Evidencing third sector funding bids

This is a guest post by Sian McClure, Information & Communications Manager at Regional Action West Midlands.

Regional Action West Midlands was pleased to be involved in hosting the Better Evidence… Better Funding Bids event with the West Midlands Regional Observatory last Friday.

As well as including a great group of delegates, the event meant we could promote our recent research to some new faces. We’ve published some important research over the last 12 months, which includes The economic footprint of the voluntary and community sector in the West Midlands, and a series of briefings on the impact of the recession on the sector.

Securing funding is a perennial issue for the third sector, and forthcoming public sector cuts will only make it more difficult. This makes the use of relevant, timely and appropriate evidence critical to funding applications.

As Manisha Patel and Laura Moore from the Big Lottery Fund, and Pete Cunnison from Lloyds TSB Foundation were clear, evidence needs to match the funders’ priorities. Right now, being clear about funders’ priorities and having the evidence to show how and why your organisation can meet them is more important than ever. In other words, none of us can afford to ‘wing it.’

After Easter, Regional Action West Midlands will publish a seventh briefing under the banner ‘Responding to the Downturn’, which will provide some of this much-needed clarity to third sector organisations.

For more information about Regional Action West Midlands and the work we do to support the third sector in the West Midlands visit www.rawm.org.uk or email sianm [at] rawm.co.uk.

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Third Sector National Learning Alliance membership

Third Sector National Learning Alliance

The Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA) is the new national alliance of voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises involved in learning and skills.

The TSNLA aims to stimulate, inform and listen to the views of third sector learning and skills providers and work constructively across government and key stakeholders to influence policy.

TSNLA will also undertake or commission research for and about the third sector, and gather, analyse and circulate information relevant to the third sector.

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Solihull wins national award for cross-sector partnership work

Compact Week 2009 logo

The Compact Plus for Solihull was among the winners at this week’s national Annual Compact awards.

Sir Bert Massie, Commissioner for the Compact, announced the winners at a ceremony in London, held during Compact Week.

Solihull won the Local Compact of the Year award for its attempts to reinvigorate a Local Compact agreement that was largely ignored. The Compact Plus for Solihull 2008-2013 (pdf, 725kb), an agreement to improve relations between the Solihull Partnership and the third sector, was officially launched in December 2008.

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Influencing policy, driving change

Andy Phillips speaking at the conference

Andy Phillips, Head of Skills Research at the Observatory, in full flow

Andy Phillips and I ran a workshop last week at the Influencing Policy, Driving Change conference for the third sector. The event was jointly run by Regional Action West Midlands and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

As the title suggests, the purpose of the conference was to help equip the third sector (charities, social enterprises, and the voluntary and community sector) to influence policy effectively through campaigning, advocacy and providing innovative solutions to problems.

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