£5m boost as City of London Corporation calls on firms to support Covid-19 fund


London’s largest independent funder has handed a £5 million boost to a coronavirus emergency fund – and is urging businesses to dig deep to help good causes facing a ‘perfect storm’ caused by the pandemic.

The cash from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, brings its total pledge to the London Community Response to £6m.

However, with demand for grants outstripping funding available, hundreds of charities, community groups and social enterprises could miss out on much-needed money to help them weather the Covid-19 storm without further support from businesses and individuals.

The initiative was launched in March, supported by City Bridge Trust and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and co-ordinated by third sector membership body London Funders.

So far, a total of £23.3 million has been pledged to help charitable, community and social organisations across London, but most of that money has already been allocated, meaning remaining funds could run out soon.

Dhruv Patel, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “It is often said that a crisis brings out the best in people, and the response from many public and private sector organisations across London in rising to the challenge posed by Covid-19 has been fantastic to see.

“However, the charities, community groups and social enterprises which are working tirelessly on the frontline of the crisis face a perfect storm of rising demand for their services at a time when they’re facing unprecedented financial pressures due to loss of income.

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“While there have been some challenges, businesses in the City and across London who are able to help have responded magnificently, but more money is needed – now more than ever – to ensure charities and other groups can continue their work on the ground supporting communities and vulnerable people.”

The latest major employers to provide funding to the London Community Response are global financial services organisation Macquarie Group, which has given £500,000, and Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, which has donated £1 million.

Paul Plewman, CEO for EMEA at Macquarie said: “We are extremely proud to be named among other London Funders, standing behind our local not-for-profit sector at this increasingly challenging time. Since our London office first opened in 1989, our Group Foundation has been committed to supporting the local community.

“Over this time, we’ve found great success collaborating with other funders through organisations such as Islington Giving and now London Community Response – maximising our impact by working together.”

Jemma Read, Global Head of Corporate Philanthropy, Bloomberg L.P. said: “As attention turns to reopening our city, London’s business community has a unique and important role to play in helping to financially support the sector.

“Over the coming weeks, we are looking forward to working with Macquarie and the City of London Corporation to convene a group of leading businesses from across the City to discuss our collective response.

“We will explore how we can help to safeguard the future of London’s non-profits, including adopting new funding mechanisms to meet the unprecedented demands placed on the sector during this time.”

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