About the Covid-19 Support Fund:
Purpose and Objectives of the Covid-19 Support Fund
The Covid-19 Support Fund (“the Fund”) was established in May 2020 to help individuals and organisations impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
The objective of the Fund is to provide relief to charities affected by Covid-19, as well as a longer-term program of support for people, communities and issues with the greatest need.
Decisions on recipients of funding focused on supporting three core areas:
- Community based charities that are under unprecedented strain.
- Charities supporting the most vulnerable – in particular, families and children living in greatest poverty and older people in isolation.
- Charities that support people’s wellbeing and mental illness.
Who is involved in the Fund and what are their roles?
The Association of British Insurers (“ABI”) worked with representatives from across the insurance and long-term savings industry to set up the Covid-19 Support Fund. The Fund is a collective endeavour across the industry and ABI membership was not a condition for participation.
Many insurance and long-term savings firms and a number of trade bodies have supported this initiative by making donations to a designated Community Engagement Fund (“CEF”) run by the Charities Aid Foundation, with the Association of British Insurers (“ABI”) being the named account holder for administrative purposes.
The Charities Aid Foundation (“CAF”) is a registered charity (registered charity number 268369) and is a leading provider of donor-giving services in the UK. CAF works with corporate and private clients in the UK to deliver philanthropic advice and services and products to enable giving to charities.
The ABI opened the CEF with CAF and is the named account holder for administrative purposes. The CEF account provided a streamlined way for multiple donors from across the insurance and long-term savings industry to donate directly to the Fund from their corporate accounts.
A total of £103.4 million was raised by the Fund. This included matched £20m matched funding from the Community Match Fund of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The CEF was closed to new donations in late 2020 to focus on distributing grants to charities that supported the objectives of the Fund.
CAF manages the relationship with the grant holders and monitors and analyses the progress reports that are submitted each quarter (see section below on ‘Ongoing monitoring and evaluation’ for further details).
Governance of the Fund
Who decided how funds were distributed?
A Committee of senior leaders from insurers and long-term savings providers, as well as an independent representative, made decisions about beneficiaries of the donations to the Fund. The Committee is currently being chaired by Adam Winslow, CEO of Aviva UK & Ireland General Insurance.
The donation decisions were informed by objective analysis from CAF on those charities who were best placed to support the purpose and meet the objectives of the Fund.
CAF assessed potential grant holders based on the following criteria: mission alignment to area of need and fund, annual income, geographic reach, impact of existing activities with the potential to scale, quality of impact measurement and reporting, and brand recognition.
Those charities that were identified as meeting this criteria were then reviewed by CAF to ensure they were well-funded, had an established track record and proven execution capabilities.
Those charities identified as potentially being suitable to receive funding were invited to put forward detailed programs setting out how they would spend the money. The Committee then decided who should receive funding and how much they should receive.
Once the Committee had decided, the ABI and CAF worked with the charity to set out in an agreement how the funding would be used to ensure this is in accordance with the purpose and objectives of the Fund.
The ABI then instructed CAF to donate funds from the CEF, in accordance with the decisions of the Committee.
Ongoing monitoring and evaluation
Charities who received a grant from the Fund provide quarterly updates to CAF, and make these available to the ABI together with an overarching report The grant holders’ updates give details of the use and impact of the funding they have received and how the project is progressing. This is supplemented by bi-annual calls that CAF have with each grant holder where they are able to provide a progress update and talk about their recent highlights, challenges and any changes (e.g. minor changes to the use of funds, timelines, etc.).
The majority of the charitable projects funded by the Covid-19 Support Fund are due to conclude in 2024.
The ABI intends to publish a report on the impact of the Covid-19 Support Fund in 2024.
The Covid-19 Support fund is working in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation, and a network of partners, including the National Emergencies Trust.
Watch this video to learn about how the Fund will help with their work.