Ní Chuilín announces £11.7million support for charities

9 Dec 2020 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 6 Jan 2021

COVID-19 Charities Fund image

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced a second phase of the Covid-19 Charities Fund.

The Minister is urging charities to start making application preparations ahead of the opening of the £11.7million fund on 6 January 2021.

She explained:

“Organisational support will be available between mid-December and the opening date to give applicants time to prepare their applications. This will provide charities with time to collect the necessary information and consider their application with the help of experts.

“We have more than 8,000 charities that do invaluable work and provide essential support to people when they need it most. This funding will help those charities facing extreme financial pressures as a result of curtailment to their fundraising activities to continue to deliver critical services.”

This phase of the Fund will be delivered on behalf of the Executive and the Department for Communities by Community Finance Ireland.   

NICVA is providing advice for applicants to the fund - Submit an enquiry or arrange a call-back from the NICVA team via the advice hub

Pre-application information including eligibility, guidance and a Word version of the application form will be available from Monday 14 December on the Community Finance Ireland website. Advice and guidance is available from NICVA and information webinars will be held from next week. Book your place on a webinar here.

The Fund will provide financial support to charities that have lost income due to the impact of Covid-19 and are unable to cover unavoidable costs between 1 October 2020 and 31 March 2021.

The Minister explained further: 

“Charities will be able to avail of funding up to £75,000. A diverse range of charities have already received financial support from the first phase announced in June and July 2020. Previous applicants and awardees will be able to apply in recognition that the support applied to a different six month period; it will also allow charities to apply which were previously ineligible due to having received other Covid support funding.”

Donal Traynor, Group Chief Executive of Community Finance Ireland said: “In our 20-year history, we have helped more than 500 organisations across Northern Ireland, spanning the arts and culture, faith, sports and the social enterprise sectors. We are delighted to continue our support which saw our team’s involvement with the recent Covid Social Enterprise Fund on behalf of the Department for Communities and again today by the announcement of the Covid-19 Charities Fund.

“We have seen first-hand the force for good behind these organisations and the positive change they make to the communities or end users they serve. We are delighted to collaborate in helping to administer this fund at what continues to be a challenging cash-flow period for the charity sector and change-makers in Northern Ireland. We encourage all applicants to log onto our website where from December 14 they can start to prepare their paperwork and co-ordinate the information required in advance of the January submission deadline.”

Commenting on the pre-application support that they can provide, Chief Executive of NICVA Seamus McAleavey said: “NICVA welcomes a further tranche of this much needed funding. NICVA is here to help guide charities in making their applications, starting with a series of webinars next week. Book your place now by going to the NICVA website.”

Covid-19 Charities Fund applications can be submitted from 6 January 2021 to 22 January 2021.

shauna.oneill@nicva.org's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Communications Officer

[email protected]

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