National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal

Getting emergency help to communities across the UK


The National Emergencies Trust (NET) launched the Coronavirus Appeal on the 18th of March 2020. It was one of the most high-profile appeal launched in response to the pandemic. A wide range of corporates, trusts and foundations and individuals donated to the appeal. Community foundations were chosen to be the main distribution partner thanks to our experience of emergency grant-making and our invaluable local intelligence built over decades of place-based investment.

“With the help of organisations like UK Community Foundations, money is getting out of the door to where it’s needed the most. Funds have helped existing charities transform their services so that they can keep providing support in the most challenging conditions.”

Baroness Diana Barran, Minister for Civil Society


The programme has had a huge impact in communities across the UK. Thousands of local charitable organisations have been supported with more than £72million in emergency funding. Community foundations used their relationships, grant-making expertise and understanding of local need to swiftly distribute funding to the charitable organisations best placed to make the biggest difference.

“Community foundations have played such an important role during the recent crisis in distributing money from the National Emergencies Trust to local organisations.”

Danny Kruger MP in Levelling up our communities: proposals for a new social covenant (September 2020)

In practice this meant that millions of people were able to access the help they needed. Whether it was a food parcel left on a doorstep, a friendly face appearing on a screen, or guidance through uncertain times, our network was able to ensure that the generosity of the NET and its donors made its way to the organisations best placed to make the biggest difference.

“The essence of a good response to an emergency is the ability to support front line, grassroots groups and organisations do what they do best: support local people in their time of need. I was particularly impressed with the pace, agility, scale and the strong community connections of the community foundation network across the entire country during an unprecedented emergency.”

Jehangir Malik, Director, The Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership