On 14 September 2018, the University of Hertfordshire hosted a half-day conference on local funding streams and how to access them. In addition, there was a market place, where delegates could chat directly with funders.
Jim Mc Manus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council, gave the keynote speech, impressing upon delegates the need to understand and use evidence in order secure funding. He also highlighted issues of increasingly poor mental health, a growing and aging population and asked that we all think of ourselves as ‘agents of wellbeing’. He offered the support of the Public Health team in gathering and applying evidence, directly us to the website , Herts Health Evidence and the report Hertsfordshire Matters. There may also be webinars on using evidence offered in the future.
The key piece of advice to funding applicants understood what type of evidence their funder was seeking and to ensure that presented this.
Hertfordshire Community Fund (HCF) presented information about the various funding streams they administer, which include small (up to £500), large (up to £1000) and major grants (up to £5000). Find out about these and other local funds on their website.
HCF also gave a presentation on Building Sustainability, which highlighted the importance of having a fundraising/income generation plan. This provides focus, defines responsibility/accountability and provides a credible fundraising tool. It also allows you to set deadlines and measure progress. The pros and cons of raising funds from individual donors, local businesses, grants and foundations, community events, trading were assessed, each with a list of pros and cons. Like Jim McManus, HCF underlined the need to understand the funders’/donors’ aims.
HCF are also offering a variety of workshops to help you develop your fundraising strategy. To find out more, visit their website.
Visiting the Funders’ marketplace after the workshops, I met with Sally Page, the Heritage Lottery Fund adviser for East of England, who advised me that from January 2019, they are simplifying their grant programmes. You can read more on their website.