The Wales Funders Forum is an informal network of funders working and funding in Wales. We seek to continually improve our grant-making practices through peer learning and presentations from sector experts. Here, we share some responses to the cost of living crisis within our remits as individual funders.
In April 2020, members of the Wales Funders Forum joined funders from across the UK in signing a pledge to recognise the impact Covid 19 was having on grantees and applicants, and outlining what we would do as funders to support the charities and voluntary organisations in that time of acute crisis.
With the cost of living crisis not likely to end in the short-term, we unfortunately find ourselves in another, potentially worse situation. In many instances, voluntary organisations haven’t had proper time to recover financially from the impact of Covid-19 and the associated restrictions on daily life and therefore income generation. Rising inflation and increasing costs in heating, food and travel now mean that the income organisations do attract is worth less. As funders we understand how these pressures impact on communities, and individually and collectively continue to seek a full understanding of the impacts the current crisis is having on our grantees and applicants.
Like the organisations we support, as funders we vary in size, capacity and financial resource; we will be impacted differently and so make decisions on how best to serve the sector and our grantees and applicants on an individual bases. Therefore, how we respond to this crisis will also vary.
While individual responses will differ, some common themes are emerging. These include:
- Communicating with grant holders and discuss how we can support you to make the best use of your funding.
- Being flexible and responsive. This is a complex, fast-moving picture that may require different actions at different times.
- Continuing to build our understanding of the needs of our grantees and applicants to inform decision making
- Making the best uses of the resources available to us, and seek to collaborate where we can create more impact together
- Reflecting on our learning from Covid-19 and continually assess how we can make our grant schemes as accessible as possible
- Respecting the knowledge and expertise of the sector; there is a multitude of ways in which grant holders and applicants may seek to support their beneficiaries and communities
- Clearly promoting any additional funding we are able to make available, either as individual funders or in collaboration
If you are concerned about how to manage existing funding, please contact the relevant funder. They will almost certainly want to know, and may be able to help.
If you are looking for additional funding, visit www.funding.wales to search for the right grant schemes for you.