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Important news for all applicants to the Community Foundation Online monitoring and impact reporting is coming into effect from Monday 13 April 2015 »


From Monday 13 April 2015 we are making some important changes to the way we ask you to provide feedback on grants. There are two changes being made.

The first change is the introduction of online monitoring. We will be asking you to provide feedback on your grant using the same online system that you used to make your application. This will be more efficient, cheaper and better for the environment than our existing system. Just complete the online form and press submit. No more printing or postage costs, and no more having to dig out the paper form we sent you six months ago!

For grants made after April 1, 2015 you will be able to access the online monitoring form for your grant at any time. You can do this by going to the Community Foundation website  and logging in to your account using the email address and password you used to make your application. You will even get an email reminder when your feedback is due.

Online monitoring will apply to all grants made subject to an application to the Community Foundation. Paper monitoring forms will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

The second change is the introduction of impact reporting. This is being brought in to make sure the Community Foundation has the information it needs to tell donors about the work done with their funding. Hopefully this will encourage them to give more!  It will also support our work with grantees to ensure that our funding makes a real difference to local communities.

The way we will expect you to report on impact is very simple. When you apply for a grant we will ask you to tell us what you want to achieve in the form of 1-3 grant objectives. These don’t have to be complicated. We just want you to tell us exactly what you intend to do with your grant and by when. The most important thing is for your grant objectives to be “SMART”

Specific You should state exactly what you intend to do with the grant.
Measurable Make sure it is possible to collect evidence of what is achieved with the grant.
Achievable Be realistic, and only set grant objectives that you are able to deliver.
Relevant Remember we are interested primarily in what difference our grant will make.
Timescaled For each grant objective tell us exactly when you hope to have achieved it.

 Examples might include:

  • For a simple grant to purchase a mower for a cricket club:
  1.   A mower will be bought and used on the club’s pitch by June 2015.
  • For a more complex grant to run youth sessions focused on promoting healthy living:
  1. 40 young people will take part between June and August 2015.
  2. 12 sessions will be held of 2 hours duration in Summer 2015 covering exercise, healthy eating, smoking, sexual health and drugs and alcohol.
  3. We will collect “before and after” evidence to see if participants’ attitudes to healthy living change and report our findings in September 2015.

Our grant assessors will review your grant objectives when we consider your application, and may wish to recommend changes to them if necessary. Then, at the end of the grant period we will ask you to provide evidence that your grant objectives have been achieved. For this reason it is important to ensure from the start that you collect information about how you are doing in relation to each grant objective. From 2015 we will begin auditing a selection of grants each year to ensure that the information provided on impact is as accurate as possible.

We anticipate that in some cases, the organisations we fund will not succeed with all their grant objectives. Reporting honestly that particular grant objectives have not been met will not affect your future chances of applying for funding from the Community Foundation. After all, things do not always go as expected. Usually we just want to understand the lessons learnt when things go wrong, so that they can be done better next time. However, should this happen on a regular basis, we may want to discuss with you ways in which we can help you ensure that future grants are more successful.

Do you require further guidance?

If so, please speak to any of our philanthropy or programmes staff who will be glad to assist.

Posted on 15/04/2015 @ 3:17 pm
Filed under: News

Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs 2015. Can you help? »

Mark Pierce, Head of Policy and Programmes discusses how you can have your say by supporting our research for the next edition of Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs.

When we published Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs in 2013 we talked a lot about the area’s problems. But we also pointed out that the area is much loved by those who live and work here.

In 2015 we want Vital Signs to have a greater focus on what makes Tyne & Wear a great place to be, and how community philanthropy can be used to invest in those things that contribute to our quality of life.

So, in preparation for Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs, which will be published in October 2015, we want your views on how philanthropy could support community assets: the good people, great organisations and special places that make Tyne & Wear a great place to be.

We really want to know what you think about this. Please let us have your views today by completing our short poll here.

