April 2018

Monthly Archives

Field Studies Council

Schools, colleges and youth groups can receive up to 80% towards the costs of providing environmental outreach education for groups of disadvantaged young people through the Field Studies Council’s Kids Fund.

The Field Studies Council is an independent educational charity committed to raising awareness about the natural world and works through a network of residential and day centres in the UK to provide outreach education and training.

There are two types of Kids Fund course: Wildlife and Environment, focusing on wildlife habitats and the environment with team building activities and Eco Adventure: which combines environmental and personally challenging activities.

Groups who meet one of the following criteria will be eligible:

• Disadvantaged young people aged 4-18 years (or up to 25 years for those with special needs).
• Voluntary youth groups (either run by voluntary leaders, managed by a voluntary organisation, a registered charity)
• School groups may apply if they are aiming to provide benefits, which are additional to the statutory school curriculum or clearly show added value, depth and breadth to the taught curriculum. FSC Kids Fund will not pay for young people to attend standard curriculum-focused FSC courses.

All applicants must be based in the UK, Isle of Man, Channel Isles and Republic of Ireland.

One free staff/adult place is provided for every 12 young people; additional adults pay 20% +VAT. This includes all equipment, tuition and waterproof hire costs. Food and accommodation are included for residential courses.

The next closing date for applications is the 1st June 2018.

More information

The Elephant Trust

The Elephant Trust has announced the next deadline for applications is the 25th June 2018. The Trust offers grants to artists and for new, innovative visual arts projects. It aims to make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when confronted by lack of funds.

The Trust supports projects that develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the fine arts. Priority is given to artists and small organisations and galleries making or producing new work or exhibitions.

The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants of up to £5,000 may be considered.

More information

National Lottery’s New Approach to Funding

The Big Lottery Fund has made changes to our funding so that it’s easier to apply for National Lottery funding.

They have nearly tripled the number of staff we have across England, and they will be working more closely with communities that we support. This means you’ll have the same local point of contact throughout your application.

They’ve also moving away from standardised application forms so that we can focus on supporting the best ideas, not the people who are best at filling in forms. You can now submit your ideas online, by phone or in person.

They offer three types of funding:

National Lottery Awards for All
Our National Lottery Awards for All scheme offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities.

Find out more about National Lottery Awards for All funding.

Reaching Communities
Reaching Communities offers grants of over £10,000 to support single organisations with great ideas that enable communities to thrive.

Find out more about Reaching Communities funding

Our Partnerships funding provides grants of over £10,000 for groups or organisations who have great ideas to do amazing things together.

Find out more about Partnerships funding

Source: The Big Lottery Fund

Youth Music

Grants are available to fund developmental music-making projects for children and young people up in challenging circumstances as well as projects that support the development of the workforce, organisations and the wider sector.

Youth Making’s funding programme is made up of two separate funds. These are:

• Fund A which offers small grants (£2,000 to £30,000) for high quality music-making projects
• Fund B offers medium-sized grants (30,001 – £100,000 per year for up to two years) for larger programmes of work;

The types of organisations that are eligible to apply include charities, not for profit organisations and schools. Schools will have to justify how activities to be funded do not duplicate Department of Education funding.

The closing dates for applications to Fund A is 5 pm on the 24th August 2018 and Fund B the 18th May 2018.

More information

New Guide Helps Charities Gain Cyber Security Confidence

A new cyber security guide for charities aims to help them confidently embrace technology with an awareness of the risks and how to mitigate them.

A new guide aimed at helping charities be more confident against digital risk has been launched by charity insurer Ecclesiastical in partnership with the Charites Security Forum.

The free cyber security guide for charities aims to help the third sector confidently embrace technology, by educating them on the wide range of cyber threats they could face, from ransomware, malware and denial of service to phishing, password attacks and human error.

It provides a wealth of practical advice for charities on mitigating these risks, including guidance on protecting themselves against data breaches.

The insurer’s own recent research with charities showed that 17% have already experienced a cyber-attack, with ransomware top of the list of cyber threats organisations have faced, while 63% said that they are concerned about cyber and internet crime.

