Articles and information for charities during the Covid-19 crises.


Investing through the pandemic. Some things will stay the same, but a lot will change.


Coronavirus and markets – our latest views. Investors continue to seek to understand the likely long-term consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in uncertainty and volatility across all asset classes. Below, we set out our thinking on recent developments and our investment approach.

Coronavirus: what you need to know

Quilter Cheviot has created a page of useful resources, including investment webinars, weekly podcasts and articles for charities. Read more

What Coronavirus means to Charities

There’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic will have thrown many charity’s operational and financial plans into disarray, and possibly on a number of fronts simultaneously

UK Real Estate Impact of Covid-19 - April 2020

Coronavirus: Short-term impacts will vary by sector

A pause that upends: How the coronavirus disrupts the present and alters the future

t has been just a few months since the coronavirus emerged in a wet animal market in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has been detected in almost every country in the world. With the virus overwhelming health systems, policy makers have chosen to pause activity and bring economies to a virtual standstill. We have encountered shocks and pandemics before – but never one that has elicited such a draconian response.

Ruffer Radio

This week we have launched Ruffer Radio, a series of podcasts in which we’ll be exploring the investment universe and sharing our interpretation of what’s going on. In Episode 1, Investment Director Duncan MacInnes discusses COVID-19: how it has changed the investment landscape, the impact on the Ruffer portfolio and what could happen next.

Webinar: Managing investments in unprecedented times

As charities continue to struggle with the widespread financial implications of the Covid-19 crisis, Senior Investment Director Michael Turner addresses the current challenges of navigating Charities and their investment portfolios through the pandemic. In the webinar, Michael is joined by James Brooke Turner from the Nuffield Foundation and Tristan Blythe, editor at Charity Finance Magazine. If you would like to listen to this webinar, you can click here to view on our website

BlackRock Charities & Endowments – COVID-19 Webcast

Hear from a panel of investors in conversation with Robert Hayes, Investment Director for BlackRock’s Charities & Endowments business. The panellists share their views on how their strategies have navigated these volatile markets, the impact to income across the multi asset and equity strategies, what opportunities they are seeing and how they think ESG will be perceived as we come out of this crisis.

Gift Aid - How to help charities in Covid crisis

Many charities are struggling in the wake of Covid-19. As we have observed before, the current tax regime allows high earners to give and receive at the same time.

The dividend income challenge for charities

The coronavirus has effectively halted swathes of the global economy. Charities have seen their income slashed – it is estimated that the sector will miss out on at least £4.3 billion in Q2 this year. And those who rely on the dividends generated by their investment portfolios are suffering further.

Mental Health Engagement

Mental health during Covid-19 CCLA initiated its mental health engagement programme in early 2019. Since then, the Covid-19 crisis has swept across the globe, lending a greater level of urgency to the campaign. A combination of obligatory remote working, social isolation, quarantine, bereavement and pending recession will have unprecedented mental health consequences for a great number of people. This is a unique time for workplace mental health, with no historical parallel from which to learn. For this reason, CCLA is inviting other investors to join us in encouraging businesses to protect their employees’ mental health during this challenging time.

Brewin Dolphin’s response to the coronavirus

Groupwide strategy and resilient business model The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a number of unprecedented issues. However, while many firms will have business continuity plans which will include offsite location arrangements, because of our flexible and resilient business model, we have been able to adapt quickly in order to maintain business as usual. At the early stage of the pandemic we very quickly set up a crisis management governance and operations structure with key teams and functions represented, overseen by our Executive Committee. Crisis groups meet daily and have responded swiftly and we have a near total working from home regime, with all key operations, from client investment management to dealing, from client communications to teams still working together, all working well. As a modern business, that cares deeply about both its clients and its staff (as well as the wider community), we have adapted well and our operations continue as usual. We have also been able to adapt our processes and procedures where necessary, to ensure we are able to continue all client engagement and activities, without requiring staff to be in our offices. Our investment in technology has enabled the business to adapt quickly to the current circumstances. We continue to service our clients on an individual basis and they are able to communicate directly with their fund manager. Active management in the current climate Never has the need to monitor and adjust to market conditions been so important. Our Charity Team specialist investment managers have been drawing on our central Research monitoring and recommendations and making adjustments to client portfolios. Nimble, thoughtful active management requires a sound understanding not only of markets but also of the needs of each client. Many charities, right across the sector, are suffering significant falls in income from a range of usual sources. Investment income has also been hit, as a number of companies have cut their dividends or deferred them. Nonetheless, some streams of charity income have dried up completely, a carefully managed charity portfolio will still produce income, with some curb on the level that might be expected this year and next. Our investment managers have been working with each charity client to determine their reliance on income (versus growth in capital), in line with their investment objectives. Some adjustment have been made, were appropriate. For, example, in some sectors where we see reduced dividend expectations, sometimes coupled with the prospects for growth in share values being affected by the current crisis, we have reduced those holdings in favour of taking opportunities in sectors and companies with stronger prospects. Some charities are also reviewing the income focus in their investment objective. This strategy might be adjusted to taking a ‘total return’ approach, whereby an overall view of the returns from income and growth are considered jointly when deciding upon a withdrawal rate from their portfolio. This is a delicate matter and our role is to discuss needs and potential strategies with each of our clients as they work through the role of the invested assets in their wider budget scenario. We continue to provide a complete service to each of our charity clients. They are able to contact their dedicated charity investment manager to ask questions or express concerns regarding the current situation and its impact on the portfolio.

July Market Reflection

The equity market recovery stalled in July in the face of deteriorating news on the number of new Covid-19 cases, notably in the sunbelt states of the United States. This was exacerbated by renewed, but localised, outbreaks in parts of Europe. Thus, although the initial rebound in economic activity from April’s trough has been very sharp, even “V”-shaped, concerns of a more protracted full recovery are in the ascendant once again. A key factor will be employment levels. Although furlough measures have contained the rise in official unemployment rates in much of Europe, several high-profile companies have announced permanent job cuts, and more are expected to follow. Countering the threat are fiscal stimulus packages and continued central bank support. On this front, the European Union’s creeping progress towards the implementation of a €750bn stimulus package is a positive development, while the US Congress continues to argue about the scope and scale of its own latest stimulus. Even so, both are expected to proceed given the current imperative to support economic growth. In this commentary John Wyn-Evans, Investec Wealth & Investment’s Head of Investment Strategy, reflects on July’s market performance with his latest monthly observations.