The results will be published in our latest edition of Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs in October 2015. And by way of a thank you we will be selecting one lucky respondent on publication day to receive £100 worth of vouchers to spend in some of the area’s great shops!

Live or work in Northumberland? You are getting a say too! In 2016 we will be publishing Northumberland’s Vital Signs and you can complete a poll for that publication here. You’ll have to wait until October 2016, however, to find out if you are the lucky respondent that receives the shopping vouchers!

Posted on 26/05/2015 @ 2:31 pm
Filed under: News,News-Page

Barmoor Wind Farm officially opened »

Barmoor wind farm benefit fund grant recipients 1Local groups benefit from £30,000 of awards through the Barmoor Wind Farm Community Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

EDF Energy Renewables has officially opened its Barmoor wind farm in North Northumberland.

The six-turbine site, located south west of Berwick between the villages of Ford and Lowick, is capable of delivering over 12 megawatts (MW) of low carbon electricity, enough to meet the average annual needs of approximately 6,500 homes.

The formal opening of the development was marked by the first awards to local organisations from the newly established Barmoor Wind Farm Community Fund at the Community Foundation.

In the first round of applications over £30,000 was awarded in support of seven projects from local groups, including the provision of a mini bus for a local football team, the refurbishment of boxing club facilities for young people, equipment for a local archery club and rooftop solar panels for local village halls.

The community benefit fund will make £60,000 available each year over the lifetime of the wind farm to support local community projects, events and organisations. Applications are considered by a local steering group that includes representatives of local parish councils.

Christian Egal, CEO of EDF Energy Renewables said: “We are delighted to have brought the Barmoor wind farm on stream and the project is already making an important contribution to the generation of low carbon electricity.

“It is particularly pleasing that the first groups to receive support from the benefit fund have been able to join us to mark the opening of this project and I am sure that many local community initiatives will benefit from the fund in the future.

“Our relationship with the local community is something we hold dearly and I am therefore also very happy that so many local firms were able to participate in the construction and ultimately the success of the project.”

A number of local suppliers were awarded contracts totalling around £2.4 million as part of the construction of the wind farm, including the supply of concrete and aggregate, drainage works and plant hire services.

Nick Bradford, Head of Asset Management, EDF Energy Renewables said: “Barmoor is another important building block in EDF Energy Renewables’ contribution to the UK’s low carbon economy which we are expanding all the time.

“We hope through safely and efficiently operating the wind farm here, to become an enduring part of the local community.”

Posted on @ 2:26 pm
Filed under: News,News-Page

Time To Talk: July 2015 »

its-time-to-talk-logo-300x167“Time To Talk” sessions are monthly lunchtime round table discussions on a range of topics.

There is no formal agenda but it is an opportunity for representatives from a range of groups and organisations to share thoughts, ideas, good practice, hopefully learn a little, and it will give you a chance to network and make new contacts.

Sessions are usually hosted by two Community Foundation staff but on this occasion we are linking up with the charity Sported, and the North East Regional Manager, Sandra Hillyard and a Community Foundation staff member.

We’ll provide tea, coffee and a sandwich.

Tuesday 14th July: How can sports clubs and organisations put themselves in the best position to be successful with the Community Foundation and how can Sported support you?

The session will run from 12.30pm to 2pm at the Community Foundation, Cale Cross, 156 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6SU.

Advance booking is essential and spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. As numbers will be limited one representative per organisation may attend (unless you require a support worker).

You can reserve a place by emailing:

Posted on @ 2:19 pm
Filed under: News,News-Page

Partnerships Programme – Learning from Trusts & Foundation Event for the Arts »


As part of the new Partnerships work headed by Adam Lopardo we recently organised a day of insight, sharing and surgeries with local and national Trusts and Foundations for over 100 cultural organisations in the North of England.

The day was well received by the participants and is a model we are aiming to roll out for the North East voluntary and community sector.  Below and on the Culture Partnership blog are reports from the day. Whilst they are from an arts perspective many of the tips and insights are relevant to all groups applying to Trusts and Foundations and are well worth a read.

