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Government invests £85m to double coronavirus charity fundraising

The Government will boost the fundraising efforts of funders and philanthropists by doubling the money going to charities in England, Culture Secretary @OliverDowden announced today (18 July).

From 18 July to 31 August, funds raised through selected coronavirus charity campaigns will be matched pound-for-pound through the new ‘Community Match Challenge’.

Funders, foundations, and philanthropists – whose coronavirus campaigns have raised millions for the most vulnerable since the pandemic struck – are invited to apply for a share of £85 million to match their donations to good causes.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

Since Covid hit, the British people, businesses and philanthropists have stepped up and fundraised hundreds of millions of pounds to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

We’re now launching a Community Match Challenge as part of our multi-billion-pound package of support for our brilliant charity sector. The Government will match pound for pound what is raised by others to double the generosity of others.

The Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership – a group that comes together to improve national and local coordination before, during and after emergencies – will receive £4.8 million to help strengthen the voluntary sector’s response to coronavirus and future emergencies.

This will fund regional hubs to join up distribution of local volunteers and resources such as food supplies, a national network to coordinate demand for volunteers across the country and a new digital tool to help identify where help is needed most at a local and national level.

Mike Adamson, Chief Executive of British Red Cross and Chair of the VCSEP said:

We are delighted to have secured government funding for the Emergencies Partnership. The grant from DCMS will help our partnership to strengthen its support to the voluntary and community sector, government and statutory agencies as we respond to the next phase of Covid-19 and future emergencies.

Over the coming months we will be setting up systems to improve coordination across our sector, capture unmet needs as a result of emergencies, and match and coordinate volunteer demand and supply. The money we have secured will go a long way in helping us to achieve our ambitions and establish a legacy for responding to future emergencies.

This funding is part of the £750 million pot announced by the Chancellor for frontline charities across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has led the allocation of funding to support charities providing key services to help vulnerable people during the crisis. Funding awarded includes £200 million for hospices and £76 million to charities that support vulnerable children and people who have suffered from domestic abuse, sexual abuse and modern slavery.

The Government also matched public donations to the BBC’s “Big Night In” charity appeal, with over £70 million being distributed by Comic Relief, Children In Need and the National Emergencies Trust to charities on the frontline. This is on top of the £150 million released from dormant accounts to help social enterprises get affordable credit to people who are financially vulnerable and support charities tackling youth unemployment.

Charities have also had access to wider measures to support the economy, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

In line with government guidance, charity shops have been able to open from 15 June in England, and will benefit from the new enhanced retail rate relief at 100 per cent.

The Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership is a collection of voluntary and community sector organisations co-chaired by the British Red Cross and National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Other members include: Business in the Community, St John Ambulance, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action, National Emergencies Trust, National Police Chiefs Council, Muslim Charities Forum, Salvation Army, UK Community Foundations, Victim Support, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

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