€10 million Covid Stability Fund to support community and voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises
Supports for organisations which deliver critical services to the vulnerable
Community centres providing social services can also apply for funding
Fund to prioritise groups who have not received support since onset of pandemic
Applications have opened for a €10 million fund designed to support community and voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises, which have suffered as a result of the pandemic.
The Covid Stability Fund 2021 was launched jointly today by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, and Minister of State with special responsibility for Charities and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD.
The Fund is targeted at organisations which deliver critical services to vulnerable people within their community but which now face closure or a loss of service due to the impact of the pandemic.
Priority will be given to organisations that have not previously received State support since the onset of the Pandemic.
Examples of the organisations that can apply include those that provide:
Family supports and supports for the elderly
Domestic Abuse and addiction services
Mental health and disability supports
Education supports in disadvantaged communities
Community centres that provide social services
The €10 million investment builds on the €45 million Covid Stability Fund 2020, which supported almost 600 organisations across the country.
Announcing the call for applications, Minister Humphreys said:
“I am really pleased to invite applications for this new €10 million fund today. Our community and voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises deliver vital services right across the country and I want to ensure they receive the support necessary to help them get back on their feet post-Covid."
“There is a specific focus in this funding call on supporting organisations that have not previously received funding from the State since the onset of the pandemic."
“As society reopens, the services provided by so many great organisations across the country will be more important than ever."
“Along with my colleague Minister Joe O’Brien, I will be making a separate call for applications under the Community Enhancement Programme shortly. This Fund is another option for community groups and may be more suitable for smaller organisations in particular who are seeking financial supports through the form of capital grants to enable them to reopen safely.”
Also announcing the Stability Fund today, Minister McGrath said:
“Throughout this pandemic, our voluntary and community groups, charities and social enterprises, have played a critical role."
“The objective of the Stability fund is to provide an immediate, targeted cash injection that will not have to be repaid."
“This money will stabilise the position of these organisations by allowing them to meet their immediate costs, usually funded through fundraised/earned-income”
Also speaking today, Minister O’Brien said:
“I know how important the Covid Stability Fund has been during such a challenging time."
“As we work towards reopening Irish society, it is critical that organisations supporting our communities are provided with the resources necessary to allow them to continue their vital services particularly to those most marginalised which is why I, along with my colleagues, am very pleased to provide this additional €10 million funding for the scheme."
“I hope that this coupled with the soon to be announced Community Enhancement Programme funding for smaller community groups, will help ensure that our communities continue to be supported by the immense work of the C&V sector across Ireland.”
More information about this fund is available on the Pobal website
Separately, the Department intends to launch the 2021 Community Enhancement Programme over the coming days.
That programme may be more relevant to smaller community groups and it is recommended that they monitor the Department’s website or stay in touch with their Local Community Development Committee, who will be administering the programme in their area, for further details.
Note to Editors
The COVID-19 Stability Fund 2021 will be open to all Community and Voluntary organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises providing certain critical services to the most at need in our society.
The application website will open today to provide the information required to support a strong and comprehensive application to the 2021 fund. Learning from the 2020 application process, the 2021 process is designed with a period of preparation factored in. This will allow organisations to gather the necessary information, prepare to input accurate information onto the funding application form and to request guidance on any points they are unsure about.
The application portal will go live on 20 May 2021, with an application window until 3pm on 27 May 2021.
In 2020, the Stability Fund was developed to provide support to qualifying organisations who find themselves in particular difficulty and have seen their trading and/or fundraising income drop significantly during the crisis. The Fund focused on organisations providing supports and services in the following sectors.
Health and Social Care (including addiction, disability and mental health)
Child and Family Services (including counselling/therapies)
Domestic/Sexual/Gender based violence
Community Services (e.g. meals on wheels/befriending services/old age supports/vulnerable people’s support groups etc.)
Community Education Sector
With funding being provided from the Dormant Accounts Fund in 2020, the Stability Fund provided a targeted cash grant to qualifying organisations that are providing critical services to those most vulnerable in society. Organisations were required to demonstrate the impact that the crisis has had on their services and applications were to be prioritised according to need. The 2021 Stability Fund will be part financed by Dormant Accounts Funding and National Exchequer Funding.
which works on behalf of Government to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development, administer the Stability Fund on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development and will provide online support to all applicants from now until the application period closes.
The Stability Fund is one of a suite of measures introduced by the Government to support people, communities and organisations in dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Examples of other Government Supports
COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme
Pandemic Unemployment Payment
€2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund
€250 million Restart Fund to assist micro and small businesses
Waiver on commercial rates for affected businesses
The Dormant Accounts Fund
The main purpose of the Dormant Accounts legislation is to reunite account or policyholders with their funds; and relevant institutions are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies. Under the legislation, the rightful owners can reclaim their funds at any time.
In order to utilise funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed, the legislation introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed for the purposes of measures to assist those who are economically, socially or educationally disadvantaged, or persons with a disability.
Annual Dormant Accounts Action Plans are published each year, and generally provide funding of €35-40 million per annum for measures aimed at addressing disadvantage. This funding package is in addition to those annual action plans, and is made possible through a build-up in the funds available over the last number of years.
Pobal is an organisation that works on behalf of the Government of Ireland and in collaboration with international partners, to support communities and local agencies towards achieving social inclusion and development.
Pobal operates under the aegis of the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Pobal is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. Members of the Board are appointed by Government, on the nomination of the Minister for Rural and Community Development, in line with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards. The company operates on the basis of a framework agreement with the Department of Rural and Community Development and programme-specific service level agreements with individual Departments.
Pobal administers related programmes on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the Department of Social Protection (DSP), as well as the Department of Health (DoH) /HSE and a number of EU bodies.
Pobal works in the areas of social inclusion, early childhood care and education, local and community development, peace and reconciliation, equality, labour market supports, and education and training.