Applying for Funding Plus

Active Prospects

Find details of the types of support available through Funding Plus, what we don't fund, and how to apply for support. Please note this support is only available to organisations we currently fund.

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 useful sector resources including free online support, 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:

Email our Impact Support Manager, Shemain, at shemain@esmeefairbairn.org.uk. If your specific needs are not listed above, but meet the Funding Pus remit, please get in touch with Shemain to discuss.

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. 

As there is currently more demand for this type of support, we are prioritising requests from organisations that have not yet received Funding Plus. If you're unsure about whether you're eligible to apply for Funding Plus or if it is appropriate for the support you require, please get in touch.

Support with tendering for Funding Plus support

If you would like us to share your tender for Funding Plus support on our website, please send it to shemain@esmeefairbairn.org.uk. If helpful, we have created an example tender brief document, which you can adapt. We have also written a rough guide to setting project budgets.

Please note: It isn’t necessary to go out to tender for Funding Plus support and you do not need to tell us about your procurement process.