Covid-19 Support Fund extended to 30 April 2021

30 November 2020

We are pleased to announce that we have extended the deadline for our Covid-19 Support Fund to 30 April 2021.  In response to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the impact of the pandemic, our Trustees have approved additional budget for us to distribute in the new year. 

Since its launch in July, the Covid-19 Support Fund has awarded approximately £0.6m in grants to 21 local organisations who provide a range of services to communities across Buckinghamshire.  We are grateful to all applicants for sharing how the past few months have impacted on their organisations and the communities they support.  We are pleased that we have been able to establish new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

We have learnt a lot about what’s possible in the way we fund:

  • We’ve shortened our decision times from five months to approximately five weeks
  • We’ve started offering core funding across all grant sizes
  • We’ve adapted our application questions in response to feedback from the sector

We feel that these changes have positively impacted our relationships with the sector by confirming our commitment to working collaboratively.   This is a characteristic that we valued and encouraged pre-pandemic, demonstrated in our support of initiatives such as Buckinghamshire Culture and the Bucks Food Partnership. We hope our new ways of working enable us to be more approachable, open to ideas and, crucially, better positioned to respond to the context of our ‘place’.

Although we are pleased with our progress to date, we also acknowledge that there are things that still require improvement, such as sharing data and the impact of our funding. We’ve made our first steps by publishing our Covid-19 related grants to 360 Giving.  We have also recently started working with New Philanthropy Capital to explore how we can continue working in ways that support the county. We are committed to working with peer funders and the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) sector to better understand where we can add value to sharing knowledge and learning across the county.

We’ve also tried to extend our reach through virtual roundtables with Community Impact Bucks and Red Kite Housing.  These events give us the opportunity to listen and learn from the experiences of the local community. However, we know that there are many organisations who haven’t approached us for funding.  We’ll keep trying to seek out platforms that will result in us meeting those we haven’t met before.

We also appreciate that some organisations are experiencing challenges when trying to plan for the future given the relatively short-term nature of Covid-19 related funding. We are open to requests for longer duration Covid-19 Support fund grants.  We will also be thinking about how we adapt to include longer-term funding when we review the fund in the new year.

We would like to thank all those that we have had contact and conversations with over the past few months –  your generosity in time and expertise is hugely valuable to us.

Visit our Covid-19 Support Fund page to read more about our application criteria and a link to the online application form.