The UK is experiencing its highest inflation rates since the early 1980s. This price of energy, food, and everyday essential items is shooting up and placing pressure on millions of families. Inflation hits the poorest hardest. The cost-of-living crisis will deepen existing poverty and tip others into poverty. More people will need the help that the third sector provides, yet many organisations will find it harder to support them as inflation increases their own costs and erodes the value of reserves and donations.
Those worst affected will include many of the people supported through Corra’s grant-making: disabled people, young people, older people, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, refugees, unpaid carers, and people who are experiencing homelessness.
Funders across Scotland have been coming together to discuss the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and what funders might do. We know that funders are experiencing more grant requests related to the funding of food, fuel, and clothing. Where funders have distributed hardship funds demand has been exceptionally high. Some funders have observed smaller organisations folding. Recruitment in the sector has become a major challenge, with a knock-on impact on service delivery. This Challenge Poverty Week Scottish Funders have come together to share commitments in response to the challenges facing the sector.
In the longer term, systematic changes are needed to reform the benefits system, energy markets, housing markets, and create a large-scale shift to affordable low carbon heating in low-income communities. While some of this could be supported through independent funding, the more likely role for independent funders at this level is to support the organising, storytelling, campaigning and influencing by communities and third sector organisations to change policy and practice in public and private sectors.
In the short-term, people are in crisis and need urgent assistance. This will worsen as inflation rises, energy and food prices climb, and the need to heat homes in Winter grows. Like with the pandemic, funder responses must recognise the urgency of the situation. Read what we are learning from the communities and organisations we work alongside and our commitments to challenge poverty here.
In responding to the cost-of-living crisis, Corra is:
- Offering all community-based organisations funded through our Henry Duncan Grants an automatic 10% uplift on grants instalments to be paid over the next 12 months to help with rising costs.
- Reviewing multi-year grant commitments across all programmes to understand how the rising cost of living is affecting funded organisations and the lives of the people they support.
- Offering grant uplifts where they are needed within programmes funded by Corra, such as our Partnership Drugs Initiative. Where programmes are externally funded, Corra will build a picture of the real-terms reduction in funding that projects will experience and, where possible, work with funders to take mitigating action.