Charities play a vital role in communities across the UK.
But at this time of crisis — when they are needed most — many are experiencing a sharp drop in income. This is harming their ability to support people during the crisis and threatens their survival.
The government’s £750m package is a welcome first step, but not nearly enough.
There are around 167,000 charities in the UK, employing over 800,000 people and spending over £40bn per year. Charities big and small have seen their incomes collapse as individuals and businesses reallocate funding to crisis response and make difficult decisions to protect their own finances.
Without intervention, thousands of charities will buckle at the exact time they are needed most.
To benefit the widest possible number of charities, we call on the government to implement two simple policies:
- Provide immediate support to help charities continue to deliver services
Introduce a Charitable Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CCJRS) to retain staff and allow them to continue delivering vital charitable work.
This scheme would replicate the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, but without the need to furlough charity employees.
- Incentivise public donations to rebuild charity finances
Amplify public generosity by unleashing a ‘Summer of Giving’. This would double Gift Aid to 50% on all donations received between 1st March and 31st August 2020.
This complements the one-off BBC Big Night In by empowering all charities to rebuild their finances through a season of fundraising activities that will capture the public’s imagination.
Claims from charities through this scheme would be limited to 50% of averaged annual donations received over the past three financial years.
The government must act now. Without the critical support that charities provide, this crisis will cast an even longer shadow on people’s lives.
Oliver Pawle, chairman, Centre for Entrepreneurs
Rita Chadha, chief executive, Small Charities Coalition
Dirk Bischof, chief executive, Hatch Enterprise
Evelyn McDonald, CEO, Scottish EDGE
Geoff Leask, CEO, Young Enterprise Scotland
Helen marshall, chief executive, Brook
Jamie Ward-Smith, CEO, Do IT Foundation and chair, Co-op Foundation
Juliette Rayner, CEO, ERIC – The Children’s Bowel and Cancer Charity
Justine Molyneux, CEO, Involve Northwest
Karen Edwards, chief executive, CareTrade Answers for Autism
Kate Welch, chief executive, Social Enterprise Acumen
Kevin Munday, chief executive, City Year UK
Lesley Chance, director, Families in Focus
Lisa Morris, CEO, Greyhound Trust
Louisa Searle, director, First Give
Maggie O’ Carroll, chief executive, The Women’s Organisation
Marion Fellows MP
Pat Shelley, CEO, Launch It
Pauline Wonders, strategic director, Family Gateway
Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting On Board
Robert Gofton, CEO, Royal Life Saving Society UK
Rosie Cooper MP
Sandy Kennedy, chief executive, Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation
Sarah Lindsell, CEO, The Brain Tumour Charity
Sharon Davies, CEO, Young Enterprise
Vicki Dawson, CEO, The Sleep Charity
Vidhya Alakeson, chief executive, Power to Change