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The Northern Ireland Executive and the Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey MLA have provided COVID recovery funding for charities and social enterprises and a range of other not-for-profit organisations.

Community Finance Ireland will deliver the COVID Recovery Programme for Charities & Social Enterprises with the aim of reducing or removing operating deficits in eligible organisations which have arisen in the 2021/22 financial year because of the COVID pandemic.

The COVID Recovery Programme for Charities & Social Enterprises will support eligible organisations which have been negatively affected by the pandemic in the financial year 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022; and which have a financial operating deficit during that period which is attributable to COVID.

All the details that you will need are here to help you and your team get ready for the 5 January 2022 live application date.


How to Apply

  • All applications must be made through the online form accessed through the ‘APPLY HERE’ Button below (available from opening date 5 January 2022).
  • Supporting documents requested in the checklist below, must be supplied as an upload in the relevant section of the online application form.
  • Respondents don’t have to complete an application in one sitting. They can start to fill one in, close it, and then return later and their answers will still be there. However, you should ensure that you remain on the same browser and device (and not in Incognito or Private browsing mode). Your answers will be kept safely in your browser’s local storage, for 15 days. When you open the application again, you’ll be taken to the start of the form, but will see your existing answers from your last visit. You can edit those answers and fill out the rest of the questions before submitting.

Checklist of Supporting Documents

To help you prepare in advance, you have here a checklist of documents you will need when submitting your application:-

  • Completed Financial Overview Template (included in Readiness Pack below)
  • Governing Documents (e.g. Constitution and/or Memorandum and Articles of Association)
  • Copy photo ID & Proof of Address for two Trustees/Directors and Key Contact (please see document list in guidance notes)
  • Bank statement – This must be the account you want the grant paid into (Ensure that you have uploaded a copy bank statement clearly showing applicant name, bank name, bank address, bank account number and bank sort code.)
  • Management accounts for April 2021 to September 2021
  • Financial Projections for October 2021 to March 2022
  • Reserves Policy Statement
  • Annual Accounts (Year end 2019 & Year end 2020)

All of these elements will need to form part of your completed application to be submitted between the 5 January and the closing date of 28 January 2022.


Covid Recovery Programme Readiness Pack


Further Help is on Hand

For Charities

NICVA will provide on-going independent advice for charities from today right through until the closing date of 28 January 2022.  This is either by phoning NICVA on 028 9087 7777 or by requesting a call back on the NICVA website.

In addition, NICVA are also hosting an information webinars on Monday 10 January 2-3pm (Session 1) and Wednesday 12 January 12noon-1pm (session 2), be sure to book a place here: Session 1 or Session 2

For Social Enterprises

Social Enterprise NI will provide on-going independent advice for social enterprises from today right through until the closing date of 28 January 2022.  This is either by phoning Social Enterprise NI on 028 9046 1810 or by requesting a call back by email: info@socialenterpriseni.org.

In addition, Social Enterprise NI are also hosting an information webinar on Tuesday 11 January 12noon-1pm, be sure to book a place here: DfC Covid Recovery Fund Social Enterprise NI Advice Hub

Covid Recovery Programme DfC Charities Social Enterprises

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Tinahely Community Sports Hall, Arklow Gerladine’s Ballymoney GAA Club and Hillside Evangelical Church are just some of the projects that have benefited from Community Finance Ireland’s €30 million investment in communities between 2016 and 2019.

The extent of their investment in communities across Ireland was detailed in the first all-island impact report launched last month. At the launch, Dónal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland spoke about the importance of access to social finance as communities recover from Covid-19.

“With the fallout from the pandemic, we anticipate a reduction in grant funding to the community sector generally, so- in the coming years- social finance will play an increasingly vital role in supporting grassroots community organisations and social enterprises. At the same time, Covid-19 has starkly shown the importance of community solidarity, ‘social capital’ and sustainability within communities.”

Dónal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland

As Ireland’s and the UK’s fastest-growing social finance provider, the organisation works with groups that drive social impact, including sports clubs, social housing organisations, community projects, faith-based groups and social enterprises.

Mr Traynor said:

“We can provide loans ranging from €30,000 up to €500,000 and our finance products are specifically tailored for the community sector. We have waived arrangement fees to make loans as accessible and cost-effective as possible, we have a quick turnaround time for lending decisions, and- given the organisations we lend to are typically run by volunteers- we do not ask for personal guarantees. There has been a default rate of just 0.75% on our loans since 2008, which is low by any standard and particularly when you consider that many of our loans are made available on an unsecured basis. This is in no small part due to the strong relationship which we have developed with communities over time.”

Dónal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland
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