of the solution,’ NCVO boss tells MPs –

– Charities have a vital role in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic but the government seems to see the sector as a problem, NCVO’s chief executive said yesterday.

Coronavirus: charities cannot meet surge in demand without urgent government funding –

– The results of the Coronavirus Impact Study reveal that 43% of the charities surveyed have seen an increase in demand for their services coupled with a 48% decline in voluntary income.

Barnardo’s furloughs 3,000 staff as a third of its income is ‘wiped away overnight’ –

– Barnardo’s will furlough up to 3,000 staff after a third of its income was “wiped away literally overnight”, its chief executive said this morning.

Monday 30 March 2020

Leicestershire County Council Community Fund – Leicestershire County Council

– Leicestershire County Council has established a £1m fund to support the local voluntary and community sector, during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Furloughed workers can volunteer but not for their own organisations, government says –

– Furloughed workers will be able to volunteer while they are not in their usual jobs, the government has said, but not at their own charities.

The Access Group launches cloud-based CRM to help smaller charities function remotely during coronavirus –

– The Access Group has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with the launch of a new cloud-based CRM to help smaller charities function remotely. It is available for £99 per month.

Friday 27 March 2020

Oxfam to furlough two-thirds of its UK staff in response to Covid-19 –

– Oxfam will place about two-thirds of its UK workforce on leave under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including most shop staff.

Are volunteers on lockdown? – NCVO

– A question on many people’s lips is ‘can people still volunteer under the lockdown?’ We’ve spoken to the government and looked at the guidance. Here’s what we know.

Thursday 26 March 2020

National Emergencies Trust coronavirus appeal raises £11m in a week –

– The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has raised almost £11m in a week for its coronavirus emergency appeal, the organisation has announced.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Government considering package to support sector, Prime Minister says –

– Boris Johnson says culture secretary Oliver Dowden and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are ‘looking at a package of measures to support charities’.

Coronavirus: lessons for fundraisers from the past –

– COVID-19 is not the first disaster to challenge charities. UK Fundraising looks at how charities and fundraisers have battled adversity in the past and what that might tell us now, including video from two stirring self-help sessions on the brink of the 2008 financial crisis.

Coronavirus resources for charities and charity staff –

– A number of people and organisations have been gathering, producing and curating lists or collections of resources on particular elements of the novel coronavirus as they might apply to the charity sector.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines –

– Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Charity Commission updates Covid-19 advice with section on finances –

– The Charity Commission has added new questions and answers about charity finances to its Covid-19 guidance. It states that decisions on financial matters should normally be taken collectively, and significant decisions and action points noted in writing.

#EveryDayCounts Campaign – NAVCA

– NAVCA are urging charities and voluntary groups to write to their MPs, telling them how much financial pressure they are under. They have provided a template to use here.

NPC research highlights charity & public sector vulnerability to Covid-19 crisis –

– Charities and public services are more vulnerable to Covid-19 crisis than is currently understood, according to research by charity think tank NPC.

Monday 23 March 2020

Over 100 MPs and peers back charity sector’s plea for emergency funding –

– More than 100 MPs and peers from across the political spectrum have urged the chancellor to provide emergency funding to frontline charities at risk of collapse.

Funding to tackle COVID-19 and its impact –

– Funds and grants are already being established and made to tackle the impact of COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic.

4 sources of coronavirus emergency funds for charities –

– Here’s a quick round up with news of the Kent Community Foundation Emergency Fund and three more regionally based funds offering support for charities during the crisis.

Sunday 21 March 2020

Charities included in the government’s coronavirus wages scheme –

– Charities can claim 80 per cent of workers’ wages from the government, if they would otherwise have been made redundant, under a scheme announced on Friday.

Friday 20 March 2020

Council teams up with VAL to co-ordinate volunteer response – Leicester City Council

– People who would like to offer their services to help Leicester’s response to the coronavirus outbreak can now formally register as a volunteer.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak provides an updated statement on coronavirus. –

– The Government are setting up a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit – will be eligible for the scheme. Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector – The Charity Commission

– Guidance to help with running your charity during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

‘Every Day Counts’ As Charities Still Wait FOr Government Support – NCVO

– Charities have been in conversation with the government about a package of support for the charity sector, but warned today that without an urgent injection of money many charities of all sizes would start to close their doors as soon as next week.

