The Community Foundation for Surrey is pleased to announce that a number of our Donor Funds have come together with some additional generous support from Surrey County Council to support the sustainability and resilience of our voluntary sector organisations.
Pandemic working has necessitated many charities and community groups working more closely together with other groups to deliver services together and change services to new ways of delivery.
In the current economic climate, coming out of a period when many funders gave an unprecedented amount, the funding environment is bleak. Many public sector contracts have been frozen and public grants programmes either cancelled or drastically cut back. Increasingly charities are looking to respond to the urgent need to cut costs by looking for new ways of working, cementing partnership working or even merging. In addition, many are looking to change their business model in order to achieve greater financial sustainability in the longer-term. On the positive side many are building on what they have learned during the pandemic which enabled them to re-imagine the services they provide to beneficiaries.
The Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) is seeing an increase in applications for ‘crisis’ funding – funding to address urgent cashflow needs. We would prefer to be able to work with community organisations earlier in their journey so that we avoid the need for crisis intervention.
In response CFS has created the Surrey Strategic Transformation Programme. The focus of this funding will be to support local voluntary and community organisations to become more resilient. It will help organisations to plan and adapt to change and be better equipped to survive and thrive through challenges and opportunities that may arise.
What sorts of things would we support?
- Work to carry out a feasibility study for premises move or new merger/partnership.
- Strengthening an organisation’s leadership and governance, ensuring it has the right skills available to maintain and develop its work including set up of new partnerships/merger or improving strategic planning.
- Building the capacity of an organisation’s digital/IT infrastructure to help deliver services and reach the communities it serves more efficiently and effectively.
- Small capital work to adapt or refurbish existing premises for new purpose or support move to new premises.
- Work to design and implement new systems to enable two organisations to work more closely together.
- Analysis of potential demand for services/needs including analysis of potential partner organisations.
- Reviewing structure and governance models.
- Reviewing income and fundraising options or impact measurement.
- Work to Improve capacity e.g. strengthen impact, effectiveness or sustainability.
- Increasing the involvement of service users/communities in the design, development and/or delivery of services.
The Programme will not consider
- Applications to support ‘business as usual’ – these can be made through our usual grant rounds, but this fund is specifically to fund ‘business change’
- Applications for core/running costs.
- Applications from individuals, political or sectarian organisations, mainstream schools and colleges, playgroups, community centres, sports clubs. Religious groups can apply but their services must be open to all and the grants cannot be used for the promotion of religion.
- CFS general eligibility criteria applies.
What size of grants are available?
- Grants of up to £15,000 will be awarded.
Who can apply?
- The Programme will support registered charities that have been in existence for at least 3 years with a demonstrably strong track record.
- We will prioritise supporting organisations whose primary function and service is supporting people and communities that face the greatest disadvantages and exclusion or have been greatest impacted by the pandemic. Organisations must be focussed on Surrey.
- Partnership bids are welcome. For partnership applications, we will expect the applicant to demonstrate what additional benefits will be delivered by working together. To be considered as a ‘partnership’, each organisation must be actively involved in the partnership and have a clear role within it. It is expected that there will be some form of partnership agreement or at least evidence of an agreement between partner organisations.
- CFS general eligibility criteria applies.
- Successful applicants to the Strategic Transformation Programme will be offered support (where required) from skilled volunteers to assist with financial management, governance or merger discussions
How to apply
- Groups can start their application by submitting an Expression of Interest
- This will be a rolling programme with no deadlines.
Example Grant awards
- Investment in an online booking system for a charity providing play-schemes for disadvantaged areas of Westborough, Park Barn and Stoke to improve efficiency and revenue generation.
- Funding for a feasibility study regarding the relocation of a charity providing an outdoor learning environment for vulnerable young people.
- Installation of two prefabricated cabins to provide flexible expansion of space for service provision and income generation for a charity supporting people with mental health needs.
- Computer equipment to enable people with brain injury to be supported more efficiently.
- IT System upgrade for a charity which supports disabled people to live independently to improve efficiency and service delivery.
- Investment in a consolidated CRM system to manage member data and services more effectively.
- Funding support for the merger of five local Community Mediation services to increase efficiency and sustainability; to improve service delivery and to create opportunity for growth, in terms of reaching more people across Surrey.
For grant application and funding enquiries please email email@example.com