Somerset Coronavirus Recovery Fund for larger groups - Blended grants and loans of up to £20,000 to help local groups with a turnover over £250,000 recover from financial difficulty or build a more resilient organisation for the future.
Our local charities, community groups and social enterprises have proven themselves to be crucial to the well-being of our communities as we navigate the coronavirus outbreak.
Over the last seven months we have awarded almost £800,000 in grants so you can help the most vulnerable people in our county.
But we know that many of you are now struggling financially or seeking to build greater resilience into your organisation, so this fund has been created to help you rebuild.
How much is now available?
We expect to award around £200,000 in recovery funding between January and the end of March 2021.
The largest amount you can apply for is £20,000. At least 50% will be a loan from the Somerset Social Enterprise Fund offered at 0% interest, usually over a multi-year term
Please note that to be eligible for this funding you must have a form of self-generating income that generate a surplus, therefore enabling you to repay a loan.
What are our current priorities for recovery funding?
Blended grants and loans can be used to fund the core costs of organisations that support people disproportionally affected by coronavirus, but which face financial difficulty as a direct result of the outbreak. You can use this funding to support your cashflow or help you build a more resilient organisation in the future. We will prioritise charities, community groups and social enterprises that:
- are based in Somerset
- have a turnover between £250,000 and £1 million.
We will also prioritise groups that:
- we have an existing funding relationship with, either before or during the coronavirus crisis
- are working in areas of deprivation, as defined by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (2019)
- led by and for the people they support, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME); deaf and disabled; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) and women.
You must explain in your application:
- how much income you have lost as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis and why this happened
- whether you have received any coronavirus grants from elsewhere
- what your current cash reserves are
- what a grant from us will allow you to do to recover (i.e. change the way you work or buy you time until you can start delivery again)
- how your self-generated income will enable you to repay a loan.
You will need to support your application with your:
- most recent accounts. If these are before March 2020 then we would like to see draft figures to that date
- management accounts for the current year to date
- cashflow forecast for the next 12 months
- a business plan.
If you don’t have management accounts, a cashflow forecast or a business plan and are unsure how to prepare these, then please get in touch.
Who has been disproportionately impacted by coronavirus?
Please remember that this Fund continues to offer grants within the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
The outbreak has impacted some groups of people more than others. We want to support those who face the biggest challenges.
Nationally we know the elderly, those living in poverty, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups have faced the greatest impacts.
In Somerset we have identified the following groups specifically:
- older people on low incomes who have been shielding.
- families living in the most deprived neighbourhoods.
- young people eligible for free school meals and those who have faced digital exclusion.
- Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people.
- people experiencing anxiety and poor mental health.
- adults and young people with seen and unseen disabilities.
- the recently unemployed / young people unable to find employment facing short term household needs.
You must explain to us how the people you support are being disproportionately impacted.
Who can apply?
Due to FAC regulations the Fund is only open to incorporated organisations including:
- charities that are also registered companies or CIOs.
- community interest companies (but please see the additional guidance).
- other not-for-profit organisations.
We expect applicants to have:
- a board of trustees or directors with at least three unrelated members.
- a bank account in the group’s name with at least two signatories.
- appropriate policies and insurances, including safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
We may still be able to support you if you do not have these things in place. Please contact us first before applying and we will discuss the situation.
Note: we do not cover North Somerset or Bath & North East Somerset. If you work in those areas, then please contact Quartet Community Foundation.
There are also Community Foundations in our neighbouring counties of Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire. If you work in more than one area and are applying to more than one Community Foundation, then please let us know in your application.
Who can’t apply?
We cannot support individuals directly. We also cannot award a grant to a group that then distributes it to individuals as financial support. This means we cannot contribute to hardship funds.
We will not support:
- activities that are a statutory duty.
- activities that have already taken place.
- sponsorship or fundraising events.
- groups that have more than 12 months running costs in free reserves.
- groups that distribute funds to a third party.
- promotion of religion (although secular ‘open-access’ programmes led by faith-based groups can be considered).
- activities that are primarily concerned with animal welfare
How long is the funding for?
Funding is being awarded so local organisations can recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
We expect most of this to be spent within 12 months.
How do I make an application?
Applications should be made via an online application form, which can be accessed below. We’ll use the information in your application to have a conversation with you, which may include requests for additional information.
If you are unable to access the online form, then please contact us and we will support you to make your application in another way.
The form allows you to save draft versions of your application and return to it later (via an email link sent to your inbox).
The form requires you to complete a short series of questions about your group and your work. You will be asked to provide:
- the contact details of someone who can endorse your work if you are a new group.
- a simple budget.
- a list of your trustees or management committee members, including their addresses.
- a recent bank statement.
- your safeguarding policy.
If you are unable to provide any of these documents, then please contact us.
Also, if you have letters of support that you think will help us make our decision, then please email these to firstname.lastname@example.org using the name of your group in the subject line.
How do we make our decisions?
Applications will be considered in mid-January and mid-March. If you are successful, we expect to pay grants within three days.
The panel will consider:
- how well you fit with the priorities stated in this guidance
- the overall outlook for your organisation for the next 6 to 12 months
- your track record of funding with us, including the quality of past reporting.
- your ability to evidence the impact of your work.
- value for money
- your efforts to work with others to avoid duplication.
Because of the need to award grants quickly, decisions will be made by staff and trustees from Somerset Community Foundation.
To help us in our decision making we have:
- appointed Spark Somerset’s Voluntary Sector Advisors and the Somerset Diverse Communities Team as advisors to the fund.
- scheduled regular thematic workshops with sector leaders on issues such as homelessness, isolation and loneliness, young people’s mental health, etc.
- scheduled regular Somerset Funders’ Forums with representatives from the county and district councils, the National Lottery Community Fund, and others.
If you have any questions, then please get in touch with us, but be aware that it may take longer than normal to receive a response. You can reach us on email@example.com or, if that is not possible, 01749 344949.