Libby Mahoney

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Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Commission Opportunity

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning (SAFL) wishes to commission provision to support local voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver learning opportunities to targeted priority groups of residents. Any organisation that receives funding from SAFL will be classed as a subcontractor. 

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning have grants available of between £10,000 to £50,000 per project for the delivery of training in security, logistics, warehousing and digital skills on our behalf.

Full details can be found by clicking here.

Applications open 28th September 2020.

Stages:

  • Release of the 2020-2021 Community Learning Offer – 28th September 2020
  • Invitations to submit applications for delivery to commence from November 2020 28th September 2020 – 9th October 2020
  • Notification of results from Project Panel Review 19th October 2020
  • Contracts Awarded W/C 19th October 2020

All applications for funding will be received using the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council procurement process. If you are interested in submitting an application, please complete an application form available from the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council procurement web page by clicking here.

To access the full specification and application form, organisations will need to be registered on the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council procurement system click here.

Please note: Applications will be approved subject to sufficient funds being available. Projects can be short or long but all activity must be completed by 30th June 2021

Community Learning Specification and Guidance can be accessed by clicking here.

For an informal chat about this opportunity please call SAFL on 0121 557 0837 or email Contact_SAFL@sandwell.gov.uk


Town Fund Phase Two – Sandwell Town Deal Survey

In September 2019, the Government announced it had selected Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich to submit a Towns Fund application for up to £25 million per town.

The towns able to submit a bid and the associated criteria were selected by central Government. Sandwell Council continues to identify and seize investment and regeneration opportunities for all six towns.

Next steps
Sandwell Council recently carried out a Phase one survey (in August 2020) looking at priorities in your local town. The results helped inform project ideas that should be considered for submission to the government for the Towns Deal funding.

These ideas then went through rigorous analysis to see if they meet both the Town Deal criteria outlined by Government, and Sandwell’s aspirations as set out in the Vision 2030.

Those project ideas which met the rigorous criteria have now been compiled into a shortlist.

They now need your views on these shortlisted project ideas as part of this Phase Two by completing a short survey by clicking here.

The phase two survey is now live until 30th September 2020.

The three of the main priorities for the Programme are:

  • Urban Regeneration
  • Skills and Enterprise Infrastructure
  • Connectivity (Transport adn Digital)

For the full details on the Town Fund click here.


Why Hybrid Events Are the Future of Charity Fundraisers

Hybrid Events offer an opportunity for your charity to experience the best of both worlds: bringing together the accessibility and reach of virtual events and the memorable experiences and opportunities for networking that come with physical ones. 

Enthuse have developed a resource that offers practical advice on everything you need to know about setting up your very own hybrid event and maximising its reach. From finding the right idea, through to setting targets, driving participation and tracking engagement.

Find out more or to download the e-book by clicking here.

What are Hybrid Events?

A ‘Hybrid Event’ is any event (such as a fundraiser, networking event, conference, seminar or workshop) that combines a traditional physical event infrastructure with a virtual component.

Hybrid events usually follow the same model as in-person ones, with the addition of virtual components. For example, a conference following the Hybrid Event model would retain many features of a physical event, such as a central venue, a programme of events, and in-person networking. Speakers may be present in person, attending virtually through video-conferencing software, or a combination of both.

Hybrid Events combine the best characteristics of both virtual and physical events. That’s why they are often used as a means of increasing participation and engagement. They enable the participation of people who might be unable to attend physically due to travel or time zone constraints or through a wish to reduce the carbon footprint of the event.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News


What Is The Future of Remote Working For Charities?

Charity Digital News examine how the last few months of remote working have brought charity service delivery in line with people’s wider experience of digital services – and how the pandemic will shape the future of charity service delivery.

The last few months have seen many charities rapidly digitise their services in order to survive. Initially, these changes were born out of necessity. Faced with an unprecedented lockdown, charities had to move service delivery, fundraising and other operations online – with many small charities taking the first steps on their digital journey.

But several months down the line, most of these changes look like they are here to stay. Charities have been able to increase their reach and their impact – with virtual events and digital service delivery removing barriers to accessibility and helping organisations expand their base beyond their immediate geographic areas.

