2014/15 a year of change and challenge

Following four very successful years (funding wise) 2014/15 proved to be a year where funding successes were much reduced however other opportunities came to the fore.

In the 4 years previous over 100 successful funding applications generated above £5M in new money into Dudley to support the great work of the voluntary, community and faith sector. However in 2014/15 there were just 13 successful applications resulting in new funding for organisations in Dudley totalling just over £700,000.

2 Big Lottery successes for Dudley Advocacy (£296,892) and Summit House Support (£288,287) were the grant funding highlights of the year. Lynda Nock from Dudley Advocacy said:

Martin was always ready to answer questions as soon as he could and his response whether by phone or email was prompt and efficient. I knew straight away that I could rely on him and his knowledge

A friendly, approachable method of working and always professional, in meetings and over the phone and email

Nothing changed in my usual approach to supporting the sector; I worked with 30 organisations, having over 60 meetings during which funding opportunities were identified and applications discussed.

What did change though was being involved in different approaches to securing support for organisations in our sector and to help them in becoming safer financially and more sustainable. During the year I attended various workshops/training courses around Social Finance and European funding.

As a result a series of articles on Social Finance have appeared in the Echo newsletter during 2015. The Building Better Opportunities funding initiative financed through the Big Lottery and EU funding has been launched in the Black Country and we are very much involved in Dudley.

Alongside all this activity I am continually discussing with organisations other ways of being more effective and efficient in these days of funding cuts and austerity. Suggestions include expanding services and bringing in a charging structure where appropriate (trading) as well as working more collaboratively and sometimes in partnership to achieve economies of scale, reducing costs etc.

Whilst the aim of this short blog is to show our involvement and successes at the front line of funding it is also here to reassure the sector that we are very much at the forefront of change and always keen and willing to support organisations as we move forward in these often challenging and exciting times that we currently live in. Lynda sums this up well by saying:

With the impact of statutory funding cuts within the voluntary sector, I believe that the funding information/advice/support that DCVS offers is vital for voluntary organisation to obtain funding in the future

 

Building Better Opportunities – EU Funding

I am pleased to share some information with you on a series of events we are co-hosting with Simon Hall from the Black Country Consortium. These events will help you to learn more about the funding opportunities that will become available through European funding in the future.

The Big Lottery Fund is making available £220M against a similar figure from the European Social Fund (ESF). These funds are available to support communities and people most in need with the following priority areas:

  1. Targeted community support
  2. Digital and financial inclusion
  3. Troubled families/families in focus
  4. Employment support for the over 25s

Funding will be delivered through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) paying particular attention to the above local priorities. Examples of work that could qualify for support are:

  • Improving employability for the most disadvantaged
  • Helping those with multiple and complex needs
  • Improving financial literacy

The briefing will outline both the ESF/Big Lottery priorities and the expectations of the Black Country LEP around each of these themes and how you could potentially get involved.

The same briefing will be run on three different occasions as follows:

To book please click on the appropriate link above.

Notes from our latest funding workshop: Developing your community facility

Dudley CVS has always worked to broker relationships between funders and the groups we support, through working with big and small funders on their programmes and helping to promote them, searching for funders for our groups and supporting them with applications and bringing funders together with groups at regular ‘meet the funder’ events.  But last week, we ran a ‘meet the funder’ event with a difference, focussing on a theme which is becoming ever more popular in Dudley – developing community facilities and asset transfer.

In this post, you’ll find details of the event and the presentations that funders and others gave.

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