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Developing Third Sector skills

May 6, 2016

Over the next year we’re going to be making up to £3 million available to empower third sector organisations to become better equipped to plan for the future and overcome a difficult economic environment.

What you told us?

Our recent conversation with stakeholders in Wales, ‘Your Voice, Our Vision’ highlighted challenges faced by the third sector. You told us that you were worried about your future and were suffering from a ‘perfect storm’ of an increased demand for services at the same time as funding was becoming harder to secure, affecting your ability to operate effectively and plan for the future. In particular, you told us that support and help in specialist areas such as business planning, strategy and finance was particularly needed.

What are we looking for?

Since then, we have held further discussions to clarify what is possible for us to do in this area, how we can empower a stronger sector, and how we can make the biggest impact with the money that we have available.

That’s why we are looking for pilot approaches that are truly innovative in terms of bringing new skills and expertise to organisations through mentoring and trustee recruitment. In particular, we would be interested in approaches that bring new people and skills to the sector, as well as take advantage of partnership opportunities with the private sector and established third sector organisations. It is hoped that by bringing these new skills and expertise to organisations they are able to operate more effectively and feel more able to take advantage of future opportunities. We expect support to be bespoke to the needs of organisations so would expect grant holders to undertake a diagnostics with organisations to identify their strengths and gaps before supporting them to gain the expertise they need to address these areas.

In doing this, we hope that new skills can be brought to organisations that will help them flourish and take advantage of opportunities that are available to them.

Application Process

Applicants will be able to apply until the end of March 2017 for this support for projects lasting up to three years. In order to allow flexibility in approach and scope, projects may come in for any amount of funding between £10,000 -£500,000. This is to allow you to develop your idea to the scale best suited for your organisation, for instance it may be a localised project, focused on a specific sector whilst other applications may be regional or national.

In total, up to £3 million is available for investment – however, we will not fund existing work as this investment is about trialing new approaches to mentoring and trustee recruitment.

If you’re interested in applying, you’ll need to contact us in the first instance to discuss your project before applying. This can be done by emailing thirdsectorskills@biglotteryfund.org.uk.

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