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Top Tips: Creating Effective Corporate Partnerships

A strong corporate-charity partnership is a powerful way to unlock opportunities, form key relationships, attract funding and gain longer-term support for your organisation.

Small charities play a distinct and vital role in building stronger communities and addressing some of our most persistent social challenges. That’s why Aviva works to unlock their potential by finding, funding and empowering small charities to face the future with confidence.

One way we’re doing this is through partnerships. We know that developing strong and fruitful corporate partnerships can be challenging – particularly for resource-stretched, time-poor grassroots organisations. Yet, they have the potential to fundamentally change the trajectory of your organisation.  So, we’ve distilled three fundamentals to getting corporate-charity partnerships right.

Focus on relationship building, over transactional fundraising

Lucrative, strategic partnerships take time. Focus on thoroughly researching each company and the right people to connect with, so you can develop a proposition tailored to their corporate responsibility focus and wider business objectives.

Work as a team and focus on warm prospects. Relationship building shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of fundraisers within your organisation, it’s everyone’s role to get out there, build strong relationships and tap into the connections you already have. Cold approaches rarely bear fruit, so it’s important to only consider how you can meet your contact in person – this really goes a long way.

This type of strategic partnership beyond transactional fundraising is certainly a longer-term game, however the time invested will pay off when the opportunity is ripe.

Think beyond funding and be open-minded 

So often, the first thing charities think about in partnerships is the funding opportunities. To make the most of a strategic partnership it’s important to consider other opportunities and resources you could tap into, such as skills development, IT/software, office space, staff volunteering, and more.

Many corporates out there offer capacity building and resource support, for instance Aviva runs a Facebook Group called Aviva Community Group, where charities of all shapes and sizes can join to share ideas, network with like-minded people, and get advice from experts in the sector. The key with partnership opportunities that go beyond funding is to ensure they’re shaped by clear expectations and mutually beneficial outcomes.

Demonstrate your passion

No partnership ‘pitch’ is static, so when you’re approaching a prospective corporate partner make sure your key messages and story will resonate – speak their language (it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of using industry-specific buzz words…) and make sure you clearly articulate how the partnership will solve challenges they may be facing.

Demonstrate your passion about why you love what you do and the difference you’re making in the community. One of the oldest maxims of fundraising is that “people don’t give to causes; they give to people with causes”. And, this is still true today. The most memorable stories that really shine are those by individuals who have a personal connection, an authentic relationship to the cause they’re promoting.

Source: FSI


Grants for Small Organisations Making Good Use of Volunteers

The Woodward Charitable Trust primarily funds charitable organisations (charities, social enterprises and community interest companies) in the UK and can make grants for overseas projects usually via UK charities.

Priority is given to projects that make good use of volunteers, encourage past and current users to participate, ensure that funds awarded are being well used and fall within the following areas:

  • Children / young people who are isolated, at risk of exclusion or involved in antisocial behaviour.
  • Prisoners and ex-offenders and prisoners’ families.
  • Disadvantaged women, covering refuges, domestic violence and parenting.
  • Disability projects, including rehabilitation and training.
  • Arts outreach work by local groups involving disadvantaged people.
  • Projects that promote integration and community cohesion amongst minority groups, including refugees and travellers.

Three types of grant are awarded following bi-annual meetings in February and October:

  • Small grants of £100 – £5,000
  • Large grants over £5,000 – these are usually given to charities known by the Trustees
  • Preference is given to small to medium-sized charities with an income of less than £300,000 where small grants can have more impact. Most grants made are for one-off projects although some grants fund salaries and running costs.

To apply for funding applicants will be required to complete an application form and submit it with a project budget.

The deadline for receipt of applications for the February meeting is noon on the 31st July 2019.

For more information or to apply click here.


How to Raise More Unrestricted Income from Trusts and Foundations

Lime Green Consulting often get asked by charities and social enterprises for advice on how they can raise more unrestricted funding from trusts and foundations.

Many organisations are very successful at securing grant income, yet still find themselves in a tight financial position because the majority of funding tends to be restricted to a specific purpose. While project funding is vital, it rarely gives you the flexibility you need to thrive as a resilient and innovative organisation.

We’ve compiled some of our best tips on how to achieve the holy grail of unrestricted grant income – from some obvious funders to approach, to how to think outside the box when it comes to improving your financial position through trusts and foundations fundraising.

1. APPLY TO SPECIALIST CORE FUNDERS

While it’s understandably tempting for funders to want to fund tangible and exciting projects, this doesn’t give organisations the freedom to pay key staff or cover central costs. Not unlike yoga, strengthening your core is vital and will make you much better at everything else you’re trying to achieve too.

There’s a growing recognition in the sector that smaller organisations in particular need access to more flexible funding if they are to survive and thrive, particularly at a time when so much local authority funding has dried up. Lloyds Bank Foundation CEO Paul Streets has been particularly vocal about the damage caused by ‘projectitis’.

Here are a few funders that give core funding to a broad range of charitable causes:

  • Lloyds Bank Foundation (no surprise given the above)
  • Tudor Trust
  • Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
  • Masonic Charitable Foundation
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation

If you’re looking for core funding, here are a few tips:

  • Check out the above funders and see if your organisation is eligible to apply.
  • Use a funding directory like Funds Online or Funding Central to search for other core funders. We suspect that other funders will pop up over the coming months. These directories have a subscription fee for most organisations but it’s often a worthwhile investment, as they have an option to search specifically for core funding.
  • Develop a strong case for support for why you really need core funding. For example: why don’t you have much unrestricted funding already? Why would it be so valuable to you – would it enable you to recruit a key member of staff, respond to a new opportunity or restructure in an important way? What makes your organisation such an expert at what it does, therefore such a strong candidate for core funding?

To read the full Lime Green Consulting Blog click here.

Source: Lime Green Consulting


2020 GSK IMPACT Awards – funding and free training for health charities

The GSK IMPACT Awards provide core funding, training and national recognition for charities doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Up to 20 awards will be made ranging from £3,000 to £40,000. To be eligible organisations must be at least three years old, a registered charity, working in a health-related field in the UK, with income between £80,000 and £2.5 million.

Winning organisations will have a film made, receive support with press and publicity and be given a set of promotional materials. They will also be offered free training and development valued at a further £9,500.

In 2020 there will be three days of training leading up to the GSK IMPACT Awards ceremony in London. After this participants will be invited to join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network which connects past award winners both online and at meetings, to get and give support, share best practice and continue their professional development.

Many participants have commented that the training, the new ideas and enthusiasm that they take away, and the connections they make is even more important than the award money.

To apply go to: www.kingsfund.org.uk/gskimpactawards

Closing date for applications: 23 September 2019


The Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust has announced that it has thousands of free tree packs available to community groups and schools across the UK, plus nurseries, colleges, universities and outdoor learning centres. The trees are available for planting on an area that is accessible to the public so that it can be used and enjoyed by others. If applying as a school, trees should be planted on either the school grounds, land the school has arranged regular access to or in an area that is publicly accessible.

Applications for a tree pack for a community group need to:

State that the land is accessible to the public
Make sure the local community is aware of the plans to plant and is happy for the project to go ahead
Be applying for up to 420 trees in each application cycle or season.
There are two delivery periods per year in November and March, when the trees are dormant and perfect for planting.

Applications are currently being accepted for trees to be delivered in November 2019.

More information at: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/free-trees/

Deadline: see website


Morrisons Foundation

Registered charities delivering projects which help to improve people’s lives can apply to the Morrison Foundation for a grant.

There is no limit on the amount that can be applied for and applications are accepted any anytime. Since launching in 2015 the Foundation has donated over £24 million to help good causes across England, Scotland and Wales.

Recent grants awarded have included Friends of East Preston School who received a grant of £5,000 to replace their old and dilapidated outdoor trim trail; and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice which received a grant of £20,000 to buy a new minibus and run activity trips for young patients.

More information at: https://www.morrisonsfoundation.com/

Funding Deadline: Rolling


Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grants

Not for profit organisations including registered charities, community interest companies, health bodies, NHS Hospital Trusts, Foundation Trusts), local authorities and social housing providers (the list is not exhaustive) can apply for funding for projects that have a significant community benefit within individual Tesco regions.

The funding is being made available through the Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grants. The types of projects funded will be very broad and will cover the direct costs needed to deliver the project, this could range from:

Improvements to a building of regional or national significance that benefits the whole community such as a museum, hospice, specialist hospital ward, art gallery, heritage centre, wildlife centre or an ancient monument.

Improvements to an outdoor space of regional or national significance such as walking/cycling routes, gardens, nature reserves, wildlife areas, waterways or woodlands.

