COVID-19 Funds & Assistance

Posted on 8 May 2020

Supported by the Medtronic Foundation, which has already donated a remarkable $11.2M in global contributions to COVID-19 relief efforts.

The following funds / grants / supports are relate specifically to the impact of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Content is listed in order received (most recent first). 

See Also: Additional COVID-19 Resources

Page last updated Mon, 1 June at 3.00pm.

CLÁR 2020 Funding For Rural Communities Announced

CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) is a targeted investment programme for rural areas that aims to provide funding for small infrastructural projects in areas that experience disadvantage. Areas targeted under the CLÁR Programme are parts of counties: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wicklow and all of County Leitrim. 

There is an allocation of €5 million in total for 2020.

CLÁR 2020 has several special provisions for assisting rural communities in responding to the challenges of COVID-19, as follows:

  1. Measure 1: Schools/Community Safety measures (expanded in 2020)
    CLÁR 2020 will consider support for interventions that make the school/community facility environs healthier and safer for the children attending the schools, and for children and adults using the community facilities. This measure has been broadened to allow additional investments to adapt areas around schools and community facilities to help meet new public health requirements arising from COVID-19.

    Eligible Applicants: Schools, Community Groups, Local Development Companies, Local Authorities.
  2. Measure 2: Community Recreation Areas (new in 2020)
    In the context of the impact of COVID-19 on communities, CLÁR 2020 will consider support for the enhancement of existing and/or the development of new accessible Community Recreation Areas where people can socialise outdoors in safe community spaces.

    Eligible Applicants: Community Groups, Local Development Companies, Local Authorities.
  3. Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Supports, comprising:

    (a) Meals on Wheels and linked services (new in 2020)
    Recognising the critical role of community groups in responding to COVID-19, and in particular the response of those groups providing meals on wheels and other linked services, CLÁR 2020 sees the introduction of funding for community groups providing meals on wheels services. This will fund community organisations that provide meals on wheels and other linked community services for:  the adaptation of existing vehicles and 2  the purchase of kitchen and/or delivery equipment required in the provision of the Meals on Wheels service.

    Eligibility: This measure will be operated directly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is open to established organisations and groups that operate partly or entirely on a voluntary basis and are involved in the provision of meals on wheels with linked services that require support in order to deliver this service.

    (b)Mobility and Cancer Care Transport
    Recognising the critical role that volunteer organisations play in the provision of vital services to vulnerable sectors of the community; and the level of interest in this particular funding stream, CLÁR 2020 once again sees the allocation of funding for Mobility and Cancer Care Transport support. This measure will be operated directly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is open to established organisations/groups that operate entirely on a voluntary basis and provide: 2  transport to/from day care/other medical/therapy/respite services for those with significant mobility issues including requiring specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles or  transport to/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/centres under the National Cancer Care Programme.

    Eligibility: The measure is open to established, voluntary organisations/groups that operate on a voluntary basis, and are involved in the provision of transport services, free of charge, to persons requiring wheelchair accessible vehicles to access day care/other medical/therapy/respite services and/or those requiring transport to/from hospitals for treatments under the National Cancer Care Programme.

Full guidelines and application details are available here.

The deadline for all applications is: 28 August 2020.

€40 million COVID-19 support package for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises

Minister for Rural and Community Development , Michael Ring, TD, and Mr Seán Canney TD, the Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development have announced the launch of a €40 million package of supports for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises.

A large number of these organisations are providing critical services to vulnerable individuals and groups in society arising from the COVID-19 crisis. Many of these organisations now find themselves in financial difficulty as fundraising efforts, commercial activities and other services they rely on have been curtailed due to the ongoing crisis.

The €40 million funding package is being made available through the Dormant Accounts Fund, which is specifically set aside to support initiatives which will benefit the most disadvantaged groups in society.

The package consists of:

  • A €35 million COVID-19 Stability Fund which will provide a level of support to qualifying organisations who are most in need and have seen their trading and/or fundraising income drop significantly during the crisis; and
  • A €5m Government commitment to a Philanthropy Fund which will focus on supporting responses to the COVID-19 crisis that require innovative and adaptive solutions to existing and emerging challenges.

UPDATE: The Stability Fund closed for applications on Thurs, 21 May @ 8pm. Further details on the Fund can be found on the Department’s website at Stability Fund and Pobal. Email queries can be sent to

UPDATE: The Philanthropy Fund closed for applications Weds, 27 May @ 5pm. Further details can be found on the Department’s website The Philanthropy ‘Innovate Together’ Fund and at Note: Round 2 due to open in June 2020 / Round 3 in Sept 2020.

Read The Wheel's reaction here.

Movement for Good Awards 2020

Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical is again giving away over €1 million to charities registered in Ireland and the UK with the return of its Movement for Good awards.

This year 500 more charities will each receive over €1,000 / €1,120 during the first phase of the campaign, which launches today. A second phase of giving will happen later this summer when several charities will be awarded with a lump sum. For example, during the second phase of Movement for Good 2019, Children’s Books Ireland was awarded with €55,000.

Members of the public are once again being encouraged to nominate a cause close to their heart for a potential award of more than €1,000 to help make a difference during what is a difficult time for charities, with many struggling as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

It’s quick and easy to nominate, you can vote for your favourite charity online at

UPDATE: closed for nominations on 24 May.

Full details here.

