How are Funders Helping in the Health Crisis?

How are Funders Helping in the Health Crisis?

Officially declared a public health emergency on 30th January 2020, the emerging Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has already greatly affected the charity sector across the UK. In order to support charities during this crisis, we have collated the responses of major funders from across sectors to create a resource for charities in this uncertain time.  


Arts Council England

Arts Council England awards government funds and money from the National Lottery to arts projects nationally. It has announced its plans for emergency funding for individuals and for organisations outside of the National Portfolio (it will be announcing the plan for NPOs after Easter). There will be £160million available, with £20 million of financial support available to individuals so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months. £50million will be made available to organisations that are not in receipt of regular funding from the Arts Council and £90million available to NPOs to reboot their creative work and to alleviate the financial pressures on NPOs. To find out more about the financial support available, and how to access it click here.

Tel: 0161 934 4317


Big Issue Invest

Registered charity number: 1042514

Big Issue Invest invests in social enterprise, charities and profit-with-purpose organisations. In response to the health crisis Big Issue Loans is rescheduling loans and being responsive to the needs of those it invests in. Please contact if you need support or might need investment to help you through difficult trading. It has been in touch with all investees, please leave a message on the number below or email if you have any enquiries. Big Issue Invest is also creating a dedicate page on Good Finance with updates on emergency funding sources. To find out more click here.

Tel: 07506 336 535 (Kevin, Head of Lending)


Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)

Registered charity number: 268369

CAF is a charity, a bank and an organisation that champions better giving. In response to the national crisis, CAF has launched a rapid response fund of up to £10,000, which will be delivered with 14 days of application to charities nationwide. Applications are open now to charities, charitable or not-for-profit entities (eg CICs) and unregistered entities and social enterprises. Find out more on how to apply and grant restrictions here.

Tel: 03000 123 000



City Bridge Trust

Registered charity number: 1035628

The City Bridge Trust makes grants to support Greater London in the areas of reducing inequality, and build thriving communities, among other aims. It has launched a £2 million fund with the Greater London Authority to support the London charity sector. This has been announced as the London Community Response Fund, coordinated by London Funders. Wave 1 is emergency grants of up to £5,000 for immediate and urgent needs, find out more here. It has also signed the London Funders statement of reassurance.

Tel: 020 7332 3710


Clore Duffield Foundation

Registered charity number: 1084412

Clore Duffield Foundation is a major supporter of capital arts developments, with a particular interest in learning spaces within performing arts, education, health and social care. It has sent a strong message of understanding and flexibility in response to the health crisis, offering flexibility in deadlines and events, whilst expressing a desire to continue funding as normal. It has a small staff team and has warned the office may need to close. To find out more click here.

Tel: 020 7351 6061



Comic Relief

Registered charity number: 326568

Comic Relief provides funding for charities tackling poverty. It is committed to supporting the organisations that it funds, whether through reviewing timeframes, adapting activities, or rebudgeting, in response to the health crisis. It has posted a detailed FAQ here. Please contact your contact person to discuss how this will affect your work. Some funds raised from Sport Relief will also be redirected to frontline Covid-19 response. You can find out more on this and the charity’s response here.

Tel: 020 7820 2170


Covid 19 Funders

This is a list of funders that are committed to flexibility and adaptation to the challenges posed in this difficult time. To see the full list click here.


Esmée Fairbarn Foundation

Registered charity number: 200051

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation supports work that focuses on arts, children, the environment, food and social change. The Foundation is offering flexibility around payments and reporting during this difficult time, it is keen for anyone in receipt of a grant to get in touch with their Grant Manager for further advice. The Foundation is starting a new funding strategy in May 2020 and will close to new applications on 3 April 2020, reopening in May. For more information click here.

Tel: 020 7812 3700



Garfield Weston Foundation

Registered charity number: 230260

Garfield Weston Foundation supports a broad range of charitable work across arts, education, community, environment, faith, health, welfare, Museums and Heritage and youth. The Foundation has donated £1 million to the National Emergencies Trust, is convening extra Trustee meetings, collaborating with funders to ensure effectiveness, has provided guidance to grantees and is committed to flexibility in this time, and is re-ordering its pipeline to focus on those most in need.

If you submitted an application prior to 20 March 2020, the Foundation will be in touch to check that the proposal still reflects your current needs. Please respond by 6 April 2020 to progress your application.

It advises that it is business as usual but that meetings will be held by phone or skype. Postal enquiries may be delayed and it is advised to email the Foundation any queries. For more information click here.

Tel: 020 7399 6565



Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Registered charity number: 1184957

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is working to solve UK poverty. They are supporting flexibility, and have announced an organisational support fund for grantees to help them adapt to work in the Covid-19 climate. These are only available for current grant holders, and are small grants of up to £1,000 designed to assist with the costs associated with transitions to remote and online working, specific information of which can be found here. It is also able to accommodate changes in timelines, reasonable requests for financial flexibility and for charities to redirect work to focus on the current situation. Find out more here.

