DonorsEventsNewsOCFClaire Dowan

At OCF’s latest Funders’ Forum on 31st October 2017, local trusts and foundations heard from a leading Oxford homeless charity, and found out more about how they could fund projects collaboratively on The Good Exchange.

The purpose of the October Funders’ Forum was to continue our conversations on how to best support the voluntary sector locally, and how digital technology might enable funders to become more effective and innovative in their grant-making. Representatives from 32 charitable funding and support organisations attended the forum.

Acting on suggestions from two previous events, there was a presentation on the current homeless situation in Oxfordshire and the recent approach adopted by OCF to provide a significant contribution to support the work of Homeless Oxfordshire (formerly OxHOP). Following a period of nine months working alongside the organisation and undertaking detailed due diligence, OCF also shared how they had decided to award £30k of flexible funding. Claire Dowan, CEO of Homeless Oxfordshire, recounted the journey the charity had been on to re-imagine their strategy going forward and how they now see their role in helping to address this complex social problem.

Ed Gairdner and Julian May of The Good Exchange gave an update on progress made since our last forum in June, and how OCF is now collaborating with them to pilot how we might incorporate the benefits of the platform into our own grant-making process, and as a tool to inspire more collaborative and collective funding.

In particular, The Good Exchange has the potential for increasing the visibility and transparency of all ‘live’ grant applications, thus reducing the time and resources expended by charitable organisations in needing to submit several applications to multiple funders. All grant applications currently being shortlisted for OCF’s December grants panel are being uploaded onto The Good Exchange, where the organisation has given their consent.

OCF would like to extend our particular thanks to those funders who have already stepped forward and agreed to engage directly in our live pilot with The Good Exchange. However, if we are to realise the full potential of the platform, we will need a growing number of active foundations and grant applicants using it.

Find out more about OCF and The Good Exchange