Learn about applying for emergency COVID-19 funding in England

The National Lottery Community Fund and HM Government logos

We have launched a £200m fund for organisations in England. The fund is part of the Government’s £750m financial support package for charities and social enterprises announced by Government on April 8. We'll distribute the Government funding alongside National Lottery funding, to support organisations to continue to deliver services to people and communities affected by COVID-19.

The application you need to fill in is the same whether your funding comes from the Government or from us. So you don't need to tell us which pot of funding you want to go for.

If you can't apply for National Lottery funding, so specifically need the government funding
If you're a group that's looking for government funding, because you can't accept funding from The National Lottery, please tell us in your application.

What we can fund

We can fund activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19. We can also help organisations overcome any acute financial difficulties they’re facing because of the pandemic.

We are working with others to ensure this funding reaches communities as quickly as possible, including looking at extending our reach with social enterprises and community led community organisations and businesses. We are having a number of conversations to finalise partnering arrangements. We will keep you informed as soon as these go live.

The types of projects and organisations we’re prioritising

We expect a high demand for funding, so we can’t fund everyone. We'll prioritise:

  • Organisations supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
    This category includes, for instance, organisations supporting older people, disabled people (including people with long-term health conditions) and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, all of whom are facing specific challenges during the current crisis. It also includes organisations who provide advice and support to those pushed in crisis as a result of the pandemic. This category also includes those organisations supporting people and their families with end of life care.
  • Organisations providing services and support for vulnerable people, for which there will be increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
    This category includes, for instance, organisations supporting people and families who face financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. It also includes organisations working to prevent domestic abuse and violence against protected groups, those working with homeless people and those supporting vulnerable children and young people. Finally, we also know that there is increased demand for mental health support and support to mitigate the increased challenges of loneliness and isolation.
  • Organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19
    This category includes organisations supporting local community activity, including volunteering, and community organising. It also includes organisations supporting community and sector infrastructure, including public information. We know there is increased demand for support with the development of digital, data and technology capabilities. Finally, we want to support building capacity and infrastructure of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and other marginalised communities to ensure they are in a better position after the initial emergency response.

Government funding will be used to fund organisations in the first two categories, National Lottery funding will be used to fund organisations in the last category. But the application process is the same, so you don’t need to worry about this.

We know that small and medium-sized charities are likely to be more vulnerable right now. So we encourage applications from those organisations, including micro charities, though we can consider applications from larger organisations on a case-by-case basis. We're also looking to work in partnership with others to get funding out to communities as quickly as possible.

We know that some communities, such as disabled people and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, are being hit hard by the pandemic. We encourage organisations to apply who are led by people in those communities.

How much you can apply for and for how long

We’re looking to award funding between £300 to £10,000 or funding over £10,000 to cover your spending for up to six months after award. This will give you time to consider what the longer-term implications of the pandemic might be.

We'll consider larger awards or longer timeframes, particularly for organisations working across more than one area of England, on a case-by-case basis.

Beyond this response, National Lottery funding is available for longer-term rebuild and recovery. We're reviewing the situation on an on-going basis and will keep you informed as our plans develop.

We only have a limited amount of funding to award

There will be high demand for this funding, and we'll have to make some tough choices. We expect the funding to be heavily oversubscribed and anticipate only being able to support a proportion of applications.

You can only apply once for COVID-19 emergency funding in England. So please only ask for what you need to support communities for up to six months and please bear with us as our funding teams respond to the demand.

We'll assess applications in the order we receive them. We know you need funding quickly.

We’ll monitor demand closely and update you on any steps we might need to take to help manage the number of applications we get. So that we can get funding out to communities as quickly as possible.

If you have or are applying for other emergency Government COVID-19 funding

Please tell us about it in your application. We want to make sure as many organisations as possible have access to support.

How to apply for emergency funding in England: