Indigo Trust pledge £2.5million in immediate response to coronavirus

Case study

At NPC, we’re beginning a collaborative effort to help philanthropists keep charities serving throughout the coronavirus crisis, and prepare for whatever challenges the post-covid world will hold. In guidance to be published later today, we’re advising philanthropists to react quickly in their immediate response by giving now in a way which is fast and coordinated, but that they also look to the medium term by keeping charities they value going, and prepare for the bigger shifts this crisis will create in the long term.

Among the first to model this approach is the Indigo Trust, who have pledged £2.5million to help alleviate immediate need at both a local and national level:

  • £1,000,000 to the Trussell Trust to support running foodbanks nationwide. Disruptions to supply chains, the impact of Covid-19 on volunteers and an anticipated rise in demand for their services as a result of economic hardship make these very difficult times for foodbanks up and down the country.
  • £1,000,000 to National Emergencies Trust to support their Coronavirus Appeal.The trust will disburse money through community foundations across the UK.

As the crisis continues, Indigo expect to make significant, further, grants to meet the needs that arise. This is made possible by an additional donation of £2.75million from Fran Perrin (founder) and William Perrin (Trustee).

Dan Corry, CEO of charity think tank and consultancy New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) comments:

“It’s fantastic to see Indigo Trust taking immediate action to more than double its annual expenditure to alleviate suffering from the COVID19 crisis. Indigo has followed a rapid, yet strategic process: suffering arising from COVID19 will happen across the country, it needs to be tackled on the ground in communities and at a national level. We look forward to seeing more philanthropists stepping up in this way, and at NPC we’re beginning a collaborative effort to advice philanthropists on how best to target their money so charities can keep serving through this crisis”.

The Indigo Trust will be making grants over the course of the next few days that represent 250% of the value of their normal annual giving. It’s the first step in a three-stage process of initial relief, ongoing support, and recovery. Any grantees need to be able to absorb and disburse quickly large sums of money.

Fran Perrin, Indigo’s Founder and Chair of Trustees and her husband, William Perrin also a Trustee issued the following statement:

“We are currently in a national emergency to which charities and wealthy individuals need to immediately respond, changing as necessary their pre-existing funding priorities, amounts and processes. We are, therefore, making two major emergency grants to alleviate suffering during the COVID19 crisis.

“£1million pounds to the Trussell Trust to support running foodbanks nationwide. Disruptions to supply chains, the impact of COVID19 on volunteers and anticipated rising demand for their services as a result of economic hardship requires, we believe, required a major and quick response.

“£1million pounds to the National Emergency Trust to support their Coronavirus Appeal. The National Emergencies Trust was set up to deal with such emergencies as we are now facing and to make certain that in such circumstances funds are directed to the areas most in need across the country. This, we think, they are well placed to do.

“An urgent priority is to support the relief of suffering at a national level and in local communities. Our strategic approach is informed by our work with New Philanthropy Capital and The Philanthropy Workshop. Donors should look to their local community, other less fortunate communities and the national interest.  We can see early leaders already doing this and today Indigo Trust is announcing £2.5million of strategic emergency grants to alleviate suffering during the COVID19 crisis. Funders can make the best use of limited resources by publishing their grants as open data to the 360giving standard tagged with ‘COVID19’.”

Once the crisis has passed, there will be a lengthy period of recovery and rebuilding. The Indigo Trust anticipates significantly increasing their normal annual giving over a 12-18 month period to help civil society rebuild and grow.

As with all of their grants, details of these payments will be published via 360 Giving. NPC and Indigo are both encouraging all funders to publish their grants as open data to the 360giving standard tagged with ‘COVID19’ so other funders can make the best use of limited resources.

Emma Revie, CEO of the Trussell Trust comments:

“We are so grateful for the incredibly generous support of the Indigo Trust in this time of crisis. The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented challenge and as it progresses, more people than ever may need help from food banks across our network. This situation presents a huge additional pressure on already overstretched resources. We may start to see a reduction in food donations and volunteers may become unavailable if they are in the at-risk categories or are self-isolating.

“We’re working closely with our network to understand each food bank’s situation, offer guidance, and work out how we can best support them. The resilience of food banks is nothing short of outstanding, and wherever possible volunteers will be working tirelessly to continue providing support to people unable to afford the essentials. We know we can’t do this alone, so we are truly grateful for this incredible support from the Indigo Trust. Please look at our website to find out more about food banks and coronavirus.”

The Chairman of the National Emergencies Trust, Lord Dannatt, said:

“The outbreak of coronavirus is clearly both a global and national emergency. Many people are suffering, not just from ill health but also from the economic impact as well as the effects of social distancing and isolation.

“We are incredibly grateful for this donation which has really given the campaign an incredible start. These are tough and uncertain times for everyone, but with your generous support, we can ensure that those suffering the most come through this stronger.”

John Herriman, Chief Executive of the National Emergencies Trust said:

“This is a wonderfully generous donation to the NET appeal that will help to ensure support quickly gets to those who need it most. We will channel the money raised to those local grassroots organisations that can provide vital support to people who need it.

“These groups are well-placed to understand who is impacted locally, and how, and what help they need as well as experienced in coordinating responses on the ground.”

Jayne Woodley CEO of Oxfordshire Community Foundation, says:

“This is an unbelievably generous gift and as we have just launched a Coronavirus Oxfordshire Community Resilience Fund to run alongside that announced by NET this donation will allow us to act quickly and proactively to ensure the support, sustainability and development of community infrastructure, enabling charities to not only respond better but also recover stronger. We cannot thank the Indigo Trust enough for their leadership and inspiring philanthropic support.”

For Lord Sainsbury’s response to the coronavirus crisis please visit the Gatsby Foundation website.


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