Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín announced a second phase of the Covid-19 Charities Fund. The Minister urged charities to start making application preparations ahead of the opening of the £11.7million fund on 6 January 2021. She has put in place support arrangements so that any charity that may need help or assistance to prepare their application can get it.
The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) has agreed to provide independent expert advice and guidance to charities wishing to seek financial assistance from the Fund. Contact details of how to seek guidance and help can be found at https://www.nicva.org/covid19/charities-fund-advice
Community Finance Ireland will administer this phase of funding on behalf of the Executive and the Department for Communities. Full details on how to make a claim to the Covid-19 Charities Fund Phase Two can be found at https://communityfinanceireland.com/covid-charity-fund-readiness-information/
The £15.5m COVID-19 Charities Fund was first launched on 15 June 2020 to provide grant awards of up to £75,000 to meet unavoidable costs for charities who had lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Phase Two funding will provide financial support to charities that have lost income due to the impact of Covid-19 and are unable to cover unavoidable costs between 1 October 2020 and 31 March 2021. The following eligibility criteria must be met:
- The organisation was formed prior to 31 March 2020 and is a lawfully operating charity as defined by the Charities Act (NI) 2008.
- Charities that have at least two unrelated people on its board or committee.
- Charities must have a UK bank or building society account in the legal name of the charity with at least two unrelated people who can manage it.
- Charities were financially stable prior to the impact of COVID -19 and CFI has no concerns regarding fraud or financial mismanagement.
- Charities can demonstrate that their fundraising or trading income has reduced due to the impact of COVID -19 and they have unavoidable costs to meet up to 31 March 2021.
- Charities whose unavoidable costs cannot be covered by existing grants or public funding, are therefore at risk.
A number of organisations will be ineligible to apply:
- Community Amateur Sports Club
- Community Interest Company
- Non charitable social enterprise
- Non charitable trading arm