Ensuring Emergency Funds Reach Hard Hit BAME Communities


Research, including from ONS and Public Health England shows that the Coronavirus pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.


There is a clear and pressing need to ensure that emergency funding reaches those from these hardest-hit communities. Since the launch of the Coronavirus Appeal, we’ve worked hard to put in place a range of measures to ensure this happens.

Reaching the hardest hit, all over the UK


With extensive reach right across the four nations, Community Foundations play a vital role in getting funds out fast to those on the ground, including those from BAME communities.


Around 17% of Coronavirus Appeal funds distributed through Community Foundations go to charities and voluntary groups that primarily benefit of those from BAME backgrounds.

BAME-led charities and groups are pivotal


BAME-led* charities and groups play a pivotal part in ensuring that vital emergency funds reach the hardest hit, as outlined by The Ubele Initiative.


As of June 2020, around 12% of Coronavirus Appeal funds distributed through Community Foundations went to BAME-led organisations.


We recognised the need to invest in better infrastructure to support BAME-led organisations. We allocated an initial £250,000 from the Coronavirus Appeal to a UKCF fund that aims to help more BAME-led charities and groups to apply for funding from their local Community Foundations. Applications can be made here.

*We define BAME-led organisation under the following terms issued by the Race Equalities Funders Alliance:

  • The organisation’s mission and purpose is to benefit BAME communities
  • The majority of the leadership (i.e. at least half of the senior team and the Trustee board) are from the BAME community(ies) that it serves

“Allocating dedicated funds to support BAME-led charities means we can continue to get emergency funds to those that need them most, while building vital capacity where there’s been historic underinvestment. There is much talk about doing things better after this crisis. Seizing opportunities to create a fairer funding infrastructure for the long-term must be central to that.”

Jehangir Malik

Co-Optee, National Emergencies Trust

Partnership with Comic Relief to support BAME-led charities


In July we also announced a partnership with Comic Relief to award £3.4million worth of grants for 10 BAME-led organisations who will distribute funding to small and micro projects across the UK. This includes £2.75m in emergency funding from the Coronavirus Appeal.


The organisations specialise in and will fund small projects across a range of services including mental health, domestic abuse, sports provision, gender, racial equality and family services.


The grants will be available from mid-July and each organisation will set their criteria and grant amounts individually, with applicants applying to them directly.

“The disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on Black and Asian communities has been truly devastating. Smaller projects that work within these communities have also been adversely affected, after many years of neglect, with many at risk of closure. Our ring-fenced funding aims to directly address these inequalities and empower BAME-led organisations, with specialist expertise, to reach and support grassroot local projects that are a lifeline to the people they help.”

Jacqueline Onalo

Comic Relief Trustee

Meeting unmet needs


As this crisis continues, we anticipate that the UK’s understanding of unmet need will grow. Our Allocation Committee and Equity Scrutiny Group continue to analyse our own grants data and wider sector funding to ensure that remaining Appeal funds are distributed as equitably as possible.

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