Delivering activities or charitable services across a whole region such as health and wellbeing support activities, foodbanks, community clubs, homelessness support, sporting activities, recycling/upcycling programmes, regional school focused programmes and community festivals or events.

Providing equipment that will benefit the whole region such as medical equipment, minibuses, mobile libraries and safety equipment.

There will be two voting rounds during 2019. Three community projects in each region will be voted on by customers in Tesco stores throughout the UK, in July/August and November/December 2019. Following the vote, the project that receives the most votes in the Tesco voting region will receive a grant of up to £25,000, second place receiving up to £15,000 and third place up to £10,000.

The July/August 2019 voting period will feature projects with a Health and Wellbeing theme and projects focusing on cancer, heart disease and diabetes will be prioritised.

More information on website


Localgiving/Postcode Community Trust

Localgiving has once again partnered with the Postcode Community Trust to offer grants of £500 to small charities and community groups across the UK through its Magic Little Grants Fund.

Grants will be awarded to projects that meet either of the following themes:

• Overcoming barriers to participation in physical activities in creative ways
• Increasing social cohesion through developing access to sports and other recreational activities

Grants can be used to support the general running costs of new and existing sports and physical activities. For example, this could include:
• Facilities hire
• Kit & equipment
• Coaching qualifications
• Other volunteer expenses

The fund is open to Localgiving registered charitable organisations operating within Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) that are running or planning to run a project that will encourage people to engage in some form of physical activity to help to improve their physical and mental health and well-being.

Organisations that are not already a member of Localgiving are required to complete the Localgiving registration process before completing the application. Those awarded a grant will also receive an annual Local Giving membership worth £96.

The following criteria apply:
Organisations must either be in their first year of operation or have an annual income under £250,000.
Preference will be given to projects that encourage social cohesion and help vulnerable people to overcome barriers to participation in physical activities.

Funding can be used to launch new projects, support existing ones, or cover core costs associated with ongoing work
The application process is open until the 30th November 2019.

More information at: https://localgiving.org/what-we-do/magic-little-grants/


The Bruce Wake Charitable Trust

The Bruce Wake Charitable Trust will consider grant applications relating to the provision of leisure activities for people with physical disabilities. The Trust was established to encourage and assist the provision of leisure activities for the disabled.

The Trustees particularly favour applications where the potential beneficiaries meet one or all of the following criteria:
• The potential beneficiaries are physically disabled wheelchair users
• Improved access for wheelchair users is proposed
• A sporting or leisure activity involving disabled wheelchair users is proposed

One donation in any 12-month period may be made to charitable organisations.
All applications should be submitted together with appropriate financial information. Charitable organisations should include a copy of their latest financial statements. Applications meeting the above criteria will be considered from charitable organisations. Applications on behalf of individuals will only be accepted through a charitable organisation or equivalent recognised body.

Trustees meet quarterly to consider grant applications.

More information at: https://brucewaketrust.co.uk/index.php/grants/

Deadline: Quarterly


Barrow Cadbury Trust Migration Programme

Not for profit organisations that promote positive interaction between different groups in order to counter xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia can apply for funding through the Barrow Cadbury Trust’s Migration Programme.

Through its Migration Programme the Trust want to fund grassroots groups working with refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented migrants and other marginalised migrants. The Trust seek to enable grassroots groups to support the most vulnerable migrants as well as empower migrants and ensure they are not excluded from the public debate on migration. Organisations may apply for this programme from anywhere in the UK but most awards will be made in the West Midlands.

The Trust is particularly interested in:

• Work promoting positive interaction between different groups in order to counter xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia. This could include the identification of spokespeople, both Muslims and non-Muslims, to challenge extremism and promote a liberal, inclusive sense of national identity. It could also include highlighting promising practice and practical examples of where integration has worked within communities.

• Supporting migrant organisations, campaigners and others to influence national policy and promote the fair and dignified treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, particularly undocumented migrants.

• Ensuring a broad range of voices is heard in the debate about migration and integration, including those affected by injustice.

• Supporting work to deepen understanding of public attitudes and concerns about immigration and integration and develop appropriate responses.

• Funding research and policy work on discrete areas of public policy with a view to developing fair and workable solutions to policy challenges.

No minimum or maximum grant amount is specified.

There is a rolling deadline. Applications can be submitted at any time. Organisations interested in applying should initially complete an enquiry form.

More information


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