Shared voluntary resources
Independent philanthropic foundations spent well over £3 billion on charitable causes in 2018/19. (https://www.acf.org.uk/policy-practice/research-publications/foundation-giving-trends-2019) General grant-making grew by almost 10%, an annual increase made possible by a strong asset base worth £67 billion. These foundations and the charities they support are part of an enterprising ecosystem which has – throughout time – shared voluntary resources to strengthen communities and social cohesion. The current coronavirus crisis has revealed the strengths and vulnerabilities of the voluntary sector in the starkest of terms. The finances of our charities, voluntary organisations and institutions are taking a battering from which some may not recover, while local and national voluntary initiatives to meet rapidly emerging welfare needs are mushrooming. The demand for services and the resources to support them has never been greater.
Managing the coronavirus crisis successfully is going to need all parts of the sector to pull together as never before. Foundations across the board are developing initiatives to help organisations deal with funding gaps as lockdown sees income traditionally raised from events, trading and household giving dry up. Meanwhile they also have to deal with the immediate effects of the coronavirus crisis on their own finances. The longer-term impacts on their assets and spending, and the knock-on effects for the chariaties they fund will emerge over the next months and years.