Here, Beth Harvey, DARE Fundraising Fellow Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, shares her thoughts.

“What made this event particularly successful was the amount of structured debate and conversation between participants. The day was opened by an introduction and welcome by Adam Lopardo from Community Foundation followed by a brief presentation by Sarah Maxfield of Arts Council who introduced ideas of diversifying income streams to become more resilient. In times of austerity and reduced public funding, competition for funds is high, so this day presents an opportunity to learn more about how to ensure applications are successful.”

Making an application:

  • Do include information about the non-arts benefits of arts and culture projects
  • Do include evidence like youtube clips, images and case studies
  • Think about your legal structure, grant givers sometimes insist you are a “registered charity” but, “If your organisation’s objectives are exclusively charitable and income is over £5k, you’re legally an (unregistered) charity”

The panel sessions allowed the audience to question some of the assumptions of trust fundraising, with some myths brought to light:

Being successful:

  • [Arts] organisations do not necessarily need a good track record of previously funded projects.
  • They do not need a former relationship with the Trust or Foundation.
  • Knowing someone on the inside does not increase chances of success.
  • Trusts and Foundations do not take into consideration Arts Council funding.
  • Each application is considered independently and judged on a case by case basis.


The main lessons learned from the day were:

  • Do not be afraid of rejection, and to try again.
  • Trusts and Foundations need [arts] organisations to fulfill their objectives.
  • Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for advice.


Overall the day taught us to be brave, and to understand that grant givers are only human. “Not a fat-cat in a bowler hat, and not a Margaret Thatcher lookalike”

Posted on 12/05/2015 @ 4:54 pm
Filed under: News,Uncategorized

High Sheriff of Northumberland sets sights on local communities »

article4Lucy Carroll, of Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes at Cornhill-on-Tweed near Berwick, has been appointed as High Sheriff of Northumberland. As the oldest secular office in the UK, going back over 1,000 years, the High Sheriff serves the Crown and judiciary system whilst also recognising the efforts of young people through an awards scheme at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

The High Sheriff of Northumberland Awards Scheme at the Community Foundation makes awards in recognition of groups in the community who encourage useful and beneficial pursuits for young people, helping them to be upstanding citizens and hopefully avoid criminal activities.

Awards are made to voluntary and community groups and registered charities working in Northumberland.  The project must involve work with children and young people aged 10 to 25 years old.  The application must show what the organisation does to steer young people away from crime and anti-social behavior. Awards are made throughout the year and applications are being encouraged by the Community Foundation.

Iain Riddell, Communications and Development Executive said:

“The High Sheriff of Northumberland Awards recognises and rewards local organisations, big and small, which support children and young people in a safe and secure environment to develop confidence, build skills, find fun and friendship, and learn to be part of their community. If you know of a youth organisation in Northumberland who should to be rewarded for their work in the community then please contact us.”

The awards complement the work of the High Sheriff, an unpaid voluntary role appointed by HM The Queen, which today concentrates on upholding and supporting the judiciary, police and law enforcement agencies, emergency services, local authorities and all recognised church and faith groups as well as supporting and encouraging the voluntary sector. The role itself is over 1000 years old from the days when the High Sheriff was responsible for all law and order in the County: it is the oldest secular appointment in the country.

To find out more about the awards and how to apply visit

Posted on @ 4:50 pm
Filed under: News,Uncategorized

Incentivising Philanthropy: A Sustainable Approach to Supporting the Voluntary Sector by Fabian French »


Fabian French took up the role of CEO at UK Community Foundations (UKCF) in March 2015. A trustee of three charities and an active fundraiser for many local causes near his home in Oxford, he is keenly aware of the challenges faced by the voluntary sector.

