A pioneering ‘open access’ approach to grant-making underpins the newly-launched The Fore Trust that aims to build the pipeline of the best and most innovative small social enterprises and charities. Its ambition is to ‘challenge established players’ with well-oiled fundraising machines as well as to cut the cost and risk of finding and funding small, early stage organisations. The Fore is backed by the Big Lottery Fund and is recruiting corporate partners to provide funding and expertise to small charities.
Building on a four year pilot programme run by The Bulldog Trust and C. Hoare & Co’s The Golden Bottle Trust, The Fore re-thinks traditional funding models – allowing small, early stage charitable organisations to apply for anything they feel will best benefit them, including covering core costs. Organisationss can apply for up to £30k, funding that can be structured over 1-3 years—all this is proposed by them. As part of the package recipients will be connected to business partners offering strategic advice and skills training. Demand for this type of support is overwhelming: The Fore’s first funding round reached its cap of 400 organisations within 26 minutes earlier this week.
The Fore has employed experienced professionals to carry out due diligence on applications, therefore reducing the risk for The Fore’s funders looking to support innovative organisations.
Mary Rose Gunn, The Fore’s CEO, says: “The Fore identifies organisations with the best ideas, the strongest management and for whom support will create the greatest impact.
So many events at the moment seem to point to our need to be a better connected society. We believe that making sure the most talented people running small charities can connect with the best business expertise is a great place to start.”
She adds: “We’ve experienced such strong demand since we began piloting The Fore funding model in 2012. Funders were keen to access the pipeline of innovative, small charities we were creating and charities were desperate for this sort of development support so the only response was to look at doing more.”
Convinced by the strength of the pilot results and keen to inspire other funders to change their practices, the founding funders have pledged over £1m to The Fore to cover operating costs for the first three years.
To find out more about how to apply, to fund or become a business partner visit The Fore: www.thefore.org/home