Our Support

Funding Plus

Styal Prison, Prison Radio Association

Funding Plus (formerly called Grants Plus) is the capacity building support we provide to organisations we fund to help them achieve greater impact. The average Funding Plus award is £6,000.

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, merger feasibility support 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:
    • HR and legal issues
    • How to support the wellbeing and mental health of your staff
    • Financial health and insolvency
    • Income generation and diversifying income
  • Resilience and crisis management coaching and mentoring for sector leaders and staff.
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

  • ONEDance_Photographer Brian Slater.jpg

    Merger feasibility

    Information about our Merger feasibility support including an out line about what we will find and how to apply.

    Read more
  • Campaign Bootcamp- Johnny Chatterton.jpg

    Recruiting for Diversity

    In an event we hosted on recruiting for diversity, we heard from Campaign Bootcamp, Diverse City and Women in Prison who shared their experiences as well as good practice examples for organisations looking to improve on diversity and inclusion.

    Read more
  • Advocacy Academy

    Grant Plus Survey 2018

    A summary of responses from a survey of our grant and social investment holders (all approved decisions made from January 2017 to December 2018) about what they want from 'Grants Plus' support.

    Read more