The UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled a rescue financial package for charities affected by the coronavirus. While the funding announcement was widely welcomed, sector bodies warn that it is unlikely to be enough to protect many charities and charitable services from closure.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Chartered Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Group are among a group of sector bodies that have lobbied Government to offer emergency funding. In their #EveryDayCounts campaign, the group highlighted that charities face income losses in excess of €5 billion in a matter of weeks as a result of the crisis.
In last night’s statement, the Chancellor announced that £750 million (equating to around €855 million) would be released to front-line charities. Almost half of the money is to be allocated towards small, local charities working with vulnerable people, with one quarter allocated to hospices.
Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, described the announcement as ‘a welcome first step,’ that would provide much-needed immediate support to many charities providing essential services. He said:
“It is, however, far lower than the £4 billion charities are predicting in lost income in the months to come, and is therefore unlikely to be enough to safeguard many essential services.
“We believe charities have a key role to play in getting us through this crisis and appropriate financial support from government, alongside fundraised income, will be critical in the weeks and months ahead.”
The IoF will continue to track the impact of the crisis on charities and charitable services, sharing insight with government.