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Find out more about what ACEVO has done to support members during the pandemic and links to important updates and resources from our partners and other civil society organisations.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has produced a Covid-19 Vaccine Comms Pack to support civil society organisations to share and disseminate information. Download it here

You can also read this blog by James Tamm, director of legal services at Ellis Whittam, which contains information about whether charities can require an employee to be vaccinated to protect other colleagues, customers and service users.

Countering anti-vax messaging

Civil society assisting the roll-out

HR issues around vaccine

ACEVO has been part of a number of collective campaigns co-ordinated by a group of sector infrastructure bodies. This group of organisations are currently assessing what work they could carry out in the future to continue this collaboration; details of campaigns run to date are provided below.

We know from talking to many of our members that the financial impacts of coronavirus have been significant and will be long-lasting. This has an impact on what we can deliver to those we all serve, and on the employees and volunteers that ACEVO members lead. We have been working with NCVO, the Institute of Fundraising, Charity Finance Group, Small Charities Coalition, NAVCA and many others to represent this concern to government in order to ensure there is financial support to help charities weather this crisis.

The collective Every Day Counts campaign initially asked the government to provide support for the sector at the outset of the pandemic. The campaign asked for emergency funding for frontline charities and volunteers responding to the crisis, a stabilisation fund to help charities stay afloat and confirmation that certain measures that apply to businesses will be eligible for charities. Shortly after the beginning of the first lockdown, on 8 April 2020, the chancellor announced a £750m financial package to support charities during coronavirus. The package was a fraction of the £4bn loss in income forecasted for the first 12 weeks of the pandemic; read more about this funding package in the ‘Financial support’ section of this webpage.

Following Every Day Counts, the Never More Needed campaign asked everyone in the sector to share the stories of the invaluable work charities have been doing during the crisis, and the ongoing difference they make to people’s lives. On Wednesday 17 February 2021 a push for action took place to highlight our sector’s vital role in response to Covid-19, and the need for additional funding #RightNow. Public-facing social media activity was accompanied by an open letter to the prime minister and a letter to the chancellor asking for the creation of an Emergency Support Fund. 

If you have questions about collective campaigns during the pandemic, please contact

To date the only specific financial support for charities was the £750m financial package announced in April 2020. £513 million of this money was distributed by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The remainder of the £750m of government funding to charities was distributed by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC, £200m for hospices) and to devolved nations (£60m via the Barnett formula).

There have been two key reports into the £513m distributed by DCMS:

  • On 23 March 2021 the National Audit Office produced a report detailing how and when the money was distributed and you can find a member briefing on the subject here.
  • On 9 June 2021 the Public Accounts Committee released the findings from its investigation into government support for charities since the pandemic began. The report makes five recommendations around the transparency of the distribution of funding; the impact the funding had on relieving pressure for the sector; and the financial resilience of the charities during the crisis and moving forward. This member briefing explains the key recommendations in these areas and ACEVO’s response to the recommendations.

Broadly speaking, this funding was not distributed at speed or as transparently as we would have hoped, and has left many charities unsupported despite a huge increase in demand. Others are facing financial instability which may threaten their ability to deliver support when services can resume fully. We will continue to update this page with further developments on this funding package and its distribution.

Dormant Accounts

On 20 May 2020 the Secretary of State for DCMS, Oliver Dowden, announced £150m from dormant accounts would be made available for charities and social enterprises. This is split into four pots:

Distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, an additional 44m has been allocated through the Dormant Assets Scheme to communities and good causes across England. The funding aims to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to investment for charities and social enterprises, and help improve the availability of fair, affordable loans to people in vulnerable circumstances. 

  • £20m will enable Youth Futures Foundation to test and evidence the best approaches to break down barriers and improve access to employment for disadvantaged young people
  • £20m will go to Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, to provide urgently-needed finance for up to 1,000 charities and social enterprises, particularly in more deprived areas
  • £4m will allow Fair4All Finance to accelerate their work on affordable consolidation loans for people in financially vulnerable circumstances

The Government is currently consulting on the broad social or environmental purposes of the England portion of dormant assets funding. It is asking for specific views on four causes – youth, financial inclusion, social investment, and community wealth funds – and welcomes suggestions for any other social or environmental causes that the government should consider. The consultation closes on 9 October 2022.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme ended in March 2022.

