Navigating Crisis: Small Grants up to £10k


Grants of up to £10,000 are available in this wave, which are expected to meet the needs you are responding to for up to six months (from the time the grant is awarded), though this can be for a shorter period (e.g. if you wish to focus on the winter months).  Where possible we will offer unrestricted grants.


The following organisational types can apply for a grant:

  • Registered, exempt or excepted charity
  • Charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • CIC limited by guarantee
  • Charitable company (limited by guarantee)
  • Registered charitable industrial and provident society, or charitable cooperative (Bencom)
  • Faith group, where the activity is not promoting religion
  • Registered Community Amateur Sports Club
  • Constituted but unincorporated club or association
  • Constituted Tenants and Residents Associations, and Tenant Management Organisations
  • Constituted community group

(please note that for all types of organisation, you must have at least three Trustees or Directors)

Where you are not a constituted group, for example you are a mutual aid group, you should apply via a host organisation which is on the eligibility list above and which will hold the grant on your behalf if you are successful.  Organisations can only apply once in this wave, but host organisations are able to submit multiple applications if it is clear that the funding is being held for distinct groups.  If you are acting as a host organisation you will be legally responsible for the grant, and reporting on spend and activities, and need to ensure you have agreed the detail of the application and the budget with the hosted organisation prior to submission of the application.

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  If you are a national organisation you need to make clear how you meet this requirement in your application, for example through data or your regional structure, so that we can be confident the work is London-specific.  If you are a host organisation you need to make sure that the work of the hosted organisation is charitable.

If you received a grant in a previous wave from the London Community Response you can apply again in this new wave.  If this applies to you, please note that the application form will ask you to provide information about the grant you have already received from the partnership, including if there is any overlap with the work you are requesting funding for now.

If you have applied in previous waves and been told that your work is not eligible for funding, please contact us before submitting an application this time.


We know that covid-19 had caused difficulties to all Londoners, but that some people and communities have faced disproportionate challenges and negative outcomes.  We also know that civil society organisations across London are providing vital services and support for people, with increased demands through crisis expected to continue for some time.

Whilst these funds are targeted at work that will support communities affected by covid-19, we are mindful that the coming months bring traditional winter pressures on people, and are also at a time of policy uncertainty around Brexit, so will take account of this wider context when assessing your application.

Through this wave of funding we will give particular priority to supporting:

  • Equity and inclusion – organisations led by and for marginalised communities and those most affected by the covid-19 crisis (particularly Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME); Deaf and Disabled; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+); and/or women’s-led groups);
  • Strong connections – groups who have a strong reach to people at high risk of negative impacts from covid-19 (in terms of health outcomes, as well as social and economic issues); and/or
  • Smaller organisations – typically those with a turnover of up to £1m a year (though we welcome applications from grassroots and much smaller groups too).

We welcome applications from all parts of civil society, though our analysis highlights increased funding needs for: advice; arts and culture; children and young people; domestic abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG); equity and inclusion; food; homelessness; infrastructure (civil society support and community anchor organisations); mental health and wellbeing; people at risk; and refugees and migrants (including people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)).  You will be asked on the application form to indicate if you work is linked to one of these areas.

We have collated evidence and insight on the needs of communities, which is available in our resource hub

Applying for a grant:  Navigating crisis

We know that the months ahead will be difficult – through lockdown and any further restrictions we face as a community – so we will provide funding for food, essentials and support through crisis.   We also know that civil society was crucial to getting London through the first lockdown, and will be vital to our work through the winter months and beyond – so we will provide funding that strengthens organisations and supports the people who deliver this work.

If you are applying for a navigating crisis grant we are particularly looking to fund:

  • Access to food, including cooked food, for those most in need and who are not reached by public services;
  • Access to essentials for people facing crisis so that they can access services and support safely;
  • Support for people on mental health and wellbeing, including tackling isolation and loneliness;
  • Advice to people on benefits, employment, housing, and/or immigration problems (reaching people who are experiencing difficulties for the first time, supporting those with complex issues, and/or boosting capacity to deal with increases in demand for advice and casework);
  • Work that helps to get key messages about how to stay safe to groups who may be missed by existing communications channels;
  • Work that enhances the capabilities and volunteer management of groups meeting the needs outlined above;
  • Support to develop and sustain community action at a local level (in particular mutual aid groups) so that it can best meet the needs of Londoners and strengthens local relationships;
  • Adaptations to essential services so that they can be delivered through digital or other safe and accessible channels (including for people at risk of digital exclusion), so that positive activities and outcomes can be maintained; and
  • Development work that helps to prepare organisations for longer-term funding beyond crisis or avoids the loss of premises (e.g. through developing new business models, forming collaborations, or ensuring that buildings are covid-secure for when people can return), with a particular focus on maintaining community infrastructure organisations.

Whatever you’re applying for, it’s the same application form – available here.  If you’ve applied in previous waves of the London Community Response you’ll find that some of the questions are the same – you should have a copy of your application form from previous waves, but if you need us to send you a copy to save some time in completing these sections then you can email us and we’ll find this and forward it on to you.

What can the funding be used for?

This section of the guidance gives you examples of what we would like to fund.  We have given examples of headings and the things that could be covered in each on your application, though please note that you do not need to use every heading in your budget if an element is not relevant to the request you are making. 

  • People – staffing and volunteer costs associated with delivering the work you are applying for;
  • Support – supervision and support for your team, including wellbeing and specialist support that ensures the resilience of staff and volunteers;
  • Equipment – any equipment you need to deliver this work that is not already in your budget;
  • Resources – any new software or training needed for your team to do their work;
  • Services – meeting the needs of the people you work for, including food and essentials, translation or interpreting services, or deep cleaning of accommodation;
  • Overheads – direct additional costs (e.g. for home working), together with a proportionate contribution to your organisational costs (including your governance costs);
  • Partnership – staff time, professional fees, or support needed to enable collaboration; and
  • Development – contributions to capacity building, infrastructure and organisational development.

Please note: if an existing funder has given you flexibility to use your grants to support your costs, you should use this flexibility first, and only request new funding for anything not covered (this includes if a previous grant from the London Community Response partnership could be used to meet the needs you are facing).

There are some things that we are not able to fund, including:

  • Direct payments to your beneficiaries (though a small number of funders can cover the costs of vouchers given to people to buy items);
  • Costs that should be covered by public funding (e.g. the provision of laptops to pupils by schools); and
  • Work that isn’t charitable or doesn’t benefit London (as stated in the earlier section).

What’s the deadline?

Applications will be considered in the order they are received, with a final deadline of 5pm on Thursday 3 December 2020.  We hope to have made decisions on applications by Friday 18 December 2020, though if there are any delays to this we will notify you as soon as possible.

What if I have a question?

We have a page of frequently asked questions that we keep updated with extra information, but if you need to get in touch with us you can email us and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

Click here to watch a webinar for London Community Response applicants.