New & Updated COVID-19 Funds

Updates on COVID-19-related Funding   

It's good to see that funders recognise that this is an exceptional situation that will have a massive impact on our sector and want to offer support and flexibility.  We will keep you updated about funders joining the wave of generosity that COVID-19 is provoking from communities across Northern Ireland and providing funding support.

Please note that funds can open and close within a matter of weeks, or even days, so speed is of the essence in applying.  Some funds are also pausing to either allow assessors to catch up with the sheer number of applications or simply to allow the funder to acquire additional funding.     

NB Remember, you can see all these schemes in a one-stop format, (and over 870 more relevant to Northern Irish charities), on GrantTracker, NI's leading funding database.   Subscribe from only £100 a year here


Versus Arthritis:  Let’s Move Together Fund

A £100,000 fund to help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity for people with musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis, across Wales, Scotland and NI.  Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are being offered.

As well as supporting specific activities to increase availability of exercise opportunities in local communities, this fund will also support organisations and groups facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis, with a view of enabling delivery of sport and physical activity work in the future. The fund will also support community groups working with target audiences to strengthen coming out of COVID-19 restrictions through developing their governance, business planning and resilience.  

Do It Now Now - Common Call: Fund 2 (Deadline 5pm, 25th June 2021)

Do it Now Now (DINN) is offering grant packages of £5,000 or £12,500 through funding from Comic Relief’s Global Majority Fund via their Common Call grant fund.  This is financial support for Black-led charities and social enterprises disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in the UK.  The £300,000 fund includes contributions from Barclays, National Emergencies Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and Comic Relief.

Bank of Ireland: Begin Together Arts Fund (Managed by Arts & Business NI & Business to Arts in Ireland) (Deadline for applications, 5pm, 23rd June 2021)

The second round of this fund will make a total of £865,000 in arts funding available over 3 years, awarded to projects that are adapting due to the pandemic, or are inspired by and responding to their recovery.   The Arts Fund supports or commissions artists and arts organisations to develop arts projects that engage the individuals, audiences and communities involved. All art forms are eligible to apply to the fund. With this second round, they are encouraging more applications from artists who specialise in fine-art film and craft-related disciplines and from community arts organisations, who were under-represented in round one.  

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA): Environment Fund

A £2million Fund for not-for-profit organisations and councils to deliver natural heritage projects that support Covid-19 Recovery and Green Growth across NI.  Grant awards of over £30,000 are on offer with the maximum amount of DAERA funding available under the competition normally being up to 85% of eligible project costs.

The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation UK: COVID–19 Emergency Fund (NOW REOPEN) 

The Foundation has set up an emergency fund to help small to medium sized organisations who are struggling to manage the financial impact of COVID-19 either because of increased demand for their services or loss of income. The fund is targeted at organisations in a critical position.  Grants are for a maximum of £1,000.

(Coming Soon) Minister announces major new health service support funds

Robin Swann has announced a new Cancer Charities Support Fund and a new Mental Health Support Fund. Each receive £10m. £4m has also been allocated to the Carers Support Fund & £15m is also being provided for support for healthcare workers across NI. 

The Carers Support Fund will be administered by the Community Foundation for NI.  Full details will be available on their website when it opens,  See here for the most up to date information.

British Council (Via Unlimited): Micro Awards (Round 2 Closing Date, 2 Noon, 18th May 2021)

Funded by British Council and administered by Unlimited, these micro awards are to support artists in this uncertain time to build connections/collaborations, rather than to create work. The funding can cover a range of purposes – for example, reflecting on past work, using the time to explore different creative processes together, or even planning to create small iterations of new work, if relevant.  Each application must be led by a UK disabled artist or company/collective working with a UK disabled artist and applications can be for up to £2500. This includes up to £1000 for each artist or collective, and up to £500 for administration, translation, and equipment. Access funding is available separately – both to support access to applications and/or access to support the project. 

NFU Mutual Agency Giving Fund

The NFU Mutual Agency Giving Fund is a new national fund to deliver local support during these challenging times.  For 2021 it will replace the NFU Mutual Giving Fund to provide £2 million for local charities.   The funds will be distributed over 16 weeks from the end of February, offering support as lockdown measures continue to impact their communities.  Nominations will be made by local agents rather than through an open application process.  

NB Their normal Community Giving Fund  is now on hold for the duration of  2021, whilst they direct £2million funding to local charities through the Agency Giving Fund. They hope to help these charities stay strong and resilient during the pandemic and beyond.  They apologise if you have already applied for a donation via the Community Giving Fund, but no further donations will be available from this fund during 2021. 

Arnold Clark Community Fund (Final Application Deadline 11.59pm, 31st May 2021)

From March 2021, this fund is now open to all UK registered charities and local community groups who need financial assistance due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Requests can be made for £100 - £1000.  500 applications will be granted (at random) each month.  If your application is unsuccessful one month, they’ll keep you in the draw, which will roll over to the following month.

British Council (Via Unlimited): Micro Awards (Round 2 Closing 12 Noon, 18th May 2021)

Funded by the British Council and administered by Unlimited, these micro awards support artists in this uncertain time to build connections/collaborations, rather than to create work.  Funding can cover a range of purposes – for example, reflecting on past work, using the time to explore different creative processes together, or even planning to create small iterations of new work.  Applications must be led by a UK disabled artist or company/collective working with a UK disabled artist and applications can be for up to £2500.


