2nd Oct 2020

A message about our Coronavirus response and funding

Small, local charities and community organisations have been doing an amazing job helping our area’s people and places during the Coronavirus pandemic. Through the generosity of our donors and partners, we are pleased to have been able to support many of you in the months since the initial lockdown in March with grants totalling £1.7m across all our funds.

It’s clear the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt for some time to come. And, in the North East of England, we are all currently living under increased restrictions which inevitably will have the biggest effect on the most vulnerable in our communities. So, we want to encourage any eligible organisations that need funding for continued response and relief work to apply to us using our general application process. There are no deadlines, and we will try to match suitable applications to available funds we hold. That will include any further money we have to distribute from the National Emergency Trust’s Coronavirus appeal.

We know many organisations are worried about funding in 2021 and beyond. So we’ve deliberately kept money aside to help organisations recover and renew for the longer term following the impact the virus has had on their work and finances. Our Board of trustees has agreed that we will focus recovery support from our funds on organisations that meet some or all the following priorities.

  • Addressing poverty, mental health and well-being, and diversity and inclusion;
  • Being based in places less well served by philanthropy, especially Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside and south-east and rural Northumberland;
  • Having a turnover between £50,000 and £1m;
  • Being able to adapt governance, services and finances to ensure continued impact.

We know some organisations are concerned that funders will only award grants that are about Coronavirus. Although the above priorities will guide us over the coming months, we will still award other kinds of grants in line with the wishes and interests of our donors.

Most of the money we have left in our dedicated Coronavirus pot will be targeted. That means we’ll identify organisations that are a vital part of the ecosystem serving people and places likely to be most vulnerable, and we’ll invite them to apply. But any eligible organisation can make a general application to us for recovery work. Just bear in mind the priorities we’ve set out above, the types of grants we make (usually under £10,000) and all our other usual criteria.  

All the information you need about funding from the Community Foundation can be found on our website 

Our office, Philanthropy House, is not open and our team is working mainly from home. If you want to get in touch, you can do so in the usual way - email using general@communityfoundation.org.uk or call us on 0191 222 0945 in normal office hours. We are not currently arranging or attending any face-to-face events or meetings, but we are happy to speak by phone or arrange a video call using Teams or Zoom. 

Last updated: 2 October 2020

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