Looking for more stability

Briefing 10 on the challenges faced by VCSE leaders during the Covid-19 crisis

This tenth briefing shares the experiences of 24 leaders participating in online peer support sessions between 28th July and 21st August 2020, and our reflections on the questions and opportunities for funders that they raise.

Three concerns stood out as front of mind for VCSE leaders:

  1. Staff and personal welfare: ‘Everyone is going through their own pandemic… two staff have had Covid, one has had a child … we can all be vulnerable during this time.’
  2. Supporting the most vulnerable: ‘The local authority is trying to work out whether they are illegally or legally housing them. We’re just sitting and waiting for them to make a decision on this.’
  3. Adapting within a context of uncertainty: ‘I feel in a state of limbo and we’ll have to “suck it and see”.’

The stand-out messages for funders:

  1. Trust and flexibility: ‘[What is helpful is] funders really trusting your track record. When you’ve been doing good work for a long time, we need funders to rely on that’.
  2. Realism about what is possible in the current context: ‘Funders may assume digital services are cheaper, but they need to take into consideration planning time, and that it will mean the organisation has to run multiple small groups rather than one large group’.
  3. Access to peer support: ‘It makes me want to be creative. It has drawn me out of my cloud of uncertainty’.

What next?

You can read more about how other funders are working towards more open and trusting grant-making, and join our community of practice, at www.ivar.org.uk/flexible-funding

Share the Leading in Uncertainty online peer support session dates with charity leaders, more details here: www.ivar.org.uk/leading-in-uncertainty.

Read the full series of Covid-19 briefings here.

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