Much of this change has been driven by remote working. What has been thrust upon the sector as a short-term necessity has begun to look like a long-term solution. The flexibility of remote working offers benefits for both charity workers and service users.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News


5 Best Practice Tips to Make Your Charity Social Media Posts More Accessible

Charity social media is about bringing people together. But you can’t do that if you’re unintentionally excluding some of your audience.

Over the past few years, charities have put significant focus on inclusive website design that accounts for a wide range of diversity among users and the barriers they might face when interacting with digital content.

These limitations fall broadly into three categories – permanent (like when someone has a disability, visual or cognitive impairment), temporary (such as when someone is recovering from a stroke or has an ear infection) and situational (for instance, someone interacting with content whilst holding a baby, in a very loud place or somewhere where they aren’t safe to play content out loud).

Accessibility encompasses a wide range of different audience challenges. And for many organisations, ensuring that everyone has equal access to their information and content is a vital part of their mission.

But accessibility goes far beyond just your website. It is also crucial to reaching new audiences and building relationships with diverse groups of supporters and advocates. Has your charity thought about the content you’re putting out on social media platforms?

Here are some quick social media best practice tips and accessibility features to get you started.

Make sure your built-in accessibility features are enabled

This is probably the first you should do to make your social content more accessible. Explore the settings of the platforms you’re on and enable any accessibility features, as some may not be turned on by default. In Twitter, for example, you have to dig for it in ’Settings and Privacy’ > ’Accessibility’. Take the time to familiarise yourself with them, and with the latest accessibility updates from the platforms you use.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News


Heritage Lottery – Government’s £40million Green Recovery Challenge Fund Opens for Applications

Grants from £50,000 to £5m are now available to kick-start the nation’s green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I am delighted that we are distributing the Green Recovery Challenge Fund on behalf of Defra. We are committed to supporting the nature and environment sector quickly and effectively through this fund.”

Who is it for

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is open to environmental charities and partnerships that include at least one environmental charity, with projects in England that are ready to start.

All projects must contribute to at least one of the following themes:

  • nature conservation and restoration
  • nature based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation such as through tree planting and restoring peatland
  • connecting people with nature
  • Projects will be favoured that create or retain jobs, providing opportunities and benefits for all ages, including young people. Projects from both rural, urban and inshore marine areas are welcomed.

How to apply

Applications for grants up to £250,000 must be submitted by midday on 2 October 2020. For applications over £250,000, there is a two-step process, with initial expressions of interest required by midday on 24 September 2020.

Up to 100% of project costs will be available.

Please read the full criteria and application guidance before submitting your application.

Applications under £250k

When you are ready to apply, complete and submit your application via their Application Portal.
If you do not already have a logon you will need to register.

Applications over £250k: Expressions of Interest

For applications for a grant above £250,000 a short Expression of Interest (EOI) form is mandatory. Guidance on the questions to be answered and a copy of the form is available.

An assessment panel involving all the Fund partners will use the information you provide to decide whether or not to invite you to submit a full grant application. If you are not invited to apply we will explain our reason.

We will aim to respond to all EOIs within ten working days of the deadline. You will then have three weeks to submit a full application.

Click here to submit your Expression of Interest.

A greener future

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund, part of a wider HM Government green economic recovery jobs and skills package, will enable environmental charities and their partners to restore nature and tackle climate change.

The fund will help create up to 3,000 jobs such as ecologists, surveyors, nature reserve staff and education workers. In additional, it will safeguard up to 2,000 existing jobs in areas such as protecting species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, conservation rangers and connecting people with nature. It will also support suppliers in areas such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, and equipment and seed supply.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing the Green Recovery Challenge Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency, on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). It has been made possible by bringing forward funding announced at Budget 2020 including £10m from the Nature Recovery Fund and £30m of Nature for Climate Funding.

For more information click here.

Source: Heritage Fund


October Coffee Time Conversations Session

‘Coffee Time Conversations’ seeks to bring like-minded individuals from across Sandwell together, to chat about different concerns that have arisen primarily as a consequence of COVID-19. The aim of these conversations is to share experiences, good practice and help others to problem solve around a concern they may have currently.

Our next session is being held on Thursday 22nd October 2020, 10am till 11.30am via a Zoom conference call. The topic for this ‘Coffee Time Conversation’ will be ‘re-connecting with senior members within our community to encourage their participation and engagement.’

