How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the charity sector?

  • By Alun Edwards
  • 28 April 2020 15:54

The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly places new strain and pressure on the charity sector, as they work through these unprecedented times. Funding challenges, maintaining high standards of charity governance and the implications COVID-19 has on charity accounts will all be key to discussions. In addition, the dominating issue of government support that charities may be able to take advantage of will also be key to charities across the UK.

The Regulator’s response to COVID-19 and charity governance

Each of the UK’s Charity Regulators has issued guidance for charities on issues raised by the Coronavirus outbreak. It remains a priority for all UK charities to keep their people safe, whether it is the employees and volunteers that work for them or their beneficiaries dependent upon their services.

More now than ever charities require effective management. One of the matters trustees will need to consider is how the Coronavirus outbreak impact on the charity’s strategy and plans for the future, which for many charities will need to be reconsidered in the light of the many issues the outbreak raises. Financial plans will need to be revisited in the light of falling levels of income, implications for the range of services the charity provides that best meet the charity’s objectives considered and time scales for implementing changes amended where necessary. In addition, the charity’s investment and reserves policy may require reassessment following on from the charity’s experience of how it has been affected by the outbreak.

Government Financial Support

Earlier in the month, it was welcome news when the Chancellor announced a £750 million package of support, specifically available for frontline charities to ensure they can carry out their essential working during the pandemic. Encouragingly, the government have also said that charities are applicable to access many of the other measures that the Chancellor has previously announced for businesses.

How we can help

For further guidance on issues affecting the charity sector as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, our Spring 2020 Charity Newsletter has been designed to keep your charity clients up to date. Providing some respite from the pandemic, the Spring 2020 edition also provides a round-up of other topical issues affecting charities at present, including the latest accounting, taxation and governance guidance. To find out more about the latest edition, please visit here.

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