Foundations plan to maintain or increase grant funding

A survey by the Association of Charitable Foundations found 40 per cent of funders believed their impact would be negatively affected by the Covid crisis

The Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) published Rising To The Challenge Charitable Foundations’ Responses To Coronavirus And Their Forecast For The Future based on a survey of its members about the impact of coronavirus was on their work in 2020, and what their forecast was for 2021.

The ACF collected responses from 80 charitable foundations across the UK with balanced representation from small, medium and large grant-making charities.

The research found that although 86% are planning to maintain or increase spending, many foundations are also reporting strains on their staff and systems. Indeed 40% are expecting a negative impact on their own finances.

The largest foundations, giving more than £5m per year, expect to be the most affected, with half forecasting a negative impact on their finances.

A quarter of the largest funders anticipate that their grant budgets could decrease, but a third predict an increase.

Small funders were the most likely to predict no impact from the pandemic on either their finances or their grants budgets, at 75%.

In her foreword to the research, Carol Mack, chief executive of the ACF, highlighted how foundations, and the charities and community groups they work with, are emerging into a different environment after the economic and social scarring of the last year.

Mack warned that even after national lockdown restrictions are lifted, there is considerable uncertainty about whether the public will be willing and able to increase their charitable giving given the threat of increasing unemployment and decrease in household incomes.

She added: “At the same time government support, whether from emergency funding directly for some charities or more universal help like furlough, is coming to an end.

“All this means that foundations have become more important players in the funding mix for charities.”

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