In its manifesto, A bigger difference: Realising the potential of voluntary organisations and volunteers, NCVO has recognised the importance of creating a positive culture of giving. In particular, it has called on the government to continue a match-funding programme to encourage local giving via community-focused foundations. NCVO and UKCF know that by maximising the voluntary sector’s contribution we are better positioned to ensure that the work that charities and community groups carry out can be done so as part of a collective effort, where communities are supported by a robust and collaborative third sector.

Back in 2010, shortly after his ascent to power, David Cameron launched the Big Society ­­– a vision in which volunteers, groups and communities would take responsibility for community projects, man library desks, and reclaim public space.

The vision was widely met with disdain, with some claiming the idea was all about saving money. However, Cameron was certainly not wrong about the passion that communities have for co-creating valuable networks and resources for others in their area. Since starting as CEO at UKCF earlier this month, I have heard endless stories of driven individuals across the UK spending their time, and very often their money, to ensure that others who live near them are cared for.

However, where the Big Society may have suffered over the last ten years is with the assumption that these networks and individuals can flourish independently of the public sector. Community groups don’t thrive in isolation and the cuts in funding over the last five years have certainly taken their toll. A booming voluntary sector benefits everyone and, whoever takes office this May, the political hot potato of ‘cutting the deficit’ isn’t going to go away. The question remains: how do we make sure individuals doing great community work continue to feel empowered and enabled while recognising the need for prudent public spending? The answer is to ensure that government funding is creative. And creative funding for charities often means using resources to encourage meaningful philanthropy.

Posted on @ 4:48 pm
Filed under: News,Uncategorized

Surviving Winter wraps up for 2014 »


article1A national campaign to support some of the most vulnerable members of our community to stay warm this winter has raised £700,339, with more than £20,000 benefitting communities in the North East.

Surviving Winter is a call for individuals to donate their winter fuel payment to those more in need. Thanks to a campaign run by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, with the support of The Journal, over £20,000 was raised locally.

One group to benefit was Age UK North Tyneside, which received £2,660 to provide one-to-one support, community activities and benefit assessments, to ensure that local people received the support they need to tackle fuel poverty and stay warm during winter.

Rebecca Rutter, Information and Advice Co-ordinator at Age UK North Tyneside said:

“Fuel poverty is an issue that affects a large number of elderly residents in our region. Surviving Winter has allowed us to make a difference through home visits to work face-to-face with those who need our support, running a community event to raise awareness of fuel poverty and providing benefit checks to ensure that everyone received the support that they are entitled to. Thanks to the Community Foundation we can continue to build communities where the elderly are safe from the pitfalls of winter.”

Awards were also made to organisations in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland and Northumberland.

Jon Goodwin, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland added:

“We would like to thank everyone who donated their winter fuel allowance towards Surviving Winter. Community is our cause, and through Surviving Winter we are able to pool resources to make a big impact on fuel poverty. By supporting our campaign people have ensured that others in their area don’t have to choose between feeding themselves or heating their home – a choice that nobody should have to make.  We are delighted that the campaign has proved to be a success and look forward to doing more in the future.”

For more information about how you can support your local community visit

Posted on @ 4:46 pm
Filed under: News,Uncategorized

“How we use our boards to support our fundraising” by Clemency Horsell | DARE Fundraising Fellow |York Theatre Royal »

Notes from round table discussion at North Arts Sector Trusts and Foundations event. Chaired by Adam Lopardo. 

  • It is really important for your organisation to be introspective about the reasons why a board member became involved with your institution in the first place. Was it for the right reasons?  What were their original intentions and do they match your organisation’s aims moving forward?  If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then it might be time to ask them to reconsider their position.

  • What is it that is really stopping your board from engaging with the fundraising? Is it a lack of confidence or something else?  What can we do as fundraisers to reassure them and to get them to make the ask?    Our discussions highlighted the importance of properly briefing your board about your organisation so that they become better advocates for your organisation. The easier you make it for you board to talk about your organisation the happier they will be to engage with the fundraising. This could be a simple as providing them with key information material that provides a board friendly overview, or sending them your latest fundraising video to watch.  They should want to share the success of the organisation with their peers and if they do not have the facts then they will keep silent.

