Representatives from 17 charitable funding and support organisations in Oxfordshire came together on 13th June at Freeths to discuss how best to support the voluntary sector locally. The forum included presentations by 360 Giving and The Good Exchange.
This event was a follow-up to the first OCF Funders’ Forum in October 2016, which demonstrated that funders had an interest in sharing knowledge about the funding landscape. There was an appetite to understand who else was funding particular projects, and where the greatest need was. It was suggested that OCF might host a ‘knowledge hub’ to support trusts and foundations in these enquiries.
Having considered how best OCF could help, we identified some existing resources that may be able to plug the gap and support the sector, both to raise funds and give out funds more effectively. We were very pleased to be joined at this forum by two organisations that are leading the way in using online digital developments to improve the efficiency of grant-making:
- 360 Giving supports organisations to publish their grants data in an open, standardised way, and helps people to understand and use the data in order to support decision-making and learning across the charitable giving sector.
- The Good Exchange is an online platform that allows grant-makers to form co-funding partnerships and apply match funding. It allows charities to submit a single application for a charitable project that can then be automatically matched with multiple sources of funding, donations and fundraisers.
Feedback was very positive from an engaged group of funding organisations at the forum. The benefits of signing up to both platforms from a transparency point of view were clear, and it was felt that The Good Exchange had huge potential in galvanising funders to give more together to charities making a positive difference to society. Several funders have already been in touch with both organisations to sign up as members of their networks.
In response to the desire for some example projects, OCF committed to continuing the partnership with The Good Exchange, with a focus on grant applications that are addressing homelessness. A third Funders’ Forum is being organised on 31st October 2017 to follow up on the presentations – see details here.
If you are a funder and would be interested in taking part in future Funders’ Forums, please contact Julia Iball at firstname.lastname@example.org.