An alliance of funders from across sectors has come together to sign a joint statement pledging to offer support to civil society groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Coordinated by London Funders – the membership body of funders of London’s civil society – organisations from across the funding spectrum have recognised that Covid-19 is an exceptional event that will almost certainly affect charity staffing. Beneficiaries may need to be supported differently during these unprecedented times as well.
‘We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that civil society groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities’, the statement reads.
The alliance of grant funders have committed to four main ways of working:
- Adapting activities – acknowledging that agreed outcomes may not be achieved in the timeframes originally set.
- Discussing dates – not adding pressure on organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines.
- Financial flexibility – allowing organisations to use money differently e.g. buying equipment and covering staff sickness.
- Listening – encouraging frank conversations between funders and grantees, with funders being supportive of their needs.
Although this statement is being coordinated by London Funders, it is not only for their members or funders in London.
David Farnsworth, Director & Chief Grants Officer, City Bridge Trust said ‘We believe that working together at this time to provide assurance and support to civil society is essential during this difficult period for the sector. City Bridge Trust encourages other funders to join this alliance – to co-sign and pledge their commitment to the communities they serve.’
Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Debbie Weekes-Bernard, added ‘London’s civil society groups play a key role in our communities, providing vital services, often with limited resources, and truly reflect the very best of our city.
‘That’s why it is important that City Hall is working with others to provide support and alleviate the additional pressures on civil society groups posed by coronavirus.’
The founding signatories are the The Berkeley Foundation, Camden Giving, City Bridge Trust, Cloudesley, Cripplegate Foundation, Greater London Authority, Islington Giving, Joseph Levy Foundation, John Lyon’s Charity, Lankelly Chase, Lloyds Bank Foundation of England and Wales, London Borough of Camden, London Borough of Southwark, London Catalyst, Mayor of London, Metropolitan Migration Foundation, MOPAC, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Social Investment Business, Trust for London, Tudor Trust, Wimbledon Foundation, Young Camden Foundation and Young Hammersmith & Fulham Foundation. London Funders is expecting the alliance to widen significantly over the coming weeks.