COVID-19 and charities/ voluntary organisations
This page draws together advice and information on dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 on charities and voluntary organisations. It is not specific to faith and inter faith charities, and the focus is organisational issues.
Dealing with the impact of Coronavirus on your organisation – advice for charities and voluntary organisations
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on all aspects of life in Britain and around the world, and this includes charities and voluntary organisations.
This page draws together advice and information on dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 on charities and voluntary organisations. It does not include advice, information or guidance that is aimed specifically at the faith-based or inter faith sectors. Rather, it links to materials relevant to all kinds of charity and other voluntary organisations. The focus is therefore on organisational issues, such as business continuity, governance, serious incident reporting, HR, volunteering safely etc.
- Government information, advice and guidance can be found at the dedicated portal https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus The portal is updated regularly with authoritative information from across all Departments, including information from the NHS and Public Health England. Specific Government guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-guidance-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-organisations and Government guidance on volunteering/ helping others safely can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely--2
- Government information on how charities can manage financial difficulties caused by coronavirus can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-financial-difficulties-in-your-charity-caused-by-coronavirus?utm_source=45cb232f-bbd7-4f60-8b8c-7a060951e45a&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
- Government has amended the eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to remove the requirement that at least 50% of an organisation's income must come from trading activity. This means that more charities are likely to be eligible for the scheme. Further information is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme
- The Charity Commission has issued guidance for charities on running charities during the COVID-19 pandemic https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector This includes information on holding virtual meetings, using designated and restricted funds and reporting to the Commission, including Serious Incidents.
- The National Council for Voluntary Organisations website has a dedicated section containing guidance for charities and voluntary organisations https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/coronavirusThis includes information on protecting staff and volunteers, contingency planning and finances, risk management, and volunteering safely. NCVO is also working with other umbrella bodies to advocate for the needs of the sector, including seeking financial support from Government.
- The NCVO KnowHow website https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/ has been made free to all during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website holds a wealth of information about all aspects of running charities and voluntary organisations, and includes templates for many kinds of policy document, as well as business plans and risk assessments.
- The Small Charities Coalition has produced extensive guidance for small charitable organisations on a range of topics https://www.smallcharities.org.uk/covid-19-guidance-for-small-charities/ It has also produced some technical guides on topics such as remote working, which includes step-by-step guides to using Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts https://www.smallcharities.org.uk/covid-legal-and-technical-advice/
- Bates Wells, a City law firm with a specialism in charity and social enterprise, is publishing a range of resources on its website https://bateswells.co.uk/?s=coronavirus&post_type%5B0%5D= These mainly focus on the legal issues facing charities, such as holding Board meetings and AGMs virtually; governance and solvency; contractual obligations; and immigration schemes.
- Volunteering Matters has a number of resources aimed at volunteers and spontaneous voluntary groups, some of which will also be useful for existing charities and voluntary organisations https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/volunteer-safely/ Materials include a guide on volunteering safely, a risk assessment template, and the Government’s updated fact sheet on DBS checks.
- The National Association for Voluntary and Community Action website has a search tool which enables you to find member voluntary and community organisations in your locality https://navca.org.uk/find-a-member-1 This can be useful if you are looking for other organisations in your area with whom you might work collaboratively in the current crisis.
- The National Cyber Security Centre has produced guidance on working remotely and spotting scam emails https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/home-working
- The Institute of Fundraising has produced guidance for fundraisers about COVID-19 https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/news/information-for-fundraisers-about-coronavirus/
- ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has issued guidance for employers and employees https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus which includes information on working from home
- The Association of Chairs has created and collated information and advice on a range of topics, including governance and compliance, finance, fundraising, legal, HR and wellbeing https://www.associationofchairs.org.uk/coronavirus-support/
- Charity Digital has created a page on its website bringing together all of its guidance relevant to the impact of Coronavirus https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/coronavirus-all-of-our-relevant-content-in-one-place-7211 This includes information on remote working, virtual meetings, free or discounted digital tools, cyber crimes, and onboarding volunteers digitally. You can read 3 articles before you need to register for a free account.
- CharityComms has compiled a list of its resources relevant to the impact of COVID-19 on charities https://www.charitycomms.org.uk/about/charity-communicator-coronavirus-resources this includes crisis communications, remote working tools, tips for parents working at home with children, and links to other sector resources
- The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched an online hub of resources for faith-based charities and churches to support communities during the pandemic. This includes advice and information about funding, using technology and communications, and fraud prevention. https://www.cafonline.org/charities/covid-19-faith-based-organisations-information-on-funding-and-resources/page/2 It is also offering grants of up to £10,000 to support smaller charitable organisations.
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has gathered information for charities affected by COVID-19 on its website https://www.icaew.com/coronavirus/charities
- The Charity Tax Group has collated materials relevant to charity finance and tax professionals linked to COVID-19 https://www.charitytaxgroup.org.uk/news-post/2020/coronavirus-information-hub-charity-tax-finance-professionals/
- Civil Society Consulting (CSC) have published a COVID-19 Briefing for civil society and faith social action leaders https://civilsocietyconsultingcouk.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/csc-covid-19-briefing_final-1.pdf
- The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) held a webinar on ‘COVID-19 and Safeguarding in faith-based organisations’ in collaboration with DCMS, National Lottery Community Fund and NCVO https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/webinars/2020-05-18
- SCIE have also produced a quick guide for faith-based organisations on safeguarding during the COVID-19 crisis https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/safeguarding/faith-based-organisations
Last updated: 01/06/20
Note: IFN's pages on COVID-19 are being updated regularly. Listings may not be exhaustive or include all possible examples, and IFN makes no guarantee as to the accurary of information linked to.