It should go without saying that the charities and voluntary sector makes a valuable contribution to society. In economic terms, NCVO has estimated that the sector accounts for over 950,000 jobs and over £20bn in GDP. The social value of the sector is harder to measure, but there’s no doubt that the thousands of charities and millions of volunteers across the UK deliver vital support in areas such as homelessness, healthcare and education.
The impacts of the pandemic
During the past two years, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the charities and voluntary sector have been profound. The Charities Commission has reported that over 90% of charities have experienced some negative impact from Covid-19, while 60% lost income. At the same time, the voluntary sector has experienced a surge in demand for its services.
The importance of grants
While charities rely heavily on donations from the public for their funding, contracts and grants from trusts, foundations and government generate almost as much of the sector’s income. There are thousands of funders awarding grants to charities for a wide range of causes, from poverty relief and housing to educational and community arts projects. Keeping track of all these funding opportunities is challenging, particularly for smaller charities.
An affordable, essential solution
One solution to ensure that charities are up-to-date with information on grant funding opportunities is MyFundingCentral from software specialists the Idox Group.
Now in its second year of operation, the MyFundingCentral database provides easy access to thousands of grants and social investment opportunities from local, national and international funding sources – all in one place.
The service is available to organisations with an annual income below £1m and is free for organisations whose income is under £30k. Larger charity and voluntary organisations can still access Idox Group’s GrantFinder service which works with organisations with an income over £1 million.
MyFundingCentral is designed for easy use, recognising that smaller charities generally do not have specialist staff focused on finding and applying for funding. Around 3000 small charities use the service every month to find funding to keep existing projects going or to expand their work.
A dedicated team of expert researchers monitor, verify and report daily on thousands of funding sources, including charitable trusts, foundations, councils, national government and corporate sponsors. And because the service comes from the same reliable source as GrantFinder – the leading funding database in the UK and Europe – MyFundingCentral has ready-made relationships with funding administrators and fund managers across a wide range of organisations.
All part of the service
Subscribers to MyFundingCentral have immediate access to a suite of services tailored to meet the needs of the charities and voluntary sector. This means that users of the service can:
- search the database to identify opportunities that match their project;
- find niche funding opportunities that other funding searches typically miss;
- narrow searches to funding available in specific geographic areas;
- receive alerts about new funding opportunities tailored to their needs direct to their inbox;
- get the latest news on funding.
The database is easy to use, with key eligibility criteria highlighted, and information on how to apply fully explained. There’s no jargon, and because all of the funding opportunities have been handpicked by MyFundingCentral researchers to be right for the sector, users can be sure that they are current and relevant to their needs.
A lifeline for the future
Over the past two years, the charities and voluntary sector has proved its resilience. Many charities and voluntary organisations have found ways of adapting to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, despite the challenges of increasing demands and falling incomes.
Now, as it emerges from the worst of the restrictions, the sector is facing a still uncertain future. The voluntary sector is a huge, diverse and vital part of our society, and now more than ever it needs funding to continue its work with and for communities.
For many charities, MyFundingCentral is already a lifeline for connecting to funding streams. It offers the sector a reliable and up-to-date resource that can point charities towards the funding they need.
For further information, and to subscribe, visit the MyFundingCentral website.
Further reading: more about the charities and voluntary sector on The Knowledge Exchange Blog