Martyn Croft, cyber expert and co-founder of the Charities Security Forum with Brian Shorten, said: “Representing information security people working in charities and not-for-profits, the Charities Security Forum is committed to continuing to raise awareness of cyber risk in the third sector and to helping support these organisations with building up their digital defences.”

“This new guide by Ecclesiastical provides accessible information about the ways in which charities could find themselves exposed to the cyber security threat, but also gives simple, practical advice to help third sector organisations to protect themselves, and the people they help, against cyber crime.”

Download the guide, “Charity Cyber Guide: your defence against digital risk” here.

The NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), part of GCHQ, has also recently released a cyber security guide for chairities, aiming particularly at smaller charities.

All charities are at risk from cyber attacks on their funds and data, but security experts from NCSC are concerned that charities – particularly small charities, do not see themselves as potential targets. The new guide includes advice on low cost solutions for backing up data, malware, passwords and phishing attacks – download it here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Report Reveals How Orgs are Using Blockchain for Social Impact

The promise of blockchain technology to drive social impact is said to be huge. A new report, ‘Blockchain for Social Impact: moving beyond the hype‘ released this week explores how much of it is hype and how much reality.

The study by Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation and non-profit foundation RippleWorks analysed 193 social impact organisations and initiatives that are leveraging blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

“Are we at the pinnacle of a history- altering technology that will drive massive social impact, or is blockchain the latest tech buzzword — more noise than substance?” asks the report.

Bitcoin became the first decentralised digital currency, or digital ‘cash’ system that allows people to exchange money instantly, without having to go through intermediaries like banks. Its creation has led to over 1,500 cryptocurrencies that get purchased and traded globally.

Its underlying technology, blockchain, is a digital, secure, public record book of transactions that is linked in a chain with other blocks of data. This makes it a highly secure, transparent and fast to do things like facitilitate payments and verify records.

By mapping and cataloguing the landscape of such blockchain applications, the research captured which applications have already begun to demonstrate proven social impact, which industries and use cases are more or less advanced, and what we should be learning from the hundreds of test cases, pilots, and experiments.

Blockchain initiatives dedicated to social impact are still early-stage — 34% were started in 2017 or later, and 74% are still in pilot / idea stage. But 55% of social-good blockchain initiatives are estimated to impact beneficiaries by the end of 2018.

Of the 193 blockchain initiatives researched, 20% are providing a solution would not otherwise have been possible without blockchain.

The health sector is seeing a particular interest in blockchain, with nearly twice as much activity (25% of all initiatives) than the next leading sector, financial inclusion (13%). Other sectors trying out blockchain projects include philanthropy and aid, democracy and governance, energy, climate and environment, and agriculture.

Source: Charity Digital News

5 Resource Planning Tips for Charities

Every organisation needs to plan and charities are no exception. Without careful coordination across key areas such as fundraising, lobbying and crisis management, vital resources can’t be utilised to maximise potential.

Resource planning tools are an easy way to get ahead of the game. Allowing charities to understand what’s going on where, both nationally and internationally, can help the organisation to focus on strengths and also identify weaknesses. It offers a bird’s eye view of what needs to be done, where everyone is and if there are any glitches in the system.

Unfortunately, as highlighted in the recent 2018 Charity Digital Skills report, many organisations within the sector are unable or unwilling to make the most of technical advancements.

The report found that a lack of digital strategy was hampering charities’ progress:

  • 50% didn’t have one.
  • 66% of charities were worried that they remain unprepared for the shift towards digital fundraising.
  • Meanwhile, 57% cited skills and 52% lack of funding as the biggest barriers to getting more from digital.

With financial constraints looking to burden the charity sector, and the loss of funding from the EU set to hit UK charities hard thanks to Brexit, resource planning tools may seem an unnecessary, costly measure.

But if used correctly, such tools can provide a framework for charities to optimise resources and ultimately save money – here are five tips for getting the most out of resource planning tools.

Get the Team on the Same Page

Streamlining communication across teams can be a challenge even with the advent of apps and technology to help. Being able to physically see what everyone else within your operation is doing saves time and ultimately money.

