Coronavirus: How social enterprises & charities can prepare

14 Mar 2020

We know many of you will be concerned about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) might affect your social enterprise, charity, community business or impact organisation.

We want to do everything we can to help you, and the people you support, weather the storm.

This blog shares links to resources you might find useful. We’ll update it as new resources become available or visible to us. If you come across a resource that others might find useful, please email Sophie (our head of communications) at or tweet @sophiehobson.

It’s so important that we find ways to help each other out during this time, especially in the social impact sector.

SSE students, course attendees and other people directly involved in our work

We are updating you regularly by email if we support you through one of our programmes, if you’re due to attend an SSE course or if you are directly involved in SSE’s work in another way. If you have other concerns related to SSE during this time, please contact your learning manager or your main contact at SSE.

Key links

Most useful resources we’ve found so far*

(*Other than government advice)

  • NCVO guide: Your organisation and coronavirus – a comprehensive guide being updated regularly and aimed at the social sector. It includes sections on:
    • How to protect staff, volunteers and visitors
    • Whether to cancel events and activities
    • How to support beneficiaries and service users, including those who are vulnerable or facing discrimination
    • How to manage finances, planning and insurance
    • Contingency planning

Finance and funding

Government support available for your organisation


Human resources

  • Co-operatives UK have put together a guide on HR issues answering questions such as ‘how do we treat employees who follow guidance to self isolate?’ and ‘what about parents who are off work because their child’s school has closed?’.
  • ACAS is monitoring government advice daily and updating this Covid-19 resource for employer and employees.
  • Catch up on Social Enterprise UK’s webinar on managing people through the crisis
  • Wrigleys Solicitors have put together a set of articles around risk mitigation, maintaining good governance, funding and more.

Business & continuity planning

Catch up on Social Enterprise UK’s webinar on continuity planning during the crisis.

This Federation for Small Business (FSB) guide is helpful. It includes sections on:

  • If you have to close your organisation
  • Business insurance
  • Advice for employers
  • Measures for the workplace

It’s aimed at small businesses but the advice is also relevant to small charities, social enterprises, community businesses and impact organisations.

UnLtd have out together a guide on planning for the crisis as a social enterprise.

Community businesses: try Power to Change’s resource hub

Communications planning

“Crisis communications” might sound scary or extreme, but really it’s just about making sure you’re prepared for different eventualities, and that you keep people up-to-date during tricky times. It might help to plan how you’ll communicate with the people you work with throughout the coming weeks, if you’re expecting your organisation to be affected by coronavirus. Charity Comms offers a free crisis communications planning template. The same page includes links to online advice guides.

Continuing to support your clients, beneficiaries and vulnerable people you work with

Working from home, supporting your team with remote working & tech

Looking after your mental health

Supporting each other

We’re thinking about how we can best support each other during this time. We’ve started using the hashtag #SocEntSolidarity on Twitter and Facebook so that, as a community, we can share tips, friendly words, positive news, cute memes – anything to brighten our days! Feel free to use #SocEntSolidarity and tag us @SchSocEnt and we can help each other through.

GIF reading #SocEntSolidarity

Supporting your community

Covid Mutual Aid UK is a group of volunteers supporting local community groups across the UK. Loads of resources, connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need.

Staying up to date with the sector

  • Pioneers Post – the magazine and news source for social enterprises and the social-impact sector – are sharing news and updates specific to our sector on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please contact or tweet @sophiehobson if you come across other resources we could add to this page, or if anything seems inaccurate or out of date.

Read next: How can SSE support you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis?