Disaster response

Community foundations act quickly and efficiently in a disaster or crisis, serving as a vital lifeline to community organisations helping those most affected.


Community foundations are perfectly placed to distribute emergency funding when disaster strikes.

Using their extensive connections with local charities, voluntary organisations, local authorities and donors, community foundations can act quickly and efficiently.

Cross-sector collaboration is crucial in the emergency phase of a crisis. UKCF knows from its work during the coronavirus pandemic that to get to a recovery phase, as much support as possible must be injected into communities early on to build their resilience.

Acting in a natural disaster

Natural disasters are may feel rare depending on where you are in the UK. However, due to climate change, floods, storms and heat waves are becoming increasingly common.

Community foundations use their local expertise and connections to get emergency support out quickly.  In 2016, following the largest fire in Exeter since World War II, Devon Community Foundation set up the Historic Exeter Fire Appeal which quickly raised over £25,000 to help those affected by the fire's damage. 

More recently, Lincolnshire Community Foundation supported Lincoln communities following Storm Babet in October 2023. You can read the report here.


Community support in a financial crisis

Vital voluntary services have been struggling with an increased cost of living on top of pre-existing financial difficulties, while simultaneously helping record levels of people in need of support.

The Communities in Crisis Appeal was created by UKCF in 2023 to help charities and community groups by distributing raised money into the existing regional appeals of community foundations.

Money raised has gone to food banks, warm spaces, debt advice lines, mental health groups, crisis support charities, community hubs and many other services that local people are relying on.

Thank you to national partners such as M&G, DCMS and the British Red Cross for supporting the appeal.


Navigating the coronavirus pandemic

When the Coronavirus pandemic caused national lockdowns in 2020, an unprecedented event of an unknown magnitude gripped the nation.

The most vulnerable in society were hit the hardest and high levels of mental health issues, domestic violence, food insecurity, isolation and financial hardship meant emergency funding needed to get to frontline services fast. 

UKCF partnered with the National Emergencies Trust to distribute over £76 million across the whole of the UK, raised by the public, through the Coronavirus Appeal.

Learn more about the appeal's impact here

Want to get involved in your local area?

There are plenty of ways you can help out your local community. Unbiased advice and support is provided by community foundations for anyone wanting to get involved in community giving, whether you want to give big or small. Simply get in touch to find out more.