The London Funders’ perspective
Find out how London Funders supports funders in Hammersmith and Fulham and its wider membership to meet the needs of London’s communities.
By Geraldine Tovey, Membership, Communication and Policy Manager at London Funders
Some charities in Hammersmith and Fulham may have heard of us, but I know that we’ll be unfamiliar to many. London Funders are the network for funders and investors in London’s civil society. We’re the place where funders come together to connect and collaborate, where ideas are generated and acted on, and where people work to ensure that resources are channelled to the right places. Over 170 funders – from across independent, public and private sectors – are members, and they provide support to thousands of organisations across the capital.
London Funders supports the funding community in every borough, and we run specific activities to help our members in Hammersmith and Fulham. We are strong advocates and supporters of UNITED in Hammersmith and Fulham who are members of our London’s Giving initiative. UNITED in Hammersmith and Fulham (fundraising partner of Hammersmith United Charities) is part of a network of local place-based giving schemes. These schemes work collaboratively with other groups in the community to provide funding and support to local groups, and deliver activities to promote a strong sense of togetherness in the borough. Over the past few years this network of place-based giving schemes has gone from strength to strength. You can read more about the impact of these schemes across London in our latest report.
We also connect our members who fund in the borough more informally, through our wider programme of events and by providing the results of our annual member survey of who funds ‘what’ and ‘where’. We recently increased our capacity to support local funder forums, as part of our place-based work. While we’ve not yet established a group in Hammersmith and Fulham, we are always keen to hear from funders – so get in touch if you’d like to find out more!
We also work hard to help London’s wider civil society sector. Most notably, London Funders has convened major funder collaborations following the Grenfell Tower Fire and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic through the London Community Response Fund. Both funding rounds got money out of the door incredibly quickly. For example, over the pandemic, we were delighted to work with 67 funders to get £57.5m out in grants through to over 3,600 amazing organisations.
By working together through these collaborations, funders could share intelligence, ensure that funding matched the immediate needs of the community and minimise due diligence and the reporting burden for charities.
We have written reports on our learning from both the funding in North Kensington and the London Community Response – and are using these to influence the sector to keep some of the positive changes that have occurred in funding over the past year.
These are not the only collaborations that we have worked on. Outside of an emergency, we have also convened smaller, more bespoke funder collaborations on civil society infrastructure and Deaf and Disabled People’s organisations.
Furthermore, London Funders provides lots of feedback to members on how they can be the best funders they can possibly be. We host member networks on wide reaching topics such as children and young people, culture, and health, and we put on loads of one-off meetings on specific policy issues too. We also send a weekly briefing email to our members, and publish reports on best funding practice.
We have curated a resource hub to influence our members’ thinking as we navigate the recovery from the pandemic. The resource hub is also really useful for other people working within the community sector – the research, articles and think-pieces give a clear sense of the wider world we’re all working in.
And in the past year and a half we’ve been disseminating our learning from the London Community Response as we’ve gone along, and have made sure that civil society organisations can see who received funding, and what our processes were.
As we come out of the other side of the pandemic, we’re revisiting our strategy and looking at what more we can do to support all of the capital’s diverse communities. In the short term, it means that we will be bringing back our monthly bulletin to the sector on funding opportunities and member news, and we will be working with IVAR on the Flexible Funders programme.
In the long term, we’d like to hear from you – do get in touch with me if you’d like to find out more about membership and our wider offer to the sector.