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Four new multiyear funding partnerships announced…

30 April 2024

Ever since the foundation launched, we have had the ethos of funding by what charities need, not what we think they should have. From the outset, we strived to make funding unrestricted wherever possible (sometimes it can be easier to use a restriction to simplify and clarify things, particularly if an organisation works across multiple demographics) and to make our funding easily accessible, simple, and friction free.

Small grassroots groups have told us that a lack of stability and sustainability is their biggest challenge with fundraising. Income can be piecemeal, ad hoc and unpredictable. This is less of a problem if costs aren’t fixed and cloth can be cut to fit, but it makes capacity building almost impossible – and meeting fixed costs – salaries, rents, IT, etc, becomes a major worry.

For foundation’s with endowments or significant investments, awarding multiyear unrestricted funding should be a given, but for us, with every penny we award coming from fundraising activities and events, it isn’t so easy, given the sometimes unpredictable nature of an income built on goodwill and kindness. However, we are fortunate to have a trustee board that understand that risk is not something to be avoided, but to be tolerated and – where possible – mitigated.

The board was presented with a shortlist of three charities for each region (a total of 12 charities) and debated where funding should be awarded, looking at need/impact/focus/and mission fit with the foundation. The shortlist was compiled by the Foundation team and then discussed as part of our Spring trustee meeting. As a result we are proud to announce the first four charities to receive a £30,000 funding award over three years.

West Norfolk Befriending (Midlands)

Working in the areas around Kings Lynn in East Anglia, our funding will enable the charity to hire a new member of staff that will lead on assessing new befriending clients. The role will also support volunteer recruitment and training. Given as unrestricted funding, the grant includes a cost recovery element that will help support the overall costs of this small charity, which has an income of just under £70k a year. This will help build capacity and give the charity stability and security to reach more people in need of their help.

Embracing Age (Southern)

This charity work in care homes on the Isle of Wight, where isolation and loneliness can be exacerbated by the island location. We have seen their work first hand during a visit with the charity in late 2023 and felt that not only was their work hugely valuable, there was also a real need for it. Funding will support the salary costs of Rebecca, the charity’s IOW Coordinator, who organises everything from volunteer recruitment to Christmas care packages. We spent time with Rebecca in December visiting care homes on the island and have no doubt that her work is absolutely crucial to the charity’s impact.

Friends for Life Bedfordshire (London South East)

This charity is the only one in Bedfordshire offering companionship and befriending to isolated and lonely people in the county’s many care homes. Our finding will be used to cover the salary costs of their volunteer lead, the principal person responsible for recruiting, training, and managing the charity’s invaluable volunteers who work across 24 of the county’s care homes. Our three year commitment will give the organisation the stability they need to invest in their service delivery, reaching more older people in need of their support.

Reach Family Befriending (Northern)

Of the four charity partners we are pleased to lead this initiative with, Reach are the ones we know best having funded them twice before. Born out of a community need and working in a deprived part of Bolton, we are consistently impressed with the impact this group of committed people has in their local area. The timing has worked well as they are currently looking to hire a new member of the team to manage the huge demand there is for their services. The new team member will coordinate referrals from across the area, working with GPs, Social Prescribers, other charities and community groups and local social services. We are so pleased to be able to continue our relationship with them.