Charity Tax Group tells government to be ‘flexible’ in its approach to sector –

– The Charity Tax Group (CTG) has urged the government to allow charities to keep Gift Aid on donations originally made for cancelled events.

Give as you Live Donate cancels donation fees for food banks –

– Online fundraising platform Give as you Live Donate has announced all fees for donations made to food banks will be cancelled to help during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thursday 19 March 2020

I’m making £1m available to fund urgent small-charity coronavirus poverty relief – Money Saving Expert

– Martin Lewis is going to release £1,000,000 from his personal charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK – to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.

Oxfam to close high street shops in response to pandemic –

– Oxfam have announced they will be closing their 600 high street shops in the UK, all supported by 20,000 Oxfam shop volunteers, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus and Funding Round-up: March 2020 – NCVO

– NCVO is working closely with government on a package of financial support specifically aimed at supporting the voluntary sector as the coronavirus emergency unfolds.

National Emergencies Trust launches coronavirus appeal –

– The National Emergencies Trust has launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities in their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government to work with charities on volunteering push –

– The Government is to help the sector coordinate a major volunteering push to provide support for people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Mayor contributes £1m to new emergency support fund –

– The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today pledged £1 million to a new emergency support fund to help London’s community and voluntary organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus.

Government talking to charity leaders about support to deal with Covid-19 impact –

– The government has said it will look at what more can be done to support charities affected by coronavirus. Details of the package of support are expected to be announced later this week.

Mayor contributes £1m to new emergency support fund –

– The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today pledged £1 million to a new emergency support fund to help London’s community and voluntary organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus.

Government talking to charity leaders about support to deal with Covid-19 impact –

– The government has said it will look at what more can be done to support charities affected by coronavirus. Details of the package of support are expected to be announced later this week.

Coronavirus: Just one in five small charities able to provide normal services –

– Only 20 per cent of small charities are able to provide normal services because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey by the Small Charities Coalition.

Coronavirus: companies offering free or enhanced fundraising services –

– As charities and fundraisers gear up to a new way of working amid the impact of the novel coronavirus, plenty of companies are stepping up to offer free or enhanced tools or services to help them.

Charity shops face closure as virus ravages UK high streets –

– Charity shops could start closing across the UK because of their reliance on older volunteers.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

£3.2 million emergency support for rough sleepers during coronavirus outbreak –

– Communities Secretary announces £3.2 million of emergency funding to help rough sleepers to self-isolate

Coronavirus: Charities offered free remote phone services during self-isolation period –

– Charities are being offered free remote phone services to support their communication challenges during the coronavirus outbreak.

Filing charity annual returns during the coronavirus pandemic –

– Any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one.

Charities face cash crisis as virus fears hit fundraising –

– Voluntary sector calls for government grants after crucial events are axed.

More support and advice for charities on coronavirus

Your Organisation And Coronavirus –

– This information is intended to help you decide what steps you and your organisation may need to take in light of the spread of the covid-19 virus.

Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees –

– In case coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads more widely in the UK, employers should consider some simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff.

Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults –

– This guidance is for everyone. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Business Continuity Management for charities –

– Business Continuity Management is about identifying risks to your charity and then taking steps to minimise those risks.

Coronavirus and your charity’s finances –

– A practical guide for charity finance professionals, which will be updated with new information and advice as the crisis unfolds.

Information for fundraisers about coronavirus –

– Information for fundraisers to help everyone in the fundraising community have the right information to guide any action you might need to take.

COVID-19: Fundraising events advice –

– All charities should now be thinking about what they will do if their fundraising event needs to be cancelled or postponed.

Coronavirus and your wellbeing –

– Advice and guidance for staff/volunteers who are working from home.

Advice on Coronavirus for people with cancer –

– This set of frequently asked questions has been developed by the One Cancer Voice group of charities

Advice for Night Shelters on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) –

– Housing Justice has produced expert Health and Safety advice for winter night shelter projects on precautions projects can take to mitigate against the virus spreading.

About BHIB Charities Insurance

BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups. We offer more than just insurance and we are passionate about supporting local communities.

To find out how we can help your charity or not-for-profit organisation, email us on or call 0330 013 0036 to speak to our friendly, expert team.

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