At The Fore we are constantly striving to improve the diversity, equity and inclusivity of our work. We believe talent and creativity to be attributes inherent within every community. Therefore rather than offering ring-fenced funding to specific groups, we aim to make sure our assessment approach is able to find quality social action regardless of how an organisation may initially present itself.
All registered non-profits in the UK with turnover under £500k pa are eligible to apply to The Fore – we are open to applications from all sectors. We are looking for visionary leadership and effective solutions to social problems. To find those who need our support and will use our investment most effectively, we do extensive outreach, encouraging applications in from organisations that have struggled to access trust and foundation funding in the past.
We place particular emphasis on nurturing micro organisations (those with turnover of under £100k) because research has shown organisations working with, and led by, the most disadvantaged/marginalised are more likely to be very small, as shown by the figures below (source: Barings Foundation report).
- Income of BAME charities 45% lower than average
- Average income per charity: £142,439
- Average income for BAME charities: £78,960
- Charities supporting other marginalised groups show similar stats, though less research available
We provide support before and during the application process to ensure those with less fundraising experience are able to build confidence and hone their ‘ask’. Long listed applicants test their ideas through strategic conversations with our skilled assessors and we offer feedback to everyone so all applicants can learn and improve.
So far this approach is working well. In The Fore’s Spring 2021 funding round:
- 34% of applicants led by individuals from BAME background
- 44% of grantees led by individuals from BAME background
- 67% of applicants were led by women
- 83% of grantees were led by women
Equally important, The Fore’s ‘venture philanthropy approach – unrestricted, transformation-focused funding, pro bono skilled support and impact measurement training – enables these micro organisations to overtake their peers. For example, in a recent study, we found that three years after they received support from The Fore, grantees’ income was 4.5x higher, while unsuccessful applicants’ income was only 1.3x higher. Thus, not only are we finding organisations that are under-funded, but we are also helping them to outperform their peers.
We know this will always be a work in progress – that’s why we continue to monitor and evaluate everything we do. We engage with a wide range of sector organisations to ensure we are learning from others, and continue to do further research to check how well we are reaching a wide range of marginalised and minoritised groups – BAME, those with disabilities, refugees, LGBTQ+ etc.
We are committed to transparency: we publish all of this information in reports and on our website and encourage others to do the same.
Download our February 2021 Equality and Diversity Report here