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Managing your emergency COVID-19 funding in England - including Coronavirus Community Support Fund grants

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Once you’ve been awarded emergency COVID-19 funding in England - including a grant from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) - here’s what to expect. There are a few things you need to do as well.

Tell us how your project is going

We might contact you to ask how your project is going. You should also get in touch with us to let us know about changes to your project. For example, you’ll need to let us know if your organisation is changing its name or legal form.

Keep track of how you spend the funding

You might need to show us how the funding was spent and you’ll need to be able to confirm this, through receipts, invoices or payroll documents. This is to confirm the funding was spent like you told us. You’ll need to track your spending against your budget to show any changes you make. This will help to show you are using the money to achieve what you were funded to do.

You only need to send us this evidence if we ask for it, but you should do it to manage your budget effectively. Another organisation we're working with might ask for this information. And you might be asked for it at any time during your project.

This process is called ‘post-grant assurance checks’.

Tell us your final spending compared to your budget

When your six months of funding has ended, we’ll ask you to tell us what your final spend was, compared to your budget. This is so we can find out if you:

  • still have some funding left
  • have spent more than you planned to
  • have spent the exact amount of funding we awarded you.

You’ll need to send this information to your funding officer by email four weeks after your funding ends. For example, if you got your first payment on 1 May, your funding will end on 31 October, and four weeks after this date, you’ll have to send us the information.

You’ll need to tell us:

  • what you planned to spend the funding on (use the same cost headings you gave us in your original applications, so we can see where you have spent less than or more than you intended. The headings will be things like ‘salaries’ and ‘project activity’, and do not need to be more detailed than that)
  • what you spent the funding on
  • any overspend or underspend
  • the total amount you spent.

You might also need to explain how you reached your budget figures. So we suggest keeping all your calculations.

Here's an example budget table we’d like you to send us:

Example Budget table - Cost headings, Agreed costs, Actual Expenditure, Overspend/underspend

If there’s a big difference between the amount of funding you got and how much of it you spent, tell us the reasons for this and any impact it might have had on the project.

You can send all this information by email to your funding officer.

Share your story

Let people know about your grant and the amazing work you're doing in your community. Sharing the news about your project with your community can be a great way to keep them involved and engaged. If your funding comes from the Government, here’s some information about how to publicise your grant. If your funding comes from us, you can find out more about how to promote your grant.

Help us understand the impact of the funding

Ipsos MORI will send you a survey
Ipsos MORI are the independent evaluator for this funding. When your funding is nearly finished, they'll email you a survey asking how you’ve used the funding. If you work with volunteers, you'll also need to forward on a separate survey to any volunteers, so we can find out about their experiences too.

Don’t worry. It’s okay if some things did not work out as planned, we just want to know more about what organisations are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis.

You’ll need to gather some information during the funding
We asked you to do this in the terms and conditions you agreed to. This will help you to answer the survey. Here’s the information you’ll need to gather:

  • how many people you reached
  • how many volunteers you worked with
  • what activities you carried out and how many times you did them
  • what difference the funding has made.

The survey will also ask you to reflect on the work you’ve done, but you do not need to gather any information about this.

You can decide how you want to measure this information. Don’t worry if you need to make an estimate or measure using a sample of information. The important thing is to answer as best as you can.

Ipsos MORI will also carry out 300 interviews
The interviews will be with some organisations that were awarded Government funding and will take place after their funding has ended. We'll include a representative mix of the types of projects and organisations funded.

The interviews will be voluntary. They'll explore similar topics to the survey but in more detail.

Take part in our customer experience survey

We'll invite organisations who have applied or received funding to fill out a survey, to tell us about:

  • your experience of The National Lottery Community Fund
  • how you heard about the funding
  • how much COVID-19 has affected your organisation.

Share learning with other organisations through the Learning Hub

We want to help share learning between organisations awarded emergency COVID-19 funding in England, including those funded by the Government's CCSF and us.

Ipsos MORI will invite you by email to join a Learning Hub from 19 October 2020. They’ll send the invitation to the main and senior contacts of your grant. It'll just be for grant holders to share, connect and learn.

The Learning Hub will have blogs, podcasts and other materials, with themes and content led by what matters most to you. There will also be regular activities that organisations can take part in.

Some overall insights and learning will also be shared with the wider voluntary and community sector, so that we can support organisations to navigate through the current crisis more effectively.