Where to get funding for consortia

Fiona Sheil was responsible for co-ordinating NCVO’s programme of seminars, training and advice work on public service commissioning and procurement. Fiona left NCVO in October 2013 but we have retained her blog posts for reference.

I often get questions around how to access funding for consortia. Unfortunately there is no fund marked specifically for this, but there are a number of avenues worth exploring. If you know of any more, please let me know – this is very much a crowd-sourcing exercise.

Thanks to Ian Curtis (Collaboration Benefits CIC) and Dave Packwood (Barnardo’s) for advice so far.

Consortia funding: places to look

Local Authorities

The first place to look is your local authority. Local authorities (councils) have funded a number of consortia start-ups such as Young Lancashire. As your likely commissioners, it’s essential to let them know about your plans anyway – so they can understand the extra value and scale you’ll be bringing in the future. It makes sense to make possible funding and other support a part of that conversation.

The same would go for speaking to health commissioners in their various future guises, although it might take some time before Clinical Commissioning Groups understand enough about the voluntary sector and the commissioner’s market development role to be funding consortia development.

Community Right to Challenge Fund

CLG statutory guidance around localism’s ‘Right to Challenge’ emphasises the potential role for consortia in local areas. The Right to Challenge Fund is part of a wider programme of support funded by CLG and delivered by Social Investment Business. They’re offering different levels of funding, up to £100,000 for consortia looking to ‘challenge’ current providers with a view to bid to deliver an improved version of current services themselves.

Full details of this fund are available on the Social Investment Business website. The pot is over £10 million in total – and is ope

Big Lottery

As the Lottery have such a range of programmes and are very committed to collaboration and capacity building the voluntary sector, make sure to keep an eye on their future schemes and the role of consortia within them. Under current schemes, look at Awards for All which can fund up to £10,000 for specialist advice.

Also of interest will be the evaluations of the Improving Futures fund, a scheme currently in place funding twenty-six consortia across the country working with children in families with complex needs. This will make for interesting learning – so use it!

Baring Foundation

Legal advice organisations should look for the next round of the Strengthening the Voluntary Sector programme, out in January 2013.

Any further suggestions?

We recommend you sign up to Funding Central, the free grants, loans and contracts portal administered by NCVO on behalf of government and add consortia as a key term to your search. +50,000 users can’t be wrong.

With any further suggestions for funding sources Email me or add it to the comment box below.

For more information on effective consortia development see our consortia pages.

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