I had a phone call with a comrade who works in the sector to discuss the different funding & training options available to us, both immediately (C-19 dependent) and longer term, once we have reoriented Cooperation Birmingham to a post-COVID org.
I haven’t had a look at these in much detail yet. We seem to have a good consensus that we don’t want to be taking funds that have too many strings attached but I think we perhaps should also start thinking about whether we would put a blanket ban on certain sources of funding. For instance there is an obvious political argument for not taking any state funds. On the other hand there is an argument for basically expropriating state resources if it can be done in a way that puts us under no obligations and strengthens autonomous power.
Some of the funding is dependent on being a particular legal form (CIC, CBS etc), which is a whole different subject.
Top three for immediate funding:
- The Tudor Trust (which has given a lot of funding to ACORN) is a good source; funding is unlimited but usually not less than £10k
- The National Lottery have a £10k community fund which is apparently very easy and low-commitment to get, and can be reapplied for annually.
- Heart of England have a community foundation which is C-19 specific at the moment
Other funding sources:
- UNLTD fund social enterprises although they’re mostly on hold at the moment: https://www.unltd.org.uk/
- The NCVO send out regular funding digests
- Birmingham & Solihull Social Economy Consortium (BSSEC) also do a regular funding announcement
- The Rowntree Foundation can be a good source of cash for political projects
Other training / support sources:
- iSE have a social enterprise training program (starting in a few weeks) which could provide organisation support. It’s this one, I think: http://www.i-se.co.uk/news/fuse-the-ise-start-up-programme/. This would be dependent on adopting a focus on health and social care which could arguable dovetail with the meal project and incipient ideas about community gardening etc. For this we would have to be a Community Interest Company which is generally not a very democratic legal form, although there are ‘large membership’ variants which take some of the power away from the directors.
- Locality offer support and help with funding https://locality.org.uk/