The Battersea Community Forum met in September at St Peter’s Battersea to “Meet the Funder” and “Meet the Community”. Building a stronger community in Battersea is all about strong relationships with funders and community organisations. After all we are both working with a common objective to benefit local people and local communities.
Five local funders (Battersea Power Station Foundation, Big Lottery Fund, Sir Walter St John’s Educational Charity, Wandsworth Council Community Grant Fund, the Wimbledon Foundation) were able to make. Two sent their apologies (Battersea United Charities and Big Local SW11). Each had 3 minutes to describe their funding programme and offer some top tips about what makes a good funding application. They all dutifully kept to time (phew!) and some themes quickly emerged.
It’s all about a relationship – our local funders want a strong relationship with local charities and community groups that they are going to fund, do currently fund or have funded in the past. They want relationships that are open, honest, truthful and on-going. Call them before you make an application and talk through your idea so you can get your application right and not waste anyone’s time. Even better invite them to visit your project to see your work in action. A much stronger relationship can form from these visits.
They want to see the unique difference that each charity is making with their investment. Be as specific as possible about the change you want to create, and remember to monitor, evaluate and report back on all your work.
They are looking for organisations who are ‘rooted in the community’, who really know their local patch (and can demonstrate this). Who work with passion, enthusiasm, commitment, authenticity, giving voice to the people they working with. You don’t have to be slick! But you must clearly articulate the needs you are meeting and difference you are making.
Good luck with your future applications with our local funders. Thanks to everyone who came down to the meeting of the Battersea Community Forum. And remember… it’s all about relationships.
About Battersea Community Forum
Battersea Community Forum is an informal group that meets quarterly, at various venues, and emails each other regularly. It is free and open to anyone living and working in Battersea.
Our vision is for Battersea community members to work together in partnership as an active ‘Voice for Battersea.’
The Forum provides an opportunity for members to:
- Come together to consider strategic opportunities for Battersea.
- Share information and network.
- Explore opportunities for fundraising and working together.
- Provide a representative body for consultation about issues that impact on the Battersea Community.
Contact Leesoon Stapleton-Forde at [email protected] to join for free.
Our next meeting is on 22nd November 2017, 6-8pm, venue (tbc). The meeting will be about how Wandsworth and Richmond Councils are working more closely together one year on from implementing their Staff Sharing Agreement. There’s also plenty of opportunity to network! Do come and join us. All welcome.