Market research company to lead evaluation of £200m of emergency government funds

The market research company Ipsos MORI is to lead an evaluation of £200m of emergency support to help charities through the coronavirus pandemic. 

The exercise will involve surveys of grant holders that have received funds from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, which was opened to applications on 22 May by the National Lottery Community Fund

The funding is part of £310m of emergency money that will be distributed to organisations in England by the NLCF once lessons from the first £200m have been identified. 

Ipsos MORI, which was appointed to the role following a competitive tendering process, has subcontracted the think tank NPC, the Third Sector Research Centre and the Tavistock Institute to work alongside it for the exercise. 

The evaluation is expected to “provide an opportunity for everyone who has received money through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to share their voice on the difference the money has made to beneficiaries, the activities it has funded, and the experience of volunteering in a pandemic”, a statement from NPC said. 

A representative sample of grant holders are expected to be interviewed to explore some of the issues in greater depth.  

The NLCF received a record number of funding applications on the day its coronavirus emergency fund opened.

NPC said it had been asked to lead on assessing the value for money provided by the fund. 

James Noble, associate director for data and learning at NPC, said: “Assessing the value for money of the fund will be challenging as each funded organisation will be using their grants in very different ways. 

“We’ll be trying to understand the different benefits the fund has created and looking for data that might help us to estimate what would have happened without it, which may have included vital charities going under.”

The evaluation results are expected to be published next summer, according to the NPC statement. 

The funding is part of the government’s £750m support package to help charities through the coronavirus pandemic.

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