When Frome groups... met the funders!

Mar 13, 2015



What types of groups does the Big Lottery Fund want to fund? What are private donors looking for in an application? What opportunities does crowdfunding present?

Nearly 50 groups gathered in Frome at the end of February to discuss these questions and hear from Justin Sargent of Somerset Community Foundation, Tim Temple from the Big Lottery Fund, and Peter Macfaddyen, Mayor of Frome Town Council.

The event was made by possible through support from Frome Town Council.

The meeting was held at Frome’s ‘Cheese and Grain’: a fantastic community resource. Last year, Somerset Community Foundation awarded a small grant to the building to install a disabled ramp for the stage.

Other local funders including Aster Communities, the Frome Carnival Committee and the Frome Communtiy Lottery, were also in attendance with useful information about the funding they offer to groups.

The event was off to a flying start wth a presentation from Tim Temple who introduced the most popular Lottery award schemes: Awards for All and Reaching Communities. Tim explained that the Lottery are keen to promote these schemes to Somerset groups at present as they are under funding work in this area. With a chance of being funded of over 50%, this is an opportunity well worth investigating.

Justin Sargent reminded groups that Somerset Community Foundation works with private philanthropists who want to support smaller organisations making a difference to vulnerable older people and disadvantaged young people in Somerset. The most important thing for groups is to be able to talk about the difference they make in the lives of beneficiaries. In response to a question from the floor about what SCF is looking for in an application, Justin advised groups “not to worry about the jargon, but to tell us straight why you do what you do, as if we were in the pub!”

There was a choice of workshops to attend: on governance and organisational structures by Ruth Knagg of Frome Town Council, on recruiting and retaining volunteers by Mendip Community Support and on the opportunities offered by crowdfunding, led by Joel Hughes of Many groups attending were interested in crowdfunding, seeking to find out more about whether it was right for their group and what they could do to get started. More about this topic here.

We received very positive feedback from the groups who attended the session. One commented: “Excellent presentations and Q&A session. Very insightful!”

Thank you to Frome Town Council and all those who took part.

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