During the current national situation, Burg-Wächter is offering free security kits (worth £150) for community properties, equipment or outdoor areas that need extra security at this time and have limited funds to meet these needs.

A new fund from the UK insurance and long-term savings industry, launched 18th May. Working in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), National Emergencies Trust (NET) and others. Aiming to raise £100 million to help those most affected by COVID-19, with £82.5 million already having been pledged.  NB Please note that this fund is not open to applications as it will use other partners like CAF and NET to distribute funds raised.

Established by the Impartial Reporter in partnership with The Fermanagh Trust, with donations of over £10,000 raised by the local community.   Open to organisations and agencies in Fermanagh who need support to improve the well-being of health and social care and home care personnel including volunteers. Focussed on providing support that is needed for those workers throughout our healthcare system to help them to stay safe. Includes those working in hospital, residential settings and those providing community, home-based services to our elderly, ill and vulnerable, including private and not for profit contracted services.

The Community Grants Programme will support charities to REACT to the COVID19 pandemic, PREPARE to reopen services or adapt their services accordingly, and to RESTORE/RENEW in order to deliver what may be for many a new way of life. If you feel your proposed project can commence within the next three months, you are eligible to apply to the Foundation or support. They will continue to get decisions out quickly for COVID related projects.

Now offering £65 million for two new rounds of grants: £30 million through Community Partnership Grants and £35 million through Recovery Grants.  The charity, whose membership comprises more than 230 NHS charities across the UK, has allocated the funds to all member charities and is inviting them to apply for funding from its Covid-19 Appeal from 1 September.  Community Partnership Grants recognise the profound impact of the pandemic on all communities outside NHS settings such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, and grants will fund projects through public or voluntary sector organisations.  Recovery Grants will help tackle the longer term effects of Covid-19 and support hospitals in preparation for any second wave.

The Rank Foundation has temporarily suspended its major grants programme to focus on the immediate operational needs of its network. The Foundation has launched two funds to help existing network and current grant recipients:

  • The Emergency Fund is for immediate grants of up to £750 to purchase equipment, technology or memberships;
  • The Resilience Fund will provide grants to cover cashflow, fundraising and loss of income, and to help with increased demand for services.

Initially, funding will only be available to the Foundation’s RankNet members, but public access may be given at a later date.  They are currently reviewing their Pebble Grants programme criteria to allow for wider, public access. Their major grants programme will be suspended for the moment in order that they focus their attention and resources on meeting the more immediate operational needs of their network.

Supported by National Lottery funding Sport NI have created a programme called Supporting Sports to Build Back Better. This programme will provide a multi-strand approach to supporting the sporting system with a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework being implemented alongside.  

The Barclays Foundation have announced a £100 million COVID-19 Community Aid Package - The package consists of two strands. £50million will be donated to charities chosen by Barclays and £50million will be donated by matching their employees' personal donations (individual organisations cannot apply for this funding. The money will be disbursed principally in the UK, but also in Barclays’ international markets, including the USA and India

Resilience and inclusion project funding to support organisations working with heritage to adapt and respond to the changing environment they are now operating in. You can apply for grants from £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000 for projects that: Support organisations working with heritage to adapt and recover in the continuing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis;  or are focused on inclusion, led by and/or engaging diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage (for example, young people, minority ethnic and LGBT+ communities, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds).  

The National Emergencies Trust launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities to support those individuals suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Donations are still being accepted and will be passed out through other funders.   (NB There is no separate fund for applications)​

Thanks to Co-op funding, they are now offering a dedicated package of free Covid-19 support for all forms of community business – including woodlands, farms, bakeries, pubs and shops, as well as those developing groups that have been affected by the pandemic.   Includes support and guidance on developing short – medium term cash flow, reviewing business plans, applying for funding, upholding good practice governance and utilising community shares and accessing government support.​

The Swimathon Foundation has launched a second Covid-19 Relief Fund.  It will once again seek to allocate grants of between £250 and £1,000 to small swimming and aquatic organisations who are experiencing continued financial hardship from the effects of Covid-19, especially where access to financial support has not been available. These range from National Governing Body Affiliated Swim Clubs, Aquatic Clubs and Swim Schools to Independent Swimming Organisations

The Volant Trust accepts applications from charities in the UK and internationally that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for medical equipment and the production or distribution of PPE will also be considered.  Grant levels are at the discretion of the trustees, with no minimum or maximum amounts publicly set.  (NB The Volant Trust's usual open grant programmes centre on Scotland, but this fund is UK-wide)


ADT supports young people who through volunteering or community service, aim to enhance the lives of others, particularly those most marginalised by society.  To help young people to volunteer in response to COVID-19 they are now offering grants of up to £500.

Currently inviting customers to nominate a local charity, group or cause for a Community Grant of up to £2,500 to help them to continue providing support to those affected by the Coronavirus, or who themselves are struggling to maintain their usual services. Examples for nominations might include foodbanks, support groups or homeless charities. Have already helped more than 200 good causes deliver projects such as helping disability charities invest in their resources, and community groups tackle isolation amongst the older generation. Nominations for this round closed on the 12th May 2020.

Grants focused on the needs of specialist social welfare legal advice organisations. Aim to help them respond to COVID-19, with flexible support so organisations can respond to the challenges in ways that they feel best meets their needs but for which they do not currently have the funds.  


Further information will be provided by NICVA as it becomes available.

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