Tel: 01904 629 241



London Funders

Registered charity number: 1116201

London Funders is a membership network for funders in London. It has coordinated a joint statement from its members to reassure charities in this time of crisis. It has over 100 signatures with funders pledging to be flexible and to stand with the sector.

London Funders is further coordinating the London Community Response Fund,  which has been backed by the Greater London Authority and City Bridge Trust with £2 million to date to support the charity sector in London. Wave 1 of funding is grants of up to £5,000. To find out more click here.


National Lottery Community Fund

Registered charity number: 1107927

National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) distributes funds to communities across the UK. The NLCF has made the decision that all funding decisions it makes in the next six months will be devoted to addressing the current crisis. In addition, cash funding will be accelerated as much as possible. To read the latest statement from CEO Dawn Austwick, click here. NLCF has published a Q&A to help explain how it is supporting grantees. Find out more here.

The NLCF also has an advice line that is being tested to increase capability, full details can be found here.

Tel: 028 9568 0143



National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK, it distributes lottery funds allocated by the National Heritage Memorial Fund. In response to the health crisis it has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector. It will continue to support its current projects and is offering this new fund in addition to support the sector. It will be available in grants between £3,000 and £50,000. New grant applications have been suspended. Find out more on these measures here.  

Tel: 0207 591 6000


Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Registered charity number: 1102927

Paul Hamlyn Foundation supports young and/ or disadvantaged people in the arts. The Foundation is focusing on practical support and reassurance. It has confirmed that all current grants will go ahead as planned. For further advice or discussion it is encouraging charities to contact grant managers by email. It also specifies its understanding of the long-term effects of the crisis, and assures that it will be looking to address this in future. The Foundation has contributed £500,000 each to National Emergencies Trust and London Community Response Fund. Find out more here.

Tel: 020 7812 3300



Sport England

Sport England is the national funding body awarding money to to help the sport and physical activity sector. It has announced up to £195million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. This includes: a Community Emergency Fund for existing partners, money to fund new and innovative ways to support the sector to keep people active, and a rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to partners. Find out more here.

Tel: 0345 8508 508



Swire Charitable Trust

Registered charity number: 270726

Swire Charitable Trust funds a wide range of charities that support positive and lasting change to UK society. It has not been able to collect post sent to the Trust since 13 March, please email instead. It has postponed its April and May Trustee meetings; its priority is currently the health crisis and it is recommended applicants wait until further advice is published before applying. Funding will be diverted to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal in the short-term. Find out more here.

Tel: 020 7834 7717



The Foyle Foundation

Registered charity number: 1081766

The Foyle Foundation funds the arts, learning and school libraries and has main and small grants available. The Foundation is currently suspending its school libraries and capital funding until further notice. Its small and main grants schemes have been suspended to review grantmaking and financial commitments. Pending applications will be contacted in the next two weeks (from 2 April 2020). Please email the Foundation with any queries, however, note that they may take longer to respond than usual. You can find out more here.

Tel: 020 7430 9119

Email: (Main Grants Scheme)
  (School Library Scheme)
  (Small Grants Scheme)


The Sainsburys Family Trusts

Registered charity number: (various)

The Sainsbury Family Trusts fund a wide range of causes through multiple Trusts such as The Linbury Trust, The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Jerusalem Trust. The Trust Family is offering a strong message of reassurance and has signed the London Funders agreement assuring grant holders it will be flexible. It does not expect grantees to explain cancellations or postponements now but is happy to talk about any concerns charities may have. It has signed the London Funders statement of support. Please let them know by email how they can help. Find out more here.

Tel: 0207 4100 330



The Rayne Foundation

Registered charity number: 1179912

The Rayne Foundation funds creative ways of tackling entrenched social issues through the arts, health and wellbeing. The Foundation is accepting applications as normal and is pledging flexibility for existing grant holders. It does not currently have emergency funding available for new applicants. Please email the Foundation if you have any concerns or find out more here.

Tel: 020 7487 9656


The Wellcome Trust

Registered charity number: 210183

The Wellcome Trust supports educators, researchers and innovators in the fields of biomedical science, population health, product development and applied research, humanities and social science, and public engagement. It is supporting the crisis in a variety of ways, such as: individuals receiving research funding are able pause research to return to frontline medical work to support the outbreak; all funding schemes remain open as usual; if a staff member becomes ill Wellcome will supplement your grant to cover the sick leave of that person; and it will support salary costs for grant holders, fellows and staff members if salary cannot be provided from elsewhere. Find out more here.

Tel: 020 7611 8888


The Wolfson Foundation

Registered charity number: 1156077

The Wolfson Foundation has a long history of supporting the arts and humanities, with a key focus on funding capital projects. It has signed the London Funder Covid-19 flexibility agreement. The Foundation is able to honour its committed grant-funding as planned. If you have an application currently under consideration this will be reviewed as planned in May and June. Please contact the Foundation if you feel the project cannot go ahead as planned. Where possible please email rather than call. Find out more here.

Tel: 020 7323 5730


This list is by no means exhaustive and will be updated as the situation develops. If you have a funder to add to the list or can provide an update to our information please get in touch on