  • Is your board even aware of the skills that they have? Whether they are a lawyer, accountant or business owner many board members do not realise the power of their networks.  They may not understand that providing introductions or sending invitations can be invaluable to your organisation.  It is our job as fundraisers to ascertain their comfort levels and to reassure our board that their skills are vital to the financial stability of our organisations.

  • It would be worthwhile to complete a skills audit with the board consider what skills, competencies and experience you currently have and whether there are skills you might need. It would also be profitable to build fundraising into the person specification during board recruitment.  They could no longer deny that fundraising was “not in their job description” when it is formally acknowledged as part of the recruitment process.

  • It might also be worth forming a “Development Sub Committee” – a small group of board leaders with a key interest in fundraising and then using them to provide wider organisational awareness to the board. They would invest more of their time in enabling the fundraising while freeing up other board members to govern.

  • Does your board really realise how much the fundraising landscape has changed? It would be patronising of us to assume that the board is not aware of the financial crisis and the effect it has had on funding. However they might not be aware of the sheer magnitude of these cuts on arts organisations how much we need to adapt.  There is now more increased competition than ever for donations, grants and sponsorship.  Fundraising can no longer be relied upon to simply “plug the gap” in the annual budget and there is a real need for critical governance and strategic leadership because ultimately the board is responsible for the financial wellbeing of the organisation.  It is then foolish for them not to take an interest in fundraising when it forms such a large part of an organisation’s budget.

  • Is it worth investing in training? The logical response would be yes.  There are leadership and governance development funds available. Board away days and training should feature regularly as part of the board’s commitment to your organisation.  This ensures that the board are always being self-critical and have a well-rounded skill set.  It is the role of the Chair to ensure that every aspect of the organisation is regularly accounted for.   In the future the Arts Council will be looking for a much more connected relationship with boards as this is where resilience lies.  They will also be encouraging a new peer to peer network of chairs to aid effective fundraising and knowledge sharing.  This way boards can see what best practice looks like.

Posted on @ 1:42 pm
Filed under: Culture Partnerships Blog

“Success Stories in raising funds from Trusts & Foundations” by Annelise Andersen | DARE Fundraising Fellow | Opera North »

Notes from Round Table Discussion at the North Arts Sector Trusts & Foundations Event 28th April 2015. Chaired by Pam Bone.

CDr7xpbXIAE64bgFunding applications are not necessarily successful, nor complete, with a confirmation letter from a Trust or Foundation. Funders want to demonstrate value and impact. In order to do so we need to articulate where the money is going and perhaps even more importantly, who it is benefiting.

This process begins but certainly does not end with an application. As it can often be the first point of contact with a funder, an application should be clear and comprehensive enough – brevity and photos are often useful, as is a concise summary paragraph that does justice to your application but could be easily lifted to show someone else. In addition, offering a main statement as the body of an application to be followed by additional appendices helps make your project more digestible.

Evaluation and reporting on a funded project is just as important as the application itself, however. It should complement a proposal and demonstrate honest reflection about its delivery. It should also serve as the platform for future project development and as such should build upon not only the successes but opportunities for improvement that the initial project has presented. More than anything, the evaluation and reporting process should explain where and how impact is taking place. Impact is based on change and how you measure it – these measures can be quantitative or qualitative but have to be relevant. Regardless of how you choose to translate the impact you’ve had, the voice of the beneficiaries should always shine through.

What continues to strike me most about fundraising through Trusts and Foundations is how absolutely essential it is to maintain good dialogue externally, with funders, administrators, other key members of staff, and also with internal staff. Fundraisers are effectively translators and it is good communication that is the key to successful funding applications.

The event was organised by Community Foundation Culture Partnerships for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland with support from Arts Council England and BALTIC.

Posted on 07/05/2015 @ 2:53 pm
Filed under: Culture Partnerships Blog
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Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland - Enriching lives through effective giving

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