FAQs for applicants to National Emergencies Trust funding

What is the NET appeal?  

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities support individuals who are suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The public appeal has been launched in partnership with the British Red Cross who will be managing donations.  

The NET will distribute money to a number of charitable organisations, primarily through community foundations, to ensure it reaches those who need it most. 

Who can apply for grants?

Monetary grants will be available to local charities and groups, not individuals.  

Eligible organisations  

Voluntary and community organisations, including but not limited to: 

  • registered charities, including charitable incorporated organisations  
  • constituted organisations and non-registered charities 
  • community interest companies and community benefit societies (community foundations can use their own policy) 
  • parish and town councils (if the funded activity is not deemed part of their statutory duties) 
  • Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs)  
  • Churches and other religious organisations (if the funded activity is not deemed to be proselytising).  
  • Other voluntary community organisations or those not constituted but deemed appropriate by the community foundation under this Programme would be eligible, with appropriate endorsement from the statutory body, charity, parochial church council etc.  
  • Not Eligible Under This Programme 
  • Grants that are solely for the provision of bursaries to individuals or families cannot be awarded. However, other provisions such as emergency food parcels or other items can be purchased and distributed to their beneficiaries. For example, foodbanks that are low on supplies of specific items. 
  • Individuals cannot apply  
  • Statutory bodies such as city and county councils or health institutions cannot apply 

What kind of groups will the Programme support?

Your local community foundation will decide on the best way to respond to the need but examples of grants given will be to the following: 

  • Organisations that support the ongoing needs of vulnerable people to ensure that their health and wellbeing is maintained 
  • Organisations in support of activities that relieve pressure on local statutory services, particularly emergency or health and social care provision, or compliment their response  
  • Groups and activities that support vulnerable people self-isolating (the elderly, people with pre-existing medical conditions etc) 
  • Support for foodbanks and organisations working to combat hardship caused by the pandemic including child hunger 
  • Community response coordination 
  • Organisations or informal groups that have been specifically established to respond to the crisis 
  • Volunteer costs for new and existing organisations responding to the effect of the crisis 
  • Additional costs of working remotely and adapting services delivered in the wider community 
  • Additional support as required for emotional support, mental health and bereavement support 

Secondarily, and if funds allow: 

  • Support for organisations that provide support for vulnerable groups to counter the loss of income and fundraising which can be directly linked to the pandemic 

Where should we focus the funds?

Focus will be on providing grants to groups for activities that provide immediate relief in responseincluding those BAME groups we know are seeking to help people disproportionately negatively affected by the virus 

The following examples may help in shaping people’s understanding of priority: 

  •  Support for vulnerable and older people in their homes, providing food and medicines       
  • Funding for community groups that are linked into the hubs being created to coordinate the above       
  • Special provision of crisis services for rough sleepers and those living in temporary accommodation with changed practices to keep clients and staff as safe as possible   
  • Free takeaway lunches and online youth services for young people in a very disadvantaged area, supported by local volunteers  
  • Non-perishable food and essential living and baby items for distribution to destitute refugees and asylum seekers  
  • To reach (with support and information) local residents who don’t have access to the internet/smartphones – via self-care packages, coordinating volunteers and keeping the local ‘hub’ accessible to them. 

How do I apply?

Applications to the NET Coronavirus Appeal Programme should be made by contacting your local community foundation. The whole of the UK is covered through a network of 47 community foundations. You can find your local community foundation here.

The application process is quick and straightforward to ensure that money is getting out to the communities where it is needed most and quickly. 

If I am an organisation who wants to offer cash grants, can I apply for NET funding? 

No, grants should not be used to give out any ongoing funding to ineligible groups/individuals.  

What is considered vulnerable in this context?

In this case, the government is defining vulnerable as those who are shielding themselves for 12 weeks as they are more susceptible of being worse affected if they contract the virus. However, NET and UKCF are leaving it up to community foundations to determine who are more vulnerable in their local areas. This can vary and can include people with addiction, those from BAME communities, those suffering from domestic violence, people with disabilities and homeless people. 

Would there be any limits on capital expenditure  e.g. laptops and other IT equipment for remote working to continue to support beneficiaries?

