Martin Lewis: "I'm making £1m available to fund urgent small-charity coronavirus poverty relief"

"We face an unprecedented challenge to our health, economy, businesses, personal finance and way of life. And many of those who normally help society – our charities – are going to face similar pressures right now too" Martin says.

To try and help I'm going to release £1,000,000 from my personal charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK – to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.

Examples could include foodbanks, charities engaged in community aid, financial advice help and more. My hope is to get the money distributed within the next couple of weeks, and I'm looking for projects that are up and running, or are in the process of being set up – as we want to deliver help at speed. 

To make this happen – as I'm tied up with TV and MSE work providing direct coronavirus help information – I have recruited Archna, a trusted former senior member of the MSE team, and Jonathan, a charity specialist, to review and approve the applications and ensure help is spread across the UK as best as possible.

How to apply

If you are an appropriate official of a registered charity then we've arranged a simple

coronavirus poverty relief grant application form 

As this is all about speedy delivery APPLICATIONS CLOSE AT 11.59pm ON WED 25 MAR 2020 – I'll extend it in the unlikely event we don't get enough applications. If you've questions about the charity grant applications, contact Archna/Jonathan, but please keep them short and sweet – we want to keep this a nimble process.

Two important quick points...

  • Please don't use these contacts for anything else, it won't go to me or the MSE team, they are purely for the grant applications.
  • Please ONLY apply for funds for specific coronavirus projects; there's no point chancing your arm for other charity projects, no matter how good, it will just slow us down in making grants where needed. 

Any very high net worth individuals reading this? 

As I'm setting up an administration process to do this, and filter applications, if any other high net worth individuals or organisations would like to add to this fund (min £10,000 pls, max £100bn – well, I can hope), please get in touch. I'd be more than happy for the team I've set up to facilitate the distribution of your donation too (and can ensure it's Gift-Aided) – and we can bespoke it if you have a particular area you want to focus on.

That isn't for a second to snub donations that are smaller than that, charities really do need them, but we don't have the infrastructure to deal with them, so please do give directly to the charities yourself.

UPDATE: Last night, after I'd put this together and written this blog, I heard Prince William is launching a National Emergencies Trust coronavirus appeal, which will work across a similar area to what I've planned. Though I think there are some differences and this may give some charities another bite of the cherry, so I've decided to keep it separate, but I'd urge people to donate to that too if you can afford it.



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