The Irish government has launched a €35m Stability Fund to assist charities and community organisations in financial strife as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unveiled last week by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the fund has been welcomed by Charities Institute Ireland (Cii), who worked collaboratively with representative bodies from across the Irish charity and community sector to lobby for Government assistance. However, some concern was also raised about whether funding levels, which are capped to €100,000 per organisation, will be sufficient.
Cii describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector’s ability to fundraise as ‘devastating’, with many charities cancelling their annual fundraising events and having to close retail stores.
Liz Hughes, CEO of Charities Institute Ireland, said:
“We welcome this decision by Government. Many organisations have been devastated by the impact of Covid-19 and it is important that this funding is now allocated to the most affected charities and voluntary groups as a matter of urgency.
“We look forward to continued engagement with Government as the full impact of COVID-19 becomes clear and we collectively assess the need for further stability measures and supports for the sector.”
‘While we understand the Government’s decision to cap the payment to any one organisation at €100,000, we are concerned that for some charities who rely on significant fundraising efforts, this amount will not address their challenges.”
The funding announcement follows a joint submission to government from a new group, formed specifically for that purpose, comprising: The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs, Boardmatch Ireland, Carmichael , Charities Institute Ireland, Clann Credo Community Loan Finance, Disability Federation of Ireland, Dóchas, Irish Rural Link, National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, National Forum of Family Resource Centres, National Youth Council of Ireland, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Volunteer Ireland and The Wheel.
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