Categories CharitiesRecentSocial Enterprise

‘Speed dating’ funding platform matches businesses with grassroots activists

An innovative new online platform has been launched which allows small charities and community groups to pitch for funds from businesses in their area.

ActionFunder will enable each group to create a one-off pitch to several companies through a short video or an online form.

The organisers hope to help raise awareness of smaller initiatives to businesses, who disproportionately give to big charity brands at the moment. According to ActionFunder, around £2.7bn is donated by businesses to charities each year, but at the moment only 2% of this goes to smaller initiatives, with nearly all of the money going to bigger charity brands. Another barrier has historically been the time it takes for charities to apply for grant funding opportunities.

The new scheme has just completed a four-month pilot phase with £500,000 already pledged by businesses and 650 projects using the online platform to pitch for funds.

A number of big businesses have already started to use the platform since its launch, including construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine and utility company South West Water. The former has since funded 40 projects in eight different areas across the UK.

Hector McAlpine, Executive Partner, Sir Robert McAlpine, said:

Wherever we have projects, the measure of our success must include the positive, lasting legacy we leave in those local communities to ensure they thrive. ActionFunder is helping us to quickly find, fund and follow the impact of community action.

One of the successful charities was Youth Works Northamptonshire, which provides education, counselling and social activities to young people. The charity commented on how easy the process was when compared to previous funding bids. Its CEO Cindy Wrighting said:

ActionFunder has to be the most straightforward, easy to use process I have experienced. Within a month we had completed the online form, heard back, received the money and started to spend it on developing our upcycling project.

Image: The Orchard Project (credit ActionFunder)

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