Wales Trust and Foundation Project

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Existing collaboration

Aims and activities

Aims and questions

In 2015, Garfield Weston Foundation produced a report called An Insight into the Future of Charity Funding in Wales, sadly, it seems that very little has changed since then.

Community Foundation Wales will be looking to increase its understanding of the recommendations in this report, and where possible identify and signpost to solutions that may already be out there. We have designed a project to increase the amount of UK funding coming into Wales. It will build connections between the Welsh third sector and Trusts and Foundations whose base is outside of Wales.

With the support of the National Lottery Community Fund, Pears Foundation and Moondance Foundation, our Trust and Foundation project will build on the great work already taking place in Wales, strengthening the sector and creating new funding opportunities that will enhance and add value to the inspiring ideas and projects we have in Wales.

The project has two key elements which will start from opposite sides of the divide but will also intertwine, working together and as well as alongside each other, with the project supported by the advice and guidance of an Advisory Group made up of a diverse range of partners including Welsh Government, both local and national funders, support agencies and independent experts.

For the first time, we will be taking the ‘Case for Wales’ to Trusts and Foundations, particularly those external to Wales. We will help them to gain a better understanding of the Welsh charitable sector and the opportunities that exist as well as the challenges we face. We will present evidence of innovation, presenting evidence of need and opportunity, encouraging engagement and participation by supporting them to work with us. We will enable conversations between funders and applicants of all sizes, addressing a range of issues both in the more rural and urban areas of Wales.

Most importantly though, we also want to learn from the Trusts and Foundations themselves. We want to understand their experiences of working with the Welsh third sector, their current and future areas of focus and the requirements needed to improve access to funding. We are often told that Wales is a ‘cold spot’ for them, we’d like to challenge them on what this means and how we can work with them to improve this statistic.

Initial findings have highlighted a particular challenge for Trusts and Foundations to fund non-registered groups, we’d like to explore that further, to improve our understanding of why this is the case and to find a solution where possible. Of the 30,000 plus groups working in the Welsh third sector only around 8,000 of these are registered as charities. Developing a plan to address this gap will be a huge step forward.

The project learning will help inform the future development of the Welsh sector. Together with Welsh Government, WCVA and many other funders, we will use this collaboration and learning to increase the knowledge of funding sources available to Welsh third sector organisations. We will support them to improve in areas that have been highlighted as areas of development; sourcing support that will enable organisations to become stronger and more robust, better able to articulate their projects and to develop a more diverse and resilient funding base.

Pears Foundation has been a part of our thought process from the beginning, we’ve worked closely with Pears to shape an ‘action learning’ element to this work, and have created a project working alongside a diverse range of groups in Wales. We will support, enable and capture conversations between funders and applicants of all sizes, addressing a range of issues both in the more rural and urban areas of Wales, to provide us with some evidence for the need to find solutions that will help address the challenges highlighted and grasp onto the opportunities that arise. Groups that are successful in their bid to take part in this ‘action learning’ will work alongside a Project Officer within Community Foundation Wales who provide 1:1 support and guidance. The project will also be evaluated to ensure we capture the learning for future growth.

We would love to hear from you, to share our experience and to help you make decisions with a fuller knowledge and understanding of the Welsh landscape

Andrea Powell
Director of Programmes, Community Foundation Wales

How to get involved

Please contact Andrea Powell if you’d like to be a part of this project, especially if you are able to fund non-registered groups.

Who's involved

Learning and Resources

Andrea Powell, Director of Programmes at Community Foundation Wales, shares the project's progress to date in this blog.

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