There are no limits on capital expenditure as long as they contribute towards the ongoing needs of vulnerable people to ensure that their health and wellbeing is maintained 

Can apply for funding more than once?

Yes, you can, as long as you are able to demonstrate impact. But it is at the discretion of the community foundation. Please reach out to the local community foundation team to discuss a second application or indeed a reapplication if you have previously been turned down for NET support. 

Can I receive core funding?

Community foundations can offer core funding to groups as long as the funding meets the immediate relief in response to the virus crisis, i.e. some organisations need funding to pay rent or salaries to continue offering services to those who are most affected. This is to the discretion of the community foundation 

It is worth noting that many community foundations have launched local funds to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and the criteria for these funds may differ from the NET Appeal Programme. If you are seeking funds for core costs, again please reach out and speak to your local community foundation as they may be able to assist. Community foundations are much more than fund administrators and will go the extra mile to help if they can.   

How soon after I submit my application will I hear back from the community foundation?

This will vary across community foundations but as it is a national emergency, decisions will be made as fast as possibleAwarded groups will hear back from community foundations within two weeks of applying.    

How much can I apply for?

The size of grant should be decided by each community foundation but decisions are likely to vary based on the size of the organisation and their capacity to manage the amount awarded. For instance, smaller organisations would generally apply for funding between £1-10k and larger grants for larger organisations or those covering a larger geographic area, and those leading on strategic, coordinated and partnership work. 

Are smaller or larger payments to be prioritised? 

Priorities are be made to groups and activities that provide immediate relief in response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Can I apply for funding in a community foundations if I am a national organisation with local branches? 

If you are a national organisation but your local branches are independent and locally constituted, you are eligible but then it is up to the community foundation to assess whether your application meets the needs of the community.   

Can I apply for recovery/sustainability funding?

At the momentNET funding is primarily focusing on immediate relief because it’s where most of the demand is, but the NET committee is still considering recovery funding for future funding. If anything changes with the criteria, your community foundations will get in touch. However, community foundations are making larger strategic funds and if you believe that you can only get recovery funding from your local community foundation, please contact them for advice and decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis.  

Can we access funds as a UK -based charity with key beneficiaries overseas? 

No. The National Emergencies Trust only responds to disasters in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, therefore beneficiaries of the NET Coronavirus Appeal must be based in the UK. 

Are community foundations funding new groups? 

Yes. Community foundations are accepting applications from new groups. Community foundations are also accepting applications from groups they have not funded before, including those not previously known to them. 

Is funding spread evenly across geographical areas? 

No. The formula for allocating NET Appeal funds is decided on a weekly basis by  the NET Allocation Committee and is informed by local need assessments provided by community foundations to ensure that the funds are distributed where they are needed most. 

The community foundation network is spread across the UK so the area in which your group operates will be covered by your local community foundation.  

Can you let us know how Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are being prioritised given the disproportionate deaths and vulnerabilities?   

Members of the BAME communities are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and we want to ensure that groups supporting these communities are funded. UK Community Foundations and community foundations across the country are reaching out to, and collaborating with, groups and membership organisations who work with members of the BAME community to encourage them to apply for NET Coronavirus Appeal funds. 

We are proactively engaging with BAME groups, membership organisations and communities to understand their specific needs in response to coronavirus; to listen, to collaborate, to build more relationships, to support and encourage more applications for funding. 

If we are unsuccessful in our first application, can we apply again?  Are there any restrictions? 

There are no restrictions on reapplying. As long as you are eligible and meeting the criteria for the funding, you can apply again if you were unsuccessful in your first application.

Is there a time limit for this funding?   

Currently, the guidance to groups for funding is within a 12-week timeframe as the priority is emergency relief. We expect that the funding is used as quickly as possible to meet the needs of your community but in some cases, community foundations have their own Covid-19 funding which may offer larger strategic funds which will take longer to deliver.

Is funding available for activities that will go on after 3 month period? 

The current NET funding is prioritised for immediate relief. However, some community foundations are making longer strategic funding with their own appeals which do go on after a 3 month period. Please contact your local community foundation to check if this is possible for you. NET are always reviewing its criteria and recovery funding will be made available in due course. This will be communicated here and by your local community foundations.