13 Mar 2020
12 May 2021
11 Jun 2021
As the crisis hit, we knew we needed to immediately communicate with our members and encourage them to think about where they needed to collaborate. We spoke with Londoners, our members, and civil society organisations of all shapes and sizes. More than anything, we were hearing how imperative it was for funders to reassure grantees of their continued support during this crisis, and that future funding rounds needed to be informed by the experiences of communities affected by covid-19.
As a first step we drafted a funder statement: We stand with the sector. Over 400 funders pledged to show an understanding that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when beneficiaries may require services to be provided in different ways, or when systems must be flexible to ensure that needs are met. We also helped launch a sister statement for European funders which went on to have over 200 funders committing to the same principles across the continent.
The ‘We Stand with the Sector’ was only the beginning. Building on the lessons and infrastructure we already had in place from coordinating the funder response to the Grenfell Tower fire, we set up the London Community Response – a single application point for charities and community groups which enabled them to access funding from multiple funders in a fast and efficient way. The London Community Response was an unprecedented funder collaboration – 67 funders came together to support London’s civil society through the covid-19 crisis, distributing £57.5m to over 3,3000 groups.
We also worked with equity partners and friends across the sector to promote inclusive funding approaches, acknowledging that the pandemic was disproportionately affecting already marginalised and discriminated-against communities.
We were delighted to be announced the winner of the 2021 Charity Award in the newly created ‘Covid-19 Response’ category, recognised for providing invaluable guidance, leadership and a vehicle for practical collaboration for grant-givers, social investors and commissioners. We were also honoured to be a finalist in the Third Sector Awards for ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ in 2021.
Looking to the future, we will bring together even more learning as a platform for continued collaboration between funders to tackle the issues facing our communities, ensuring that every Londoner can thrive. You can read the learning reports from the London Community Response below
Click here for 'Scenarios for London’s communities in 2023 and implications for funders'
Click here for 'Recommendations for improving the processes behind funder collaboration'
Click here for 'How civil society delivered differently, and how funders need to support groups in the future'