Guidance for applicants

What are the priorities for crisis response grants?

If you are responding to the immediate needs of Londoners affected by the current crisis then we are open to hearing from you about what your costs are to enable these communities to be effectively supported at this difficult time.

Whilst this funding is available for any eligible organisation responding to the crisis, we are particularly keen to support groups who are looking to:

  • Buy food and essentials (including cleaning products) for people in need of support;
  • Provide access to services (including support to access to the internet or telephone costs);
  • Make immediate changes to existing services (including moving services online, or meeting increased costs of telephone or postal routes to reach people);
  • Purchase equipment to enable people to work remotely (including laptops);
  • Respond to new needs quickly (including any staffing costs associated with this);
  • Meet increased costs of providing services (including deep cleaning of accommodation); and
  • Ensure all groups can access services (including changes to make these fully accessible).

Who is eligible to apply?

The following organisations, with charitable purposes, can apply:

  • Registered charity
  • Charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • CIC limited by guarantee (with at least three Directors)
  • Charitable company (limited by guarantee)
  • Faith group, where the activity is not promoting religion
  • Community Amateur Sports Club
  • Community Benefit Society
  • Constituted but unincorporated club or association
  • Constituted Tenants and Residents Associations, and Tenant Management Organisations
  • Constituted community group

Where you are not a constituted group (for example a mutual aid group) you can apply via a host organisation who is on the eligibility list above and who will hold the grant on your behalf if you are successful – host organisations are able to submit multiple applications if it is clear that the funding is being held for distinct groups. We are not able to make grants to individuals – if you are looking for a grant for an individual please search for support at Turn2Us.

The activities which you are applying for funding for need to be legally charitable and benefit Londoners – i.e. they must take place in and/or benefit people living in London or one or more of London’s 33 local authority areas (see map at https://directory.londoncouncils.gov.uk/).

What can the funding be used for?

You can apply for one Wave 2 grant.  If you have already received a Crisis Response grant or a Delivering Differently grant, please don’t apply again.

If you received a Wave 1 grant (food and essentials) you can apply for a Crisis Response Grant as well.

People

Things we will consider funding… You may have experienced staff on programmes that cannot continue during the pandemic, but who could be redeployed to boost your capacity on new services rather than being furloughed, who will need their salary costs covering. You may have workers or employees who could increase their hours to boost your capacity. You may have volunteers who are able to support your work being delivered in new way but will need additional money to cover increased expenses.

Things we are not able to fund… We can only consider staffing costs where they are needed to deliver your services in response to the current crisis, we won’t be able to cover any additional costs of furloughed staff who are not essential to your current operations. Please note: if an existing funder has given you flexibility to use your grants to support your staff costs, you should use this flexibility first rather than request new funding for these posts from this programme.

Support

Things we will consider funding… You may need to provide access to additional specialist supervision, counselling or support services for your team. You may need to provide increased or different supervision and support for your volunteers through this time.

Equipment

Things we will consider funding… You may need new IT hardware for staff now working remotely (e.g. laptops) so that you can continue to meet the needs of your communities, where they did not previously have these. You may be continuing to deliver services that involve contact with beneficiaries and need protective equipment for your team that is over and above anything you have used for business-as-usual.

Things we are not able to fund… This funding needs to be focused on meeting new needs, so we won’t be able to cover the costs of planned equipment upgrades or replacements that should already have been factored into your organisation’s plans and budgets. Please note we are not able to fund schools to provide laptops to pupils.

Resources

Things we will consider funding… Your teams may need to have access to new software, and training on how to use new systems or work in new ways. With changes to your systems you may need additional IT support or advice to ensure you can make an effective transition to new ways of working.

Things we are not able to fund… Where your existing IT or staff support services would extend to the current situation without additional cost we would expect you to meet these costs from existing budgets. Where new software or other services come with a support package included in the purchase cost we would expect you to make use of this wherever possible.

Services

Things we will consider funding… You may be incurring additional costs to meet the needs of your communities, such as providing food and essential supplies, accessing translation or interpreting services, or deep cleaning accommodation you provide – the majority of funders working on this response can cover the costs of you providing items, and some can also cover vouchers that are given to people. Whatever the additional costs you are incurring in providing your services during this time, that are as a direct result of needing to deliver in new ways, please outline these to us in your funding proposal so that we can consider them. We recognise that not all services can be delivered via digital channels, and not all people can engage with online services, so if you are incurring additional costs via telephone, post or other methods of reaching people then please also include these.

Things we are not able to fund… Whilst this funding can be used to buy things for people, it cannot be used to make cash grants to individuals. Where your existing funding covers the costs of your services we would expect you to utilise this wherever possible, this new funding should be focusing on any additional costs involved in delivering this service in new ways at this time. We are also not able to fund the delivery of completely new services where your organisation has no track record in that type of work

Overheads

Things we will consider funding… You may be incurring additional costs for your staff to be able to work from home (e.g. contribution to broadband or phone costs), or taking on additional short-term rent obligations (e.g. taking on storage space for food or other donations). We also know that there will be overheads attached to delivering your work safely and well that you will need to ensure are covered (e.g. you may need to increase the time of a manager to support your team if people are being redeployed to new service areas), so are open to you including these in your proposal.

Things we are not able to fund… Any costs that you would have incurred anyway through this period and would already have been in your organisational budgets or plans (e.g. your existing rent or utilities costs). At this stage funding is also not available to replace any lost income (e.g. from renting out space in your building) or for general cashflow purposes.

