Support for Charities

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There are a huge number of sport and recreation charities doing amazing work across the country. The government has announced new financial support and we explain what funding is available.

Many of our members are charities and there are several thousand sports club charities across the country. This section outlines the support available to the charity sector to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.

What financial support is available for charities?

The Chancellor has announced that charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

The package comprises:

  • £360 million to be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis and;
  • £370 million for small and medium-sized charities operating at the heart of local communities, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice. This will be delivered through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for charities in England.

In addition, government has confirmed it will match fund whatever the public donates to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

Devolved administrations should receive £60m through the charities pot under the Barnett Formula and possibly more dependent upon the final decisions made on direct funding by government departments.

When will this support be available?

Government departments will now be identifying priority recipients for direct funding, with the aim that charities should receive money in the coming weeks.

The application system for the National Lottery Community Fund grant pot is expected to be operational within a similar period of time.

Which charities will be prioritised?

The £360 million funding allocated directly by government departments will be primarily aimed at:

  • Hospices
  • St Johns Ambulance
  • Victims charities, including those supporting victims of domestic abuse
  • Vulnerable children charities, to enable them to continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
  • Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice.

At present the criteria for funding through the National Lotteries Community Fund have not been published but we will provide further updates when more information becomes available.

What other support is available to charities?

Charities can access a range of support under the existing business support schemes including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, business rates reliefs and grants and deferral of VAT.

For our guidance pages on these please see:

Business rates relief and grants

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme


Barclays have also released a charity pot of £100 million aimed at providing financial support to charities helping the most vulnerable in the UK, US and India. Information on the scheme is available here.

What other charity-specific guidance is there?

Detailed Charity Commission guidance on COVID-19 for the charity sector is available here.

NCVO has produced a suite of guidance and resources for charities which is available here.