Press Statement Friday 8th May 2020
O’Donnell welcomes €40m COVID-19 support package for Community & Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises
Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell, today has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Rural and Community Development of a €40 million package of supports for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises nationwide. The funding package which is being made available through the Dormant Accounts Fund will help alleviate financial challenges encountered by organisations who are most in need during the COVID-19 emergency.
Deputy Kieran O’Donnell said: “I very much welcome the announcement by the Department of Rural and Community Development of a €40m national package that will provide much needed support to Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises across Limerick. Organisations across Limerick have been on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 providing vital support to the vulnerable and those in need in their local community. The package is a much needed intervention and will deliver a lifeline to many of those community, voluntary and social enterprises so they can be sustained during this challenging period and maintain their essential services.
“The package includes a COVID-19 €35m Stability Fund to support local organisations who have seen a significant fall in trade and/or fundraising income due to the crisis. This fund is targeted at organisations that are delivering front-line critical services.
“Organisations must have a projected loss in their 2020 fundraising income and/or traded income of 25% or more as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic to be eligible to apply. Grants will range between €2,000 and €100,000. The opening date for applications here is Monday 11th May 2020 and closes on Wednesday 20th May 2020 at 5pm.
“There is also a €5m Philanthropy Fund (Innovate Together) which supports innovative solutions to the new and emerging challenges of the COVID-19 period. Projects that will receive funding under the scheme include enabling online education, youth mental health interventions, new ways of working remotely, re-skilling the workforce and projects involving community outreach. Applications here will open week beginning 11th May 2020 and provide cash grants starting at €20,000.
“This funding is made available through the Dormant Accounts Fund and support initiatives that address social, economic or educational disadvantages.
Full details of the €40m funding package are:
A €35 million ‘COVID-19 Stability Fund’ to support organisations who are most in need and have encountered significant trading and/or fundraising income falls. Eligible organisations can apply for a once-off grant towards their operational and overhead costs such a rent, utilities, (excluding salaries) for the next few months. The grant awarded will be dependent on the need identified and the demand for the available budget. It is envisaged that grants awarded will vary in size ranging from €2,000 to €100,000. The opening date for applications is Monday 11th May 2020 and closes on Wednesday 20th May 2020 at 5pm,
A €5m (Innovate Together) Philanthropy Fund to support responses to the COVID-19 that necessitate innovative solutions to existing and emerging challenges. Innovate Together is a collaboration between Government, philanthropists and social innovations. Applications will open week beginning 11th May 2020 and provide cash grants starting at €20,000. The fund will seek applications from projects achieving impact in:
- Enabling online education: providing primary and post-primary school students with access to technology hardware and any other necessary supports.
- Youth mental health interventions: delivering services in new ways or offering new types of services (intervention and prevention).
- Circular economy: solutions for the efficient re-use and recycling of materials.
- Improving food security: increasing independent food production for Ireland and reducing food imports.
- New ways of working remotely: our new ways of working are here to stay and innovations are needed to smooth the transition from office to working at home.
- Community outreach: finding new ways to reach and support vulnerable and marginalised groups.
- Re-skilling our workforce: with the shift in our economy and the potential closure of businesses, there is a need for re-training and re-education of workers.
- Physical Health: online medical and physical health innovations
Full details of the Philanthropy fund can be found here. and the Stability fund can be found here.
Note to Editors:
Press Release Published: 8 May 2020
Ministers Ring and Canney launch €40 million COVID-19 support package for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises
Funding will help alleviate funding challenges faced by organisations most in need
Mr Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development and Mr Seán Canney TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development, have today (Friday, 8 May) announced the launch of a €40 million package of supports for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises.
A large number of these organisations are providing critical services to vulnerable individuals and groups in society arising from the COVID-19 crisis. Many of these organisations now find themselves in financial difficulty as fundraising efforts, commercial activities and other services they rely on have been curtailed due to the ongoing crisis.
The €40 million funding package is being made available through the Dormant Accounts Fund, which is specifically set aside to support initiatives which will benefit the most disadvantaged groups in society.
The package consists of:
- A €35 million ‘COVID-19 Stability Fund’ which will provide a level of support to qualifying organisations who are most in need and have seen their trading and/or fundraising income drop significantly during the crisis; and
- A €5m Government commitment to a Philanthropy Fund, (Innovate Together) which will focus on supporting responses to the COVID-19 crisis that require innovative and adaptive solutions to existing and emerging challenges.
Speaking about the funding package unveiled today, Minister Ring said:
“I am acutely aware of the impact of the current restrictions on the funding of charities, social enterprises and community and voluntary organisations and on the services they deliver to those most in need. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the inspiring community response to the current crisis.
“This significant funding package for the sector will help to assist these key organisations to weather the crisis and allow them to maintain their valuable services”.
The Minister continued:
“Today’s announcement shows that Government has heard the concerns of the sector and, despite the significant financial constraints we now face, we have worked creatively to deliver this significant response. The Stability Fund will be administered by Pobal in conjunction with my Department. However, it should be said that while the funding provided will be very welcome, Minister Canney and I recognise that significant challenges remain for community and voluntary groups and charities during this time. Government Departments and Agencies will continue to work closely with the sector in managing through these challenges over the coming months.”
The Minister concluded:
“Community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises have played a very significant role in supporting vulnerable people in our communities over recent weeks, particularly in the context of the Government Community Call. I would like to commend them on that work, which I know is continuing.”
This new funding is being provided in addition to the more than €45 million in funding, announced last November, for the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2020. That funding was allocated for 43 separate measures to be delivered across 9 Government Departments to benefit disadvantaged groups.
On foot of the unveiling of today’s funding package, Minister Canney stated:
“When the Dormant Accounts Fund was established, provision was made for supporting the most disadvantaged in our society with any available funds. This package being put in place today achieves exactly that, making sure that these funds are being put to the best possible use at a time of real need for many in society.”
Minister Canney continued:
“I wish to put on record my thanks to Social Innovation Fund Ireland, which will be administering the Innovate Together, Philanthropy Fund. By joining forces with the philanthropic community, not only will we leverage donations for this important initiative but we can also tap into the innovative experience and expertise which already exists in this sector.
“The new funding package announced today will ensure that the organisations assisting our most vulnerable groups can continue this important work so that people can get the help and support that they need during these most challenging of times.”
The funding package for these organisations is complementary to the range of other supports provided by the Government to support businesses, employers and employees on foot of the crisis.
Full details of the Philanthropy fund can be found here.
Full details of the Stability fund can be found here.