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NPC to help evaluate impact of Coronavirus Community Support Fund

on 2 September 2020

Press Release

Charity consultancy and think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) are working with Ipsos MORI, who have been commissioned by The National Lottery Community Fund to evaluate the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. The contract was awarded to Ipsos MORI following a competitive tendering process in July, with NPC as a sub-contractor.

The c£200m Coronavirus Community Support Fund is part of the government’s £750m rescue package for the charity sector, and is being distributed to small and medium charities by The National Lottery Community Fund.

James Noble, NPC’s Associate Director for Data and Learning said:

“We’re delighted to have been asked to support the evaluation of this fund, which is one of the most important in the charity sector right now. We hope that what we learn about the impact the money is having will help shape future initiatives, as well as providing real-time learning for grant holders.”

The evaluation is led by Ipsos Mori and also includes The Tavistock Institute and the Third Sector Research Centre alongside NPC. It will include surveys of grant holders and volunteers, along with interviews and case studies. This will provide an opportunity for everyone who has received money through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to share their voice on the difference the money has made to beneficiaries, the activities it has funded, and the experience of volunteering in a pandemic.

A representative sample of grant holders will be interviewed to explore these points in more depth.

James Noble comments:

“We’re looking forward to finding out how this unique fund has made a difference in a time of crisis. The evaluation will be asking grantees about what would have happened without it, including whether they would have even survived, how much progress they’ve been able to make towards their intended outcomes, whether they’ve been able to use the money to mobilise new volunteers, and whether there will be any legacy from the funding such as support for community rebuilding.”

NPC will be leading on assessing the value for money of the fund, which at c£200m represents a sizeable chunk of the government’s rescue package.

James Noble comments:

“Assessing the value for money of the fund will be challenging as each funded organisation will be using their grants in very different ways. We’ll be trying to understand the different benefits the fund has created and looking for data that might help us to estimate what would have happened without it, which may have included vital charities going under. We have set up an Expert Advisory Group to help us with some of the key decisions we need to make.”

The evaluation results are expected to be published in Summer 2021 and will be invaluable for any funder wanting to improve how they make emergency grants in times of crisis.

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