Sussex Community Foundation makes grants three times a year. As Head of Philanthropy, I spend an intense few weeks meeting with our fund holders to help them make impactful grants from their funds. Our Named Fund model means we offer all the benefits of having your own charitable trust whilst the foundation handles all the finance, legal and due diligence requirements.
Our expert Grants Team examined 200 applications against our eligibility requirements before assessing them twice. In these assessments, we aim to look more deeply at the activity proposed and the need for it, whether the outcomes are achievable, what evidence is offered to make a group’s case, if the budget is realistic, and what partners an organisation is working with.
After that had taken place, I spent much of February and early March meeting and discussing those applications with our fund holders. We have an experienced, committed and innovative network of voluntary sector groups here in Sussex and I could champion their work all day long! Together, we learnt more about a huge variety of inspiring projects:
- A café in Bexhill set-up to offer paid employment and advice for those with learning disabilities
- A programme to help young people not in education, employment or training in Wealden district
- A community baking initiative in Brighton supporting wellbeing and employment skills for female survivors of human trafficking
- A group focusing on helping those with living with dementia in and around Selsey.
That is the briefest snapshot of a very long list of effective, uplifting community work supported in our last grants round. Do get in touch with me if you would like to learn more about how we do this. Although you may need to tell me to stop talking!
Stephen Chamberlain, Head of Philanthropy