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Your philanthropy can support the cost of living


Your philanthropy can support the cost of living

Sep 26, 2022

With the impact of the cost of living crisis unfolding and worrying signs of increased hardship as we move into the autumn and winter, it’s clear that philanthropy has a very important role to play.

We examine the challenges being faced and how philanthropy and charity are mobilising in the UK.

Economic and social challenges

With rapidly rising inflation and increasing interest rates, household incomes are under pressure. People are already taking action; cutting expenditure on non-essentials, using less fuel, and making fewer non-essential journeys.1 Borrowing on credit cards is growing at the fastest rate since 2005.2 According to The Food Foundation, in April 2022, 7.3 million adults and 2.6 million children experienced food insecurity.

The greatest impact is being felt most severely by the most vulnerable in society, and as we have seen in other crises, this rapidly flows through to increased demand on the services and support provided by the charitable sector.

  • The number of people asking for help from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau has hit a record high and projections show that by the end of 2022, it’s likely to have supported 57 per cent more people than last year with access to crisis support
  • Leonard Cheshire has highlighted how around 600,000 disabled people already have GBP10 or less per week to pay for food and essentials

National charity response 

We are already seeing numerous larger and national charities responding. 

Art galleries, libraries and museums are setting up warm banks. Charities offering advice services are providing additional support - Citizens Advice Bureau and Turn2Us are setting up cost of living crisis support resources. 

Charities focused on specific needs are providing increased resources to those they support. For instance, Macmillan Cancer Support has set up dedicated webpages providing details of support available for people with cancer. It has also added GBP3.5 million to Macmillan Grants.

Giving locally

Many philanthropists and businesses want to support the charities and communities on their doorsteps. 

Further support can be provided to local charities and support groups with which they have an existing relationship, in order to fund their additional activities. 

The 47 Community Foundations3 across the UK are another route for getting philanthropic support to frontline and grass-roots charities and communities.

Case Study – the London Community Foundation (LCF)

LCF has launched the Together for London Appeal to raise funds to be able to provide emergency grants to community organisations and charities to help them meet the needs of their communities and cover their own costs. Grants will be prioritised to focus on communities likely to be most impacted by the crisis, for example, older people; disabled people; women and families with children on low or no incomes, and some ethnic groups.

Grants will enable the provision of emergency support services and items but also help the community and organisations with their own costs.

As an example, a grant of GBP5,000 could enable a local community charity to provide free meals and toiletries to over 750 people, whilst providing the charity with the means to provide the additional support.

For people and businesses that are keen to help, the philanthropic and charitable worlds are mobilising fast and financial support can make an immediate difference to the most vulnerable in our communities.

For more information or access to our Philanthropy Advisory Service, please contact your Relationship Manager.

1 Actions taken by people who reported their cost of living had increased over the past month, Great Britain, 30th March to 19th June 2022 

2 Borrowing on credit cards is growing at an annual rate of 13 per cent, according to the Bank of England’s Money and Credit Report for July 2022 

3 To find your local Community Foundation, visit 

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