Local Community Foundations’ response to the threat to local community groups in wake of the Coronavirus national emergency

Covid-19 presents a significant increase to the challenges communities face across Yorkshire and the Humber. This, against the backdrop of existing needs and challenges of our region means that there will be a greater call on all of us to support people and places in the coming months.

Community Foundation for Calderdale, Leeds Community Foundation, Give Bradford, One Community Foundation, South Yorkshire Community Foundation and Two Ridings Community Foundation, will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people and charitable organisations in Yorkshire.

We are part of the We Stand With The Sector Funders Response and through the Yorkshire Funder’s Forum we are keen to work with other funders to increase collaboration between local, regional and national funders during this crisis for Yorkshire and Humber.

Addressing local need

The vast majority of organisations that we support are small grassroots organisations that have few paid resources, more volunteers and less reserves to draw on than larger organisations and few opportunities to support themselves when income streams dry up. Some are hardest hit by the current public health crisis in that their café’s, trading operations and fundraising events have been closed.

From the initial assessment of need (and many of us have already made grants to local groups) we believe there are some core areas of focus for funders of all sizes to consider:

Right now:

– Immediate relief – help organisations respond to the immediate needs experienced in the coronavirus crisis. For example, to help hire or purchase equipment, hire transport, or cover volunteer expenses.

– Allowing different approaches to delivery – funding to enable groups to adapt their activities to continue to deliver their core services in different ways, maintaining their reach and support to vulnerable communities.

But, also and as importantly for the long term health of the charity sector we will, need to look at:

– Supporting ways to increase reach or innovation – funding to groups that are able to expand their services, including in partnership with others, to address emerging needs; and providing space for groups to come up with more innovative solutions to response to community need in the coming months.

– Helping sustainability – supporting core/unrestricted funding that enables organisations to survive through the difficult period.

Yorkshire Community Foundation’s response

Community Foundation for Calderdale
Area covered: Calderdale 

To donate to support local groups: Community Resilience Fund

Leeds Community Foundation
Area covered: Leeds, Bradford & Wakefield

To donate to support local groups:
Leeds Community Foundation Resilience Fund
Give Bradford Resilience Fund
Wakefield Resilience Fund
(details to follow) 

One Community Foundation
Area covered: Kirklees

To donate to support local groups: Coronavirus Emergency Fund

South Yorkshire Community Foundation
Area covered: South Yorkshire 

To donate to support local community groups: Covid-19 Response Fund

Two Ridings Community Foundation
Area covered: York, North Yorkshire, Hull & East Riding

To donate to support local groups: Coronavirus Appeal

Link with the National Emergencies Trust (NET)

The Community Foundations listed above alongside the rest of the UK Community Foundation network will also be the main distributing partners of the National Emergencies Trust (NET) Appeal.

This national appeal is attracting significant support and the allocation of funds for Yorkshire will be distributed by our local Community Foundations. As at 28th March 2020 it had raised over £12.5m but this is just the start of what will be a high profile and much needed route to support charities across the UK.

The local appeals and NET appeal are complementary. Having both a national and a local (to a specific area) appeal means that donors can choose the most appropriate approach for their donation. In essence, national corporates and funders tend to use the NET appeal to channel their support, whereas local individuals, trusts and businesses will tend to prefer to use the local appeal.

Each Community Foundation will use all the funds at its disposal (from existing donors, their own appeals and NET) to make awards to local groups. NET are keen for the criteria to be as flexible and responsive as possible. This means that CFs will set their own criteria for allocating grants which will depend on the need in their areas.

For NET the fundraising appeal administration is being run by the British Red Cross. The British Red Cross will transfer funds to the NET, who will work with UK Community Foundations. In NETs own words “Each of the community foundations have an in-depth understanding of their local area, what the priority needs are and how best to address these issues, so they can ensure the funding goes where it is most needed and can make the most impact”

If any local funder wants to find out more please get in touch with your local community foundation.