COVID-19 Response Fund

The Community Foundation for Ireland’s Covid-19 Community Fund is aimed at the immediate needs of organisations impacted by Covid-19 and focused on the following:

  • People over 60

  • People with respiratory illnesses or cancer

  • People experiencing domestic abuse

  • Isolated vulnerable people and families, particularly those living in rural areas

  • Mental health issues for those affected by Covid- 19

It is the expectation that the funding will support organisations to continue to provide services over the next one to six months and help in adapting services and methods of delivery.

Applications can be made to continue or adapt existing work or to pilot new work that will support those most vulnerable as a result of Covid-19.

Any organisations affected by Covid-19 and working with the groups of people listed above can apply for grants between €1,000 and €10,000. The Community Foundation for Ireland anticipates that organisations that are providing small scale emergency support will require funding of around €1,000 to €2,500.  Those who are significantly enhancing their services at this time may require grants of up to €10,000.


Additional Funds & Supports

Social Finance Foundation announces two funding initiatives for community organisations and social enterprises in Ireland

  • €44m in additional low-cost funding from Irish banks
  • €25m in Loan Guarantees from European Investment Fund

The recent announcement by Social Finance Foundation, of two new Agreements will mean greater access to social finance loans for organisations in the social sector. The announcement has been welcomed by An Taoiseach, LeoVaradkar TD.

Under the first Agreement, the Irish banks (AIB/EBS, Bank of Ireland, permanent tsb and Ulster Bank) will make available an additional €44 million in low cost funding to the Foundation over the period 2021 to 2025. Under the second Agreement, the European Investment Fund has agreed to provide loan guarantees totalling €25m to support new lending by the Foundation. The €25m Loan Guarantee is being made available under the European Union’s Employment and Social Innovation programme, part of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Full details here.

€70,000 COVID-19 Response Fund for Connemara, Co. Galway

SSE Renewables and Greencoat Renewables, joint owners of Galway Wind Park, have launched a €70,000 COVID-19 response fund to support local communities located within 10km of the facility.

The funding, which is being made immediately available, will support community groups that are currently mobilising a rapid response to support those most-in-need as a direct result of the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to supporting rapid response initiatives that are currently being mobilised, funding will also be available for projects that will help rebuild our community in the months ahead.

The COVID-19 response funding is being released early from the overall Galway Wind Park annual Community Fund to ensure emergency funds are made available now when they are needed most.

Full details here.

Web Summit is donating €1,000,000 to ChangeX

Web Summit, which employs 210 people in their Dublin HQ, is donating €1 million to the Covid-19 fight. This money will be donated to ChangeX, who will then identify, fund and spread projects aimed at strengthening Ireland’s response to Covid-19. This funding will be allocated exclusively to Covid-19 projects.

Specific details have not yet been provided, but COVID-19-specific project submissions are already been accepted on the ChangeX website.

Full details here.

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a new social welfare payment for employees and self-employed people who are unemployed or who have their hours of work reduced during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. This includes people who have been put on part-time or casual work.

Full details here.

See also: Details of Temporary COVID-19 Income Support Scheme.

Exceptional Needs Payment

An Exceptional Needs Payment is a single payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.

For example, the payment can be for bedding or cooking utensils for someone setting up a home for the first time, visiting relatives in hospital or prison, funeral costs or for clothing in exceptional circumstances.

Eligible people would normally be in receipt of a social welfare or health service executive payment. However, there is no automatic entitlement to such payments.

Full details here.

Neighbourly Community Fund

With the support of their partner businesses, M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Danone and Coca-Cola European Partners, Neighbourly are launching a series of micro-grants of up to £400, to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the new Coronavirus outbreak. Grants will be awarded to existing members of Neighbourly in UK and Ireland whose work will involve supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill health as a result of the outbreak. This may include, but not be limited to, elderly people, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity.

Grants are unrestricted and can go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials.

Full details here.

Age Action and Irish Red Cross COVID-19 Hardship Fund

Age Action has launched a COVID-19 Hardship Fund in conjunction with the Irish Red Cross to respond to the immediate needs of older people in vulnerable situations across Ireland experiencing additional hardship as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.   

Age Action and the Irish Red Cross has raised funds to provide additional assistance to older and vulnerable people around Ireland who are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by making once-off grants, up to a maximum of €500, per person/household affected.

Who Can Apply: Older people in need of assistance, family members supporting an older person and carers of older people, social workers and local voluntary organisations or community groups providing direct assistance to individuals within this target group.


Full details here.

COVID-19 Rapid Response - Research & Innovation Fund

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Enterprise Ireland (EI), and IDA Ireland have launched a joint rapid-response call to fund research, development, and innovation (RD&I) activities that will deliver significant and timely impact for Ireland within the context of the current emergency. This call will be closely co-ordinated with the rapid response call launched by the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Irish Research Council (IRC).

Under this call, any Research Performing Organisation (RPO); a client company of one of the following government agencies Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Údaras Na Gaeltachta or Local Enterprise Office (LEO); or any combination of the preceding may submit a proposal for support of a solution to a significant specific problem associated with the COVID-19 crisis in Ireland. The involvement of relevant Government Departments and/or other public sector bodies in the development of applications and the delivery of the solution is strongly encouraged. Any solution supported under this call must be operational and fully deployed within 6 months of project start.


Full details here.

The Civic Theatre Artist Emergency Fund

The Civic Theatre has established a fund to provide financial relief to Irish artists experiencing lost income related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to €500 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups.


Full details here.

Additional Funding Resources

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