If senior managers can view the day’s/week’s/month’s objectives easily, efficiency and clarity can be bought to complicated sets of plans.

Understand Milestones

Keeping on track of a project, especially a large one, can feel like sand slipping through your hands if you’re not on top of it. Management teams who provide a ‘lifecycle’ for each project, can flag up important milestones and monitor them.

When a target isn’t hit, it can be instantly seen and acted upon, meaning there’s no more waiting for something to go wrong.

Plan Forward

Looking into the future is always tricky, especially when the day-to-day running of a charity can be busy and reactive. Seeing the ‘bigger picture’ is essential if objectives are to be achieved.

Allowing forward thinking and seeing what a specific campaign looks like in terms of staffing, travel and equipment can help to guarantee everything and everyone is where they need to be.


To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

New £1.8 Million Government Funding for Places of Worship

The National Churches Trust has welcomed the announcement of a £1.8 million pilot scheme to help places of worship.

Heritage Minister Michael Ellis MP has announced the launch of a pilot scheme to help build a sustainable future for listed places of worship.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said:
“The National Churches Trust welcomes the announcement that £1.8 million of funding will be made available to places of worship in Manchester and Suffolk to help communities better care for and protect their buildings.”

“This funding is very good news indeed for church buildings of all denominations and other listed places of worship and a very positive first step towards implementing the recommendations of the Taylor Review on the sustainability of English churches and cathedrals.”

“Ensuring the long term sustainability of places of worship has to based on partnerships between Government, statutory heritage organisations, religious denominations, local communities and charities, and support organisations.”

“The creation of a £500,000 minor repairs fund by the Government to help support other funding is particularly to be welcomed. Maintenance is critical to ensuring that historic church buildings are kept in good condition and that they are run in the most efficient manner.”

“The National Churches Trust will work closely with our partners in the church heritage sector to help ensure that the two pilot programmes are successful.”

“In addition, churches in the two pilot areas will be able to make use of our new Maintenance Booker service to care for their buildings and also our ExploreChurches website, which will make it easier for people to visit churches and discover their history and heritage.”

Source: National Churches Trust

SAN West Midlands Networking Lunch

Social Audit Network West Midlands will be hosting a Meet, Greet and Eat Networking Lunch, 12 noon to 1.30 pm, on Wednesday, 9 May 2018, at All Saints Action Network (ASAN), The Workspace, Wolverhampton WV2 1EL.

Join SAN Directors, Regional Coordinators, social accountants and auditors and practitioners for an informal gathering over lunch to explore and discover the benefits of reporting on social impact and social value.

SAN will provide drinks, but please bring your lunch – this is a social occasion!

Click here for more details and to reserve your free place at the Networking Lunch

Transform Foundation’s 2018 Charity Website Grant Programme

The Transform Foundation is happy to announce that it is now accepting applications for the second tranche of allocations of its 2018 Charity Website Grant Programme.

The programme offers charities a grant to enable them to redevelop their website to ramp up their online income and increase their charitable impact. It has so far helped charities raise more than £9.5million in donations.

Non-profits interested in a Charity Website Grant should visit the Transform Foundation’s website to apply.

Successful applicants typically have an annual income of between £350,000 and £30m, but charities of any size with the ambition to grow – or with a single project in mind – are warmly encouraged to get involved.

The £18,000 grant covers the bespoke strategy, design, build, training and launch of a new, mobile optimised website and winners must cover ongoing support fees for a minimum of 12 months. The websites will be built by Raising IT, who are the technology partner for the programme.

The Transform Foundation believes non-profit projects should be able to make a difference to the greatest number of people.

As a result, the Charity Website Grant Programme is just one of many programmes we are running in 2018.

Together with our Facebook Advertising Grants, Charity Incubator and Digital Skills Timebank, the programme forms part of our wider effort to help the charity sector transition from traditional fundraising techniques to the digital world.

If you’re a charity considering redeveloping your website or keen to unlock the power of digital fundraising, Transform Foundation look forward to hearing from you.

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