Charity Health Check

Together with the Centre for Mental Health, we have conducted a six-month survey with charities across five key markers of financial health. The results of the survey and more details about it can be found here.

Additional information

Even for those less affected financially, this will be a period of prolonged uncertainty that could negatively impact wellbeing and mental health. In December 2020 we published a report about workforce wellbeing, which you can download here

ACEVO has moved its events online, and we encourage you to still ‘attend’ so that you can check in with your fellow leaders and get peer support. Upcoming webinars are here and digital meetings here

If you are struggling, need advice or a sounding board, or would just like to share what is going on for you, simply visit our ‘talk to us‘ page to find out how to contact our support team. Jenny and Tom – both experienced coaches and previous chief executives – understand the issues and will be in touch to arrange a one to one call. If they can’t support you directly, then they will link you with the information or contacts that can.

Members can also access discounted expert, practical support via ACEVO’s corporate partners, and we are still running a number of training events online. Please click here to read a summary of the services and support offered by our partners.

Hannah Massarella from Bird has written a blog offering three practical steps to fight fear. The Charity Finance Group has collated a list of resources and guidance focused on wellbeing. The Institute of Leadership & Management is hosting webinars on mental health. ACAS has also created a page with several mental health resources during Covid-19. 

Other relevant blogs:

The ACEVO team is working remotely but is fully set up to keep our membership services going. We are asking people to email us rather than phone so we can direct your query to the best member of staff to deal with it. 

If there is something you need which isn’t covered here, or you would like to get in touch for any reason, please email  

We have been working closely with the Charity Commission to answer questions members have raised about governance and regulatory obligations during the crisis. At the start of the lockdown we produced a briefing for the Charity Commission which can be downloaded here. Issues that have been raised include remote decision making, flexibility in reporting deadlines and altering charitable objects to respond to the current need.

The Commission has produced a Q&A in response here which it is updating on a regular basis. The Commission’s contact desk is also open daily from 9am-5pm on 0300 066 9197and call handlers are prioritising queries related to COVID-19. We have also worked with the Charity Commission on the publication of supplementary guidance on serious incident reporting which can be found here.

The Fundraising Regulator has published guidance to support charitable organisations return to fundraising activities in line with social distancing requirements, as lockdown restrictions are eased across the UK:

If there is any issue not covered here that you would like ACEVO to raise with any of the sector’s regulatory bodies, please get in touch. Members can also access bespoke advice through ACEVO’s governance advice line, and advice can also be found on the Small Charities Coalition website.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed many charities plans and immediate priorities. Every charity wants to ensure that it is doing all it can over the coming months to provide support and services to the people it works with. In order to serve all people and all communities we need to be sure that the programmes and processes we create over the coming months are equitable and inclusive. The need to move with speed does not negate the need to be inclusive, and the fact that we will all be impacted by COVID-19 doesn’t mean we will all be impacted equally. On Monday 23 March we hosted an online event to discuss what charities can do to ensure they have equity at the centre of their decision making and designing when responding to COVID-19. Watch the recording below or read the summary here.

  More insightful content:
  • #CharitySoWhite has published a paper that provides an overview of the risks and impact of COVID-19 on racial inequalities within the UK.
  • Ubele has a dedicated page collating the work it has been doing in response to Covid-19 and how it affects BAME communities, including research and case studies.
  • Leeds Migration Partnership has published a really interesting blog about video calling and the potential costs to marginalised communities. The blog also offers advice for addressing these inequalities.
  • Inclusion London is hosting a webinar about the impact of Covid-19 on Disabled people: Abandoned, forgotten and ignored.
ACEVO has also started to think about to rebuild a fairer, more equitable society. Please read this blog by ACEVO CEO Vicky Browning and read the #BuildBackBetter statement here.

#LifeBeyondCovid: House of Lords COVID-19 Committee inquiry

In August 2020, ACEVO submitted a video featuring 10 members to the House of Lords COVID-19 Committee. They talk about the impact of the pandemic on the people they work with and their work as a charity. 

Not an ACEVO member?

If you have any queries please email or call 020 7014 4600.

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