Partnership

Things we will consider funding… You may need to work with other organisations to ensure the needs of communities are met, and we are open to covering the costs associated with getting these partnerships right (e.g. you may need legal advice, or professional support to facilitate your agreements with other organisations). We know this will also take time, and that you may need to increase the hours of part-time management colleagues, or increase the salary level of team members who take on additional responsibilities to manage the partnership – we are open to covering the difference in cost between your business-as-usual staffing and your new costs during this period.

Things we are not able to fund… We are keen to ensure that partnerships bring together organisations who are best able to meet the needs of communities at this time by working in new ways together – we will give preference to partnerships of organisations able to use their combined talents, reach and expertise to meet community needs rather than organisations seeking to move into new areas of operation where there is an existing group who is better able to meet these needs.

Governance

Things we will consider funding… You may be working in new ways that involve new risks or considerations for your organisation to manage, and so we are open to ensuring any costs associated with professional advice, or in increased numbers of meetings or ways of working for your (e.g. increased software licence costs for Trustees to be able to access systems remotely) are covered. If taking on this work requires any additional costs through financial support (e.g. increased costs if your turnover crosses a new threshold for audit fees or similar) then we can consider covering the difference in cost through your proposal.

Things we are not able to fund… We are not able to cover the business-as-usual costs of your organisation’s governance (e.g. your existing meeting costs, audit or legal advice fees) where these should already have been included in your organisation’s plans or budgets

How long is the funding for?

These grants are to cover a period of three months.

The crisis response grants are to enable you to meet the immediate needs of your communities – these could be one-off costs (e.g. new equipment), urgent needs (e.g. food and essentials), or to enable you to increase your support to people at risk. These are intended to be short-term grants that help you respond to the situation your organisation and the people you work with are facing right now.

We understand that organisations have been responding quickly to the situation, so if you have already incurred this expenditure, do not have any other funding secured to cover, and would like us to consider covering the costs of your work from Monday 23 March please note this on your form.

How do I apply?

You fill in the application form on this website and submit it. This application will be shared with multiple funders who are collaborating on the London Community Response.

Please note that applications must be submitted via the on-line application process, but you can use this form to prepare your answers or to keep a copy of what you have submitted.

What's the deadline?

There is no deadline – applications will be assessed as quickly as possible after they come in, but the time this takes will depend on the volume of requests received.

What do I do if I have questions or need help to complete the form?

Please use the email link here to let us know if you have questions or need help. We will arrange conference calls for groups to find out more about the funding and get answers on the application process. We will also be posting answers to frequently asked questions on this website each day.

How will a decision be made?

Your completed application will be screened to ensure it fits with the criteria for these funds. Screened applications will then be shared with the group of collaborating funders. Funders will select applications that they are able to fund (depending on their area of operation and interest) and make decisions on them. Funders are committing to make decisions as quickly as possible.

How will I know if our application has been successful?

The funder who has selected your application will contact you directly to confirm whether a grant has been agreed and to arrange for transfer of funds. Collaborating funders are committed to letting you know as soon as the decision is made, and to transferring the funds as quickly as possible.

What if my application isn’t successful?

If your application is not selected for funding by the collaborating funders, London Funders will let you know that you have not been successful.

What if the situation we're working in changes?

This is our guidance as of April 9th, but we recognise that the situation is changing rapidly and so funding needs may also evolve. In the event that government policy changes (e.g. to significantly extend lockdown provision, or to provide targeted financial support for any area currently covered by this fund) we may need to revise the guidance or eligibility for this funding. Where this is the case we will write to everyone who has registered for our newsletter updates, and to everyone who has already submitted an application that has not yet been considered by the panel of funders, to advise of any changes and provide time for you to resubmit applications as appropriate.

Where changes to the policy context happen after a grant has been made the relevant funding partner within the London Community Response will discuss with you how best to reflect any change in your work. In this event they will discuss with you if you are no longer able to deliver your work, or if you need additional funding to cover new costs or provide a service for a longer period, to ensure that these funds are used as effectively as possible during this fast-paced context.

What happens at the end of the funding?

At the moment we anticipate launching a new round of funding before the summer, which will be to support organisations working with communities who need additional capacity as we begin to transition from the current crisis situation towards more regular ways of working. At this stage, therefore, we would ask you to submit applications based on the money you need right now to cover your costs for the next three months.

However, we recognise that this is a rapidly-changing situation, and the current restrictions impacting on services may be tightened or extended over a longer time period. If this is the case we will prioritise contacting groups who are successful in this round of funding to ask them if they need additional resources to continue to deliver their services over an extended period or to renew their support for responding to the crisis situation – these groups will then be invited to submit an application for additional funding as a priority before we launch any new round of funding for new applicants.

We will keep organisations informed of any new rounds of funding, or any extension to existing funding arrangements, via our newsletter – you can sign up here to ensure you receive these updates.

A note on safeguarding

Funders are aware that safeguarding issues are changing quickly as organisations adapt their services – for example when you are moving to digital support or when volunteers are no longer supervised in a centre but going out to peoples’ homes. Useful guidance is available from the BBC Children in Need and NCVO. Click here for further resources and information. 

Reporting on the grant

You will need to report back to whichever funder has given you a grant, and they will let you know what they need from you. Collaborating funders are committed to light touch reporting for grants made through the London Community Response collaboration.