But it is not just around the process of distributing funding that funders can collaborate. The Mercers’ Company and Independent Age are working together to further understand and evaluate what works around befriending services for older people and will publish a report later this year. There are also opportunities for funders to support efforts to improve capacity and capability across the older people services through, for example, hosting joint learning and development sessions; simple things are often the most valuable.
The Funders Collaborative Hub now provides a focus point for funder collaboration. This isn’t the first time funders will have joined forces on funding of older people specific issues and services, however we are keen to engage as many funders as possible in the work. The starting point for the collaboration will simply be for funders to share their insight and priorities relating to their older people work. It is hoped that this will be the foundation of further collaboration, whatever that may look like. At the very least, organisations will understand the focus of other funders and the insight in this area, which will allow for better decision making. But let’s aim to be more ambitious; let’s use our positive experiences of the past and the hope we have for the future as a driver to develop a new and improved “system”, with older people and the organisations working with them, at the heart of everything we all do.