Advice for organisations delivering grants and contracts - Covid 19 outbreak

The advice we'd give to VCSE organisations in receipt of either core funding or grant funding would be to get in touch with funders and talk to them about how flexible they can be in the new operating environment we find ourselves in. Most grant funders have already pledged they'll be as flexible as possible and are open to conversations about how they can adapt project or organisational plans most effectively to support beneficiaries and ensure the longer-term financial viability of the organisations they fund.

Similarly, in terms of contracts, get in touch with your contract manager to discuss how you can change your model of delivery. Clear guidance has been issued by the government on public sector procurement and contracting to protect suppliers, including paying at-risk contractors as normal until at least June, and the modification and extension of contracts.

NCVO has also written a useful guide about what this should mean for VCSE organisations.

If you're unable to make contact with your contract managers in the short term, keep a clear record of changes you make and what you're doing to continuing to deliver services, and continue with monitoring and reporting as best as you can. If your contract is coming to an end or is up for renewal, contact your contract manager as soon as you are able, and refer to the procurement guidance above about the potential to extend your contract or use a simplified procurement process for a new contract period.

VONNE is keen to hear from organisations about good and not so good practice from funders and commissioners responding to the needs of VCSE organisations in relation to grants and contracts, so we can share the information and use it to lobby for better practices where necessary. We'd also like to compile asks from the sector to funders and commissioners in terms of flexibility and their approach in the short, medium and long term.  Email carol.botten@vonne.org.uk with information or thoughts so we can start compiling and influence on your behalf.