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Tender to review accessibility of our funding and support processes

Tender to review accessibility of our funding and support processes 

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is seeking companies or individuals to review the accessibility of our funding and support processes for disabled people and others with communication support needs, and to recommend potential changes and improvements. 

About the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear Northumberland 

The Community Foundation grows giving and philanthropy, enabling people and businesses to support vital causes across North East England. Each year we make grants to around hundreds of local charities and community organisations and some individuals from nearly 300 funds set up with us by individuals, families and businesses, and through partnerships with other funders regionally and nationally. Alongside grants, we provide free or subsidised advice and training to organisations to strengthen their governance and operations. This includes trustee- and skills-matching schemes. We also run two research programmes. Third Sector Trends reports on the scale, dynamic and needs of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in the North East. Vital Signs ‘takes the pulse’ of the region identifying issues we face and how philanthropy can help. 

Areas for the accessibility review  

While we recognise there are many aspects to accessibility, the primary focus of this review is ease of access to our funding and support processes for disabled people and others who may have communication support needs.  

Current access to our funding and support 

  • The standard ways organisations and individuals access our support is via our website ‘apply’ page. https://www.communityfoundation.org.uk/apply/ 
  • Applicants must register with us to use our grantee portal and online application form which are hosted on Salesforce and accessed here https://cftwn.my.site.com/s/  Monitoring reports for grants are also done online. 
  • Our website includes ReciteMe accessibility tools. However, we are not able to integrate the ReciteMe tools on the grantee portal. https://reciteme.com/ 
  • We encourage applicants with access requirements which mean they would need us to provide a different application format to get in touch by email or telephone. We have accepted video and word document versions of applications, but this has been rare. 
  • We encourage applicants to contact us by telephone with any questions. Help and support information is on our website. 
  • We run regular ‘Time to Talk’ sessions where potential organisation applicants can attend an in-person session with members of our team to hear more about our funding and support and ask questions. These take place in our office but sometimes at other locations. We also regularly attend ‘funding fairs’ run by local infrastructure organisations across our area.  
  • Many of our training and support sessions are held as webinars though some are in person at our offices or other venues. 

Scope of the review 

Whilst our website and application portal make up a large part of the process, we do not want a standard website audit. The review should instead look at the whole process from initial enquiry to end of grant monitoring including support and communication throughout the process. We are seeking to understand: 

  • Whether providing the ReciteMe tool on our website is effective, and if there are other ways we can improve the accessibility of the website’s navigation etc. 
  • What alternative application formats would be most useful and cost-effective for us to offer if we were able to provide some as ‘standard’. 
  • How best to ensure applicants that need us to offer a different application format know what we can offer. 
  • What more we should do to ensure disabled people can fully participate in our sector support activities both online and in-person (at our office and at other venues). 
  • How else we might improve or add to our external communications (e-newsletter, social media, printed materials etc.) to ensure they reach disabled people who may be potential applicants (working in organisations or as individuals).  
  • Any training and development support for our staff which would improve our services for disabled people.  

The review should result in a report covering your analysis of the effectiveness of current provision, and areas of strengths and weakness, with recommendations on where and how we can improve.  

We will ask you to present your findings and recommendations to key staff group. 


We have allocated up to £3,000 for this project, subject to the number of days’ work proposed and daily rates. In addition, we will seek to cover reasonable additional support costs and expenses for any individual consultants’ access requirements.  

Content and format of proposals 

Your proposal should cover the following. 

  • Your initial response to the scope set out above and how you would approach reviewing these areas (and others you thought relevant). 
  • The details and CVs of those who will be working on this project. 
  • Your track record of doing similar work for other clients. 
  • The details of at least one client whom we can approach for a reference. 

We are happy to accept proposals in Word or pdf formats. We would also be happy to receive a video or audio file as an alternative format.


The deadline to submit a proposal is 12 noon on Wednesday 20 December 2023. 

The executive team at the Community Foundation will consider proposals and invite those shortlisted for further discussion. 

We expect to decide by the end of January 2024, and then agree a contract with the successful party. Payment will be by invoice – 50% up front and 50% on completion of contract.  

Once appointed the lead contacts at the Community Foundation will be. 

  • Rob Williamson, Chief Executive 
  • Adam Lopardo, our Director of Community Relations. 

Other key staff contacts will be: 

  • Mike Whitfield, Head of Operations 
  • Ali Walker, External Relations Officer 
  • Leanne Wilson, Grant Process Co-ordinator 
  • Adam Smith, ICT and Facilities Co-ordinator 

Further information 

If you are interested in submitting a proposal and wish to discuss the project informally before doing so, you can contact Dawn Porter on 0191 222 0945 or by email dp@communityfoundation.org.uk. Dawn can then arrange a time for you to speak to Rob Williamson or Adam Lopardo.