May 2018

Monthly Archives

The Skinners’ Company

Small charities and not for profit organisations working in the areas of local heritage and the performing and visual arts can currently apply for funding through the Lady Neville Charity grants programme.

Eligible organisations can apply for capital grants of up to £1,000 (e.g., equipment, capital building works, etc). Trustees may also consider funding towards one-off anniversary events that are not part of core activities.

To be eligible to apply for funding the applicant must be a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation in the UK whose total annual income is less than £100,000, and the total project cost is less than £10,000.

The next closing date for applications is the 14th September 2018.

More information

Funding for Projects that Tackle the Root Causes of Social Inequity

Not for profit organisations that work towards a just and democratic society and to redress political and social injustices can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £5,000.

The funding is available to causes outside the mainstream that are unlikely to receive funding from other sources. Examples of projects funded in the past include the Boaz Trust a Christian organisation serving destitute asylum seekers in Greater Manchester which received a grant of £2,000; and the Grandparents Association in Leeds which received a grant of £4,800.

The funding is made through the Scurrah Wainright Charity.

The next closing date for applications is the 14th September 2018.

More information

Six Tips for Increasing Your Online Donations

With its spring 2018 website development grant up for grabs, the Transform Foundation shares its top lessons from the programme on how to create a charity website that maximise.

The Transform Foundation believes that a strategically designed website is one of the most powerful ways of helping a charity generate the sustainable income they need to fund their charitable activities and go further in their mission.

That is why they provide the funding to give charities a helping hand on the upfront investment for a website equipped with the right features.

To give you an idea of some of the benefits you can expect from a fully optimised website funded through the programme, here are six top tips for creating a website that maximises your online donations.

To find out how you can apply for funding to redevelop your charity’s website, visit the Website Grant section of the Transform Foundation website here for full details on what it offers and how you can apply.

1. Create a fully integrated donations form on your website
According to the Network For Good Online Giving Index, non-profits achieve on average six times higher conversion rates on their donations if they take them via a fully integrated journey that maintains their branding, is fully hosted and does not redirect to a third party payment processing site that is disconnected from their main website.
Having a fully integrated donations journey is therefore one of the simplest ways for charities to dramatically increase their income.

2. Minimise the number of clicks on your online donations journey
The Transform Foundation’s studies have shown that having more than one click on your donations form reduces conversion rates by an average of 35%. After a second click, every extra click a supporter has to make on average reduces conversion rates by an additional 20%.

To maximise the amount of potential supporters you convert, it is therefore vital to aim for a one-click donation journey, or at least reduce clicks to the minimum number possible.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Grants to Enhance the Teaching of Mathematics

The London Mathematical Society has announced that Mathematics Teachers in the UK can apply for grants of up to £400 to attend specific one or two-day conferences/events organised by professional mathematical organisations.

The aim of the grant is to facilitate mathematical professional development to allow teachers in UK schools/educational institutions to develop their subject knowledge. The grant can contribute to the costs of registration for the course and a proportion of the travel and subsistence expenses of attendees.

Any application for a grant under this scheme must be made by a teacher of mathematics or ITE provider based in the UK. The grants are open to teachers of mathematics from primary school to A-Level or equivalent (inclusive of STEP/AEA).

The next closing date for applications is the 31 August 2018.

More information

WHSmith Community Grant

Voluntary organisations, charities schools and pre-schools can apply for grants of up to £500 from the WHSmith Trust.

The WHSmith Trust is an independent registered charity that uses the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag charges across the UK to offer the grants to support good causes in the local communities where WHSmith operates.

There are two application rounds each year. The deadline for the current funding round is the 30th September 2018.

Applications can be submitted via an online application form.

Funding to Support Vulnerable Young Migrants

Not for profit organisations and private law firms that work with young migrants can apply for grants through the Strategic Legal Fund (SLF) for Vulnerable Young Migrants.

The maximum grant available is £30,000 but, in view of the limited funding available, lower applications are encouraged. The average grant size is around £12,000.

Grants are available to undertake strategic legal work to benefit children and young people (under the age of 25) who are significantly disadvantaged by migration status. The fund will accept applications in any area of law that affects:

Vulnerable young migrants including immigration
Asylum and asylum support
Human rights
Education, etc.

The SLF only funds two kinds of strategic legal action. These are pre-litigation research and “third party intervention” in an existing case. The maximum grant length is 12 months, and most grants are for around six months.

The next closing date for applications is the 6th July 2018.

Visit the website

The Dorothy Parkes Centre Bags £4,000 From Tesco’s Community Grant Scheme

The Dorothy Parkes Centre is delighted to announce it has bagged £4,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme.

Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, it’s provided more than £52 million to over 16,000 local community projects.

Millions of shoppers have voted in Tesco stores up and down the country and it can now be revealed The Dorothy Parkes Centre has been awarded £4,000.

Work will now begin on bringing the project to life.

The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a community centre based in Smethwick and aims to help address local needs by providing, or hosting, a wide range of activities and services for children and adults. The centre boasts a large hall, foyer, meeting rooms and kitchen and this grant will fund the complete decoration of all walls and ceilings throughout the centre.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at the centre, said:
“This is brilliant news and it is great to come first in a public vote. We would like to thank everybody who supported our application and voted for us in Tesco stores. This funding will enable us to decorate the centre and give it a much needed face-lift. This is all part of our objective to provide the local community with a centre that they can be proud of.”

Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, said:
“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores throughout March and April with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.

Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions are awarded funding.

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:
“Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down the UK to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit

Charity Commission Reform Vital for Civil Society Strategy to Work

The government has just closed consultation on its plan to help create a stronger civil society in the UK. It’s an opportunity for the social and charitable sector to make demands of legislators while looking at itself and being honest about what it can do better for the causes, people and places it serves.

We at New Philanthropy Capital have made 21recommendations on the civil society strategy across a wide range of topics, but there are a couple of key things the government could do to make a massive, positive impact on the sector.

First, reform the Charity Commission. It is an organisation full of dedicated people, but is straining under the weight of limited resources and an increasingly conflicted remit. It should be the regulator the sector needs, not its cheerleader. The sector should investigate whether the support it offers charities should be spun out into a new, independent organisation dedicated to sector-led improvement.

We also think what the commission regulates should change. It is too focused on financial stability and organisational survival at the expense of whether charities are having an impact for beneficiaries. We want to see a toughening up of annual impact reporting as part of the commission’s processes. Many charities already do this, but many don’t – if we can get them seriously thinking about their impact, the people they serve stand to benefit.

Second, start thinking about place. Austerity means the shape and scope of local public services need to be radically re-thought. Success will depend on a new partnership between the public, private and social sectors. We believe this is best done locally – so devolving budgets to those who know where to spend them is necessary for a more impactful civil society.

It’s not enough to change where services are commissioned – how they are commissioned must change too. Our research shows that 64% of charities involved in government contracting need to subsidise the contracts with income from other work. The Social Value Act should allow commissioners to accept more expensive bids from organisations offering added value over the long-term, but this is not happening. Government needs to strengthen the act to make it useful to commissioners who are concerned to demonstrate their decisions have created value for money.

To read the full Guardian Voluntary Sector Network Article click here.

Unprecedented Level of Joint Working is Transforming Lives of Older People

Robert spent the best part of 11 months in hospital after suffering shortness of breath and rapid weight loss. He lost his wife during that time and the outlook for the 77-year-old seemed bleak. But now he is living independently with help to maintain his home and garden, advice on benefits and tips on healthy living.

The transformation in Robert’s life reflects the evolution of health and care services in Croydon, south London, where the local council, the NHS and charity Age UK Croydon have come together to support people like him.

The One Croydon Alliance was given the green light in March to develop its work for the next nine years, after demonstrating early benefits, including a 20% reduction in length of hospital stays, up to 14% fewer hospital referrals by GPs and cash savings of at least £12m a year.

Jo Negrini, Croydon council’s chief executive, says: “This unprecedented level of joint working between council staff, the NHS and other alliance partners has meant better health and social care outcomes for residents who might otherwise have continued to [be] in and out of hospital.”

The alliance was set up last year for an initial 12 months during which it focused mainly on people aged 65 and over. The two principal strands of its approach have been a Living Independently for Everyone (Life) programme – an integrated reablement and rehabilitation service for older people on discharge from hospital – and an Integrated Community Networks (ICN) scheme based on weekly “huddles” of professionals from all disciplines to discuss people at risk of going into hospital.

These huddles, with support from an Age UK personal independence coordinator, are critical to keeping Robert living at home.

Rachel Soni, the alliance’s programme director, says the whole-system initiative stemmed from a realisation by care commissioners that expecting care providers to work together was only half the battle – it was “throwing stuff over the fence” for other organisations to deal with.

Key to the first-year success of the alliance has been the strong commitment at the most senior levels of all the partner organisations, bottom-up co-design of the programmes and neutrality of the coordinating team, says Soni. “I report to the chair of the GP collaborative [a grouping of family doctors] but I am a council employee and I am on secondment to the [NHS] clinical commissioning group.”

To read the full Guardian Public Leaders Network news click here.

Invitation to Cradley Heath Arts Festival

It’s the fourth year of Cradley Heath Arts Festival and this year it truly has the flavour of a community event. Groups and individuals who organise creative activities have helped to expand and extend the Festival, to 14 venues with over forty events. The Festival starts on, Friday 1 June. The main Festival Day is Saturday, 9 June.

You can drop in to classes and demonstrations during the Festival week to podge, strum the Uke or try Latin Dance. You can also:

• Visit a working decorative plaster company
• Hear the award winning Cradley Heath Male Voice Choir
• Have a meal at Fish and Chip restaurants
• Find live music and a party at Weatherspoon’s
• Discover portrait demonstrations
• Bring your creative energies to interpret the landscape of Haden Hill Park. Book a place on the Landscape Challenge
• Home-made cakes at the cafe and goodies from Cass Art

On Saturday 9 June visit different venues up and down the main drag:

• Including the Community Centre, The Art Yard, Oss Box (Cradley Heath Creative’s own mobile arts and community venue)
• Iconoclast Constructs (fabulous name and unusual metal work)
• The Library – for the spoken word and music performances and workshops
• Refreshments at the Holly Bush Pub and Arts Centre

There is a special visit to Tesco by the artists of The Caravan Gallery, c/o Multistory, as part of their lead up to Blast! Festival. Visit them for a sideways look at what’s going on round here.

Anything produced as part of the festival will be exhibited and celebrated at The Art Yard in the week of Monday 25 June.

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