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Last updated May 2020

Coronavirus: Delivering financial support

This guide for grant making to individuals was developed to help new funds establish their grant making operations during the COVID-19 crisis. It features the key considerations for anyone thinking about establishing a new fund, and shares insight into how our member charities are responding to COVID-19 and adapting their processes.

You can download the full guide using the link at the bottom of the page, along with other useful guides on grant making to individuals.

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a significant increase in individuals requiring urgent financial support. As a result, many organisations are considering setting up funds to try to meet this immediate need.

While it is encouraging to see new funds being established, it is important they are managed effectively to operate efficiently and best meet the needs of individuals.

As the UK’s umbrella body representing benevolent funds and grant giving charities, we have identified a list of key considerations and what we believe are the minimum requirements for establishing grant making operations to support individuals.

We also address how common grant making requirements have changed in light of COVID-19, sharing how charities are adapting their usual procedures and the importance of being flexible in order to continue to support individuals effectively.

If you wish to assist individuals, couples or families at this time you may want to consider working with existing ACO grant givers who already have the infrastructure established to award grants to individuals.

However, if you are planning to distribute funds yourself, this guide lists some of the key issues you should assess.


Icon Coronavirus: Delivering financial support


A guide for grant making to individuals during the COVID-19 crisis. This report outlines the minimum requirements and key considerations of setting up a new fund to help individuals, taking into account the present situation with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Icon Smallwood Trust - Community Grant Partner Grant-making toolkit


Smallwood Trust - Community Grant Partner Grant-making toolkit

Icon Helping Individuals in Need. A Guide to good practice for charities


This toolkit is intended for those running a charity that gives grants to individuals in need. Authored by Caroline Aldred and Clementine Cowl, the idea for this guide came out of the questions that arise frequently at ACO meetings such as ‘our trustees want to offer loans to applicants, but can we do this and what are the legal implications?’ or ‘how should we manage home visits?’ We hope that this guide will assist in finding answers to these questions.

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