Future conversations will be steered by participants during the session which gives you the chance to talk with others working in similar areas and decide upon the topics that are most important to you as a collective.

You are welcome to register for any/all of these conversations, which will be hosted as a Zoom Conference Call. Please use this Eventbrite link to register your attendance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the conversation nearer the time.

We look forward to seeing you all in October.


How Grant Making Practice has Changed Following COVID-19

Charities are having to be increasingly savvy as they look to compete for a smaller pool of funds from grantmakers amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 has transformed the relationship between charities and grantmakers, such as corporate partners, government funders and foundation trusts.

There is simply less money for funders to invest and distribute to good causes, amid financial uncertainty globally caused by the pandemic.

According to National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) data and research manager Lisa Hornung: “Investment values have fallen in 2020 and so will have the reserves of some organisations.

“In the longer term, the fall in investments will impact on the ability of grantmakers to give out funding to the sector, since many of them are heavily reliant on investment income.”

The pandemic has also altered grantmakers’ funding priorities, with long-term recovery from the pandemic and supporting at-risk communities increasingly key to their decisions.

Knowing what grantmakers want to spend their falling funds on is key to success for charities amid COVID-19.

Targeting grantmakers is especially important as many charities are currently being left vulnerable by an over-reliance on public donations, which have been hit by the cancellation of in-person fundraising events and charity shop closures during lockdown.

The fall in public donations to charities could be around £1bn, according to estimates in July this year by online fundraising platform Omaze.

According to Blackbaud Europe’s Status of UK Fundraising 2020 Benchmark Report, 27% of charity professionals say their income has fallen, an increase on the 21% who said there had been a decline in 2019.

Diversifying income streams, especially by ramping up the search for grant-giving could ensure the long-term future of those charities reliant on the public.

Read the full Charity DIgital News Artcile by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News


‘Rapid and Selfless’ Response to Pandemic Across Charity Sector

Jane Ide, Chief Executive of NAVCA, has been reflecting on the response from across the voluntary and community sector and, more specifically, the rapid and selfless reaction from local infrastructure organisations across England, many of them NAVCA members.

Jane writes:

We knew when the pandemic hit, our members would be right at the heart of the response. And the work they have done has been phenomenal.

Local infrastructure organisations are embedded in the communities they serve. Whether they are known as Community Action, a Council for Voluntary Service, Voluntary Action or some other title, the work they do makes a massive impact.

NAVCA members were quick to adapt their operations from day one of the pandemic to co-ordinate all manner of support services, from food deliveries and prescription collections to befriending and dog walking. Alongside direct support to people in need, they have worked tirelessly to connect small charities, community organisations, faith groups, businesses, the NHS, local authorities, mutual aid groups and volunteers in ways that work for their community.

Across the country NAVCA members connected with over a quarter of a million volunteers. We know that the efforts of the voluntary and community sector saved lives.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: NAVCA


The Importance of Authenticity For Charity Virtual Events

2020 has been the year of the virtual fundraising event. But with the sudden boom of charity activity now taking place online, it can be even more of a challenge for charities to move audiences to give and take part. Especially when there are so many competing voices vying for peoples’ attention.

In an increasingly content-saturated world, it can be challenging for charities to get their message heard when there is so much out there already. Transparency and authenticity are the key to successful and sustained charity communications and donor relationships.

The importance of defining your message charity’s is invaluable to lasting and memorable donor relationships and ultimate growth. By clearly outlining your mission, and connecting the format and style of your event to your cause, you can help your audience to better understand your mission.

Anyone can throw a virtual fundraising event together these days, but how do you take a great idea and make it your charity’s own? How do you make it memorable, compelling and human without the traditional face to face element?

The key lies in carefully defining your event’s message and relating it to supporters in a way that feels authentic, by keeping your charity’s story centre stage. Here are a few pointers.

Tie your fundraising activity to your mission

When thinking of an idea for your virtual fundraising event, try and come up with something that has a direct impact on supporters and is tied to your cause. Is there a way you can give back something of value to those fundraising for you? If you’re a foodbank, you could run an online cookery class and ask people to donate. If you’re an education and awareness charity, it could be a virtual quiz related to your area of expertise.

To read the full Charity Digital news article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News


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