Our Support

Funding Plus

Styal Prison, Prison Radio Association

Funding Plus is the capacity building support we provide to organisations we fund to help them achieve greater impact. The average Funding Plus award is £7,000.

If we currently fund you with a grant or social investment, you can apply for a range of support including training, tech & digital, strategic support and communications. You can learn more about the full range of support available below.

Funding Plus is a responsive demand-led fund that enables organisations to make the most of opportunities and to receive support they might not otherwise be able to afford or prioritise. It should enable the work we’ve funded to have a greater impact.

If you're unsure about whether Funding Plus is appropriate for the support you require, please get in touch with our Tools Manager, Shemain Wahab, at shemain@esmeefairbairn.org.uk. Do also take a look at useful sector resources, which has links to free resources and guides covering topics ranging from trustee recruitment to impact and evaluation.

Please also note that we have a limited budget for Funding Plus and consider requests for support on a case-by-case basis.

SASC Active Prospects

What support is available through Funding Plus?

Strategic and consultancy support
  • Tailored expert advice, support or training to give the extra help to an organisation at a difficult or opportune moment.
  • Key issues we know organisations need help with are: evaluation, business planning, income diversification and financial management.
  • Consultancy support to adapt business models and redesign services.
  • Digital advice e.g. help to move existing services online.
  • Support for charities with retail businesses e.g. help to move sales online where there is an established market.

We have a few suppliers we have worked with before, but also fund organisations directly to work with consultants they know and trust.

Skills support
  • Training, networking, or learning events to which we invite groups of those we fund, eg communications, digital skills development, financial management training, evaluation and learning.
Communications and advocacy support
  • Strategy and planning, public affairs, digital planning, media training, messaging, brand development, crisis communications, advocacy and campaigns.

We want to ensure organisations we fund are able to communicate effectively for maximum impact in their work. We would welcome a conversation with you, if you have:

  • Identified that your organisation requires communication support.
  • A strong understanding of what your communications needs and issues are.
  • A clear idea of the tangible outcomes of this support.
Organisational support
  • Consultation on:
    • How to examine, develop and implement diversity, equity and inclusion practices
    • How to support the wellbeing and mental health of your staff
    • Income generation and diversifying income
    • HR and legal issues
    • Bespoke training and opportunities for staff development
    • Financial health and insolvency
  • Resilience and crisis management coaching and mentoring for sector leaders and staff.
Merger / acquisition feasibility

Funding of up to £15,000 is available for:

  • Early stage exploration to allow organisations to research the idea of:
    • Merger/acquisition
    • Closer collaboration and partnership. This may lead to structural change but might just impact on ways of working e.g. merging functions - shared back office resource, building space etc.
  • Early stage costs and processes once merger/acquisition partner/s are identified e.g.
    • Consultation with staff/beneficiaries/members/other stakeholders
    • Facilitation of discussions with the potential merger partner/s
    • Governance, planning, financial, legal, HR or communications advice
  • To meet match funding requirements

Merger support is open to all legal structures. Organisations we already fund can also apply for funding of up to £60,000 towards the execution and implementation of merger/acquisition or to support spin outs. Please get in touch with your Funding Manager if you want to discuss this option.

Please note that the aim of these grants is to get the right decision - we will not regard a merger that does not go ahead as a failure.

Organisations considering merger may find it helpful to read some of the publications on our useful sector resources page.

Free support
  • Use of our central London meeting rooms.
  • Connections to other organisations we fund or other funders where appropriate.
  • Signposting to free online resources, advice, best practice and peer support networks.

What we don't fund through Funding Plus

We do not fund:
  • Work that doesn’t build the skills and capacity of the organisation and still leaves a skills shortage.
  • Work that has already taken place.
  • Work that is a core activity for most organisations:
    • Part-time or temporary staffing costs.
    • Fundraising: we would fund advice, training, and support with developing a fundraising or income generation strategy. We would not fund direct fundraising costs, including bid writing.
    • Recruitment: we would fund advice, skills or strategy development around recruitment; we would not fund direct recruitment costs, including outsourced recruitment services, agency commission or advertising fees.
    • Marketing costs
    • Impact measurement and evaluation where the primary aim isn’t to improve services i.e. to meet funders’ requirements
    • General legal advice
    • Website upgrade or redesign
    • Work to update standard IT systems and infrastructure
  • Organisations that have already received Funding Plus funding from us during the grant
  • Organisations already receiving 'beyond money'/funder plus support from another funder if it’s not clear where we could add value, or why the existing funding isn’t enough

Before applying for Funding Plus, please consider whether your organisation has the existing resources and capacity to deliver any plans resulting from the support. 

How to apply for Funding Plus support

To apply:

Please contact Shemain at shemain@esmeefairbairn.org.uk.

Requests will be considered on a case by case basis. When assessing requests for Funding Plus, we will take into account whether some pro bono support could have been secured. 

If your specific needs are not listed above, but meet the Funding Pus remit, please get in touch with Shemain to discuss.

Funding Plus in 2020

Last year, our Funding Plus offer was adapted to better meet the changing needs and priorities of the sector as a result of COVID. Areas of support included: consultation on HR, legal issues and financial health, covering the costs of homeworking IT equipment, and resilience and crisis management coaching for sector leaders and staff. Several training workshops were successfully delivered online, including a digital safeguarding session and webinars on relationship-based practice for funded organisations working with children and young people.

  • £454K

    Awarded in total

  • £6,000

    Average grant

  • 90

    Organisations received training or consultancy support

  • 120

    Grants awarded

Bilton Grange Mural Project_Aug 2019_Jerome Whittingham (59).jpg

Finding more support

We've listed links to free or low cost advice, training and consultancy, and other resources available to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profits.

Useful sector resources

Learn more