Making Charities More Robust Through Development and Improvement Funding

Grant Manager Emma Beeston explains why the ‘Enable’ programme means she can say ‘yes’ more often:

As a Grant Manager with Lloyds Bank Foundation I am in the lucky position of getting to meet with small and medium-sized charities and learn about their work, achievements and challenges. We know that these locally based charities are able to make a difference to the people in their community in a way that isn’t always possible for larger organisations, and I love the fact that I can play a part in helping them to reach more people.

The downside is that I also have to say ‘no’ a lot. We cannot fund all the requests that come our way and part of my job is to be honest where a charity’s bid is unlikely to be successful and so at least save them from spending precious time on an application form.

So you can imagine my pleasure in having our new ‘Enable’ programme to offer. Not only does it award grants to charities for those organisational development projects that are hard to get funded but the success rate is pretty high. So I get to say ‘yes*’ more often.

Enable was launched in August 2014. It is driven by what charities identify they need to make them function more effectively and so far it has funded quite a range of projects: business and service developments and plans; development of monitoring systems; investigation of mergers, partnerships, shared services, contract diversification; consultancy support; quality standards; or development of new income streams and enterprise.

What all the work has in common is that it strengthens charities which are helping people at key transition points in their lives. And given the difficult times smaller charities are finding themselves in right now, that has to be a good thing.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s what these charities have said about their Enable funding:

“The support allowed us to review our current programme format. We now begin working with young people on the development of attitudes and soft skills, helping them overcome issues that can be barriers to our more practical help with tasks such as CV writing and mock job interviews”

Michelle McKendry, CEO, Futureversity
Read the full case study

“In the last year Shak has changed and developed hugely but we worked hard to make sure we continued to deliver excellent services even during this time of transition. Now that we’ve reshaped our team and activities it’s time to focus on guaranteeing the sustainability of the services in the medium and long-term and the Enable grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation is helping us to do just that.”

John Boyle, Director, South Hampstead and Kilburn Community Partnership

So, if you work with people who are disadvantaged in multiple ways and are supporting them at a critical time in their lives, do take a look at Enable. You can apply for up to £15k to fund those organisational development ideas that you would love to do if only you had the money. And you might just make your Grant Manager’s day.

*though still not every time – sorry. The key criteria for getting Enable grants can be found here.

Emma Beeston is a Grant Manager the West of England, for Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales. You can read more about Emma on our website, on her blog, or follow her on Twitter.

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