in association with

Yorkshire Funders Forum - Update

Published at 10:08 am Tue Nov 3rd, 2020

With the announcement this weekend that we’re heading into another lockdown, the London Funders have renewed their nationwide ‘We Will Stand With the Sector’ statement to show that the funding community is thinking long-term about how we can support the recovery of civil society beyond the crisis.

The renewed nationwide 'We Will Stand with the Sector' Statement can be found here

You can add your organisation’s name to the list of signatories by emailing with the subject heading We Will Stand With the Sector. It would be great for Yorkshire funders to get behind this and show their support.

IVAR have published their 11th Covid-19 briefing on the challenges faced by VCSE leaders – The certainty of uncertainty, based on their conversations with 44 leaders of VCSE organisations in September 2020.

Three issues remain at the forefront of leaders’ minds:

  1. Risk management: ‘I haven’t been managing a charity, I’ve been managing risk. It’s about Covid-19 risk management full stop’.
  2. Balancing the advantages and disadvantages of face-to-face vs online: ‘When we shared an office, people could say “I’ve got so much on” and someone else would help … that doesn’t happen now.’
  3. Planning in uncertainty: ‘Every time you plan, it then changes – constantly. So, it takes up a lot of mental capacity and it is really frustrating.’

In terms of support from funders, VCSE leaders’ needs remain much the same:

  1. Adopt realistic, fair and transparent application deadlines
  2. Set realistic expectations about what can be delivered in the current context, as well as the associated costs
  3. Provide longer-term, non-emergency grants, as well as more proportionate application processes for shorter-term funding
  4. Adopt processes, practices and funding structures that align with principles of trust-based grant-making (e.g. unrestricted funding) 
  5. Standardise reporting practices to reduce the burden of reporting 
  6. Recognise, and take account of, the diversity of the sector 
  7. Provide reassurance about the mid to long-term funding strategies that will help protect the sustainability of the VCSE sector in the future.

ACF have produced two new briefing papers which will prove useful for us all:

  1. How your Chair can help you to become more ambitious and effective

ACF have published a new report highlighting 10 recommendations for ambitious practice that are of particular relevance to Chairs of foundation boards. ‘10 Pillars of Stronger Practice for Chairs of Foundations’ builds on the six thematic reports which emerged from their Stronger Foundations initiative and urges foundations to be more ambitious and more effective than ever before in how they use their individual and collective resources for public good. Read the report here and please get in touch with ACF if you have any comments or questions.

2. Covid-19 and funders  

ACF have produced a briefing covering some of the impacts of the pandemic on the economy and society which may be useful for funders as they think about their own strategies and plans in response to Covid-19. The briefing suggests some questions foundation staff and trustees can look at to help them plan their response. These cover issues like the emerging needs arising from the economic impacts, the ways in which different groups in society are affected, and how civil society itself is responding to the loss of income and increased demand for its services. Read it here.

ACF is also launching its Funders’ Collaborative Hub online platform in the next few days. The Funders' Collaborative Hub is an initiative to enable increased understanding, closer alignment and opportunities for funder collaboration in the post-emergency phase of Covid-19. ACF hosts a small staff team that delivers the day to day work with support from a volunteer project group comprised of foundation representatives. The Hub team is promoting the benefits of funder collaboration at a range of external events, supporting funders to think collaboratively and develop their ideas, and enhancing the connectivity and partnerships of existing collaborations. An online platform will launch in early November to support these opportunities. Follow the Hub on Twitter @FunderHub and keep an eye on the ACF website for announcements. Critical to the effectiveness of the Hub is involvement of a wide and diverse range of organisations. If you have any feedback about the online platform after launch, or if you would like to tell ACF about a funder collaboration, seek support to develop your ideas, provide input to the development of the Hub, or wish to join the stakeholder mailing list, please email

Tagged: Funding