The Fore’s funding approach is based on a pilot, run from 2012-2016. Three years on, grantees were matched to a control group of 600 organisations of similar size, age and sector. Pilot grantees significantly out-performed the benchmark group.
This research shows that The Fore’s process identified organisations with a great potential for growth, and its support helped them to more than double their income within three years.
Tutors United was founded by social entrepreneur Joel Davis when he was just 18 years old. It recruits university students to provide tutorials for disadvantaged children (often in households where English is not the first language). While most tutoring organisations help secondary students secure university places, Tutors United intervenes early – helping primary school children secure vital literacy and numeracy skills when it matters most. Crucially, unlike other tutoring organisations, Tutors United charges the housing associations where it works, meaning that tutorials can be provided to disadvantaged children free of charge. Tutors United increased its students’ average scores in a maths assessment by 51% after just 13 hours of tutoring. After 5 weeks, its students progress an average of 1.2 sub-levels in English writing.
Tutors United used funding from The Fore to hire a new Programme Officer, enabling it to build capacity and meet the demand from additional housing associations enquiring about their services. The Fore also introduced Tutors United to Pauline Roteta, Vice President at BlackRock, who rebuilt Tutors United’s financial model, and to Annie Maciver, Senior Policy Advisor at the Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit, who joined the board.
Since receiving its grant from The Fore, Tutors united has doubled its turnover, taken on two new housing association contracts and increased the value of a further five. As a result of this success, Tutors United now works across 13 London boroughs and has provided support to over 1,000 children.
In the UK, one in every three young people who leave care become homeless within two years. This reduces their life expectancy by an average of 30 years, and costs public services on average £26,000 per year.
Settle is an award-winning social enterprise that prevents youth homelessness, by equipping care-leavers and at-risk young people with the vital life skills needed to manage their first tenancy. Settle works closely with social landlords to help young people avoid eviction by managing their money, home and health. So far, 100% of young people on the STMP programme have sustained their tenancies, while 90% self-reported improved confidence in life skills.
The Fore provided funding for the CEO’s salary, allowing him to commit his full time to scaling the organisation and meeting the demand from housing associations for Settle’s services. The Fore also introduced Settle to Colin Ellis, Chief Credit Officer at Moody’s, who has provided support with cost-benefit analysis and impact measurement strategy, and also to Ben Lambert, who has joined Settle’s board as a finance trustee. Settle’s CEO has also benefited from attending The Fore’s capacity-building workshops at Two Temple Place.
As a result of The Fore’s support, Settle hopes to expand from reaching 0.5% of care leavers to over 25% within five years. Since its grant, Settle has significantly increased its income, receiving over £300,000 from NESTA, JP Morgan and The Berkley Foundation. NESTA evaluated Settle’s intervention and found it to be one of the 18 most effective in the UK for creating a more inclusive economy.
Stay Up Late began in 2007 as a campaign for adults with learning disabilities and autism to have an equal right to ‘stay up late’ to enjoy concerts, clubbing and socialising. In 2013, Stay Up Late launched Gig Buddies, which matches socially isolated people with learning disabilities or autism across Sussex with volunteers who share their cultural passions and interests. Stay Up Late was then overwhelmed with requests from other grassroots organisations, other charities and local authorities across the U.K. to franchise Gig Buddies.
Stay Up Late used funding from The Fore to meet this extraordinary demand and scale up their Gig Buddies franchise programme. The Fore introduced Stay Up Late to Sylvia Lago, Strategy Director at leading branding consultancy FITCH, to advise on how to proactively market the franchise opportunity. The Fore also introduced Stay Up Late to Emily Vermont, Network Manager at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, who has provided first-hand experience of social franchising. Stay Up Late are also participating in an impact measurement programme funded for grantees by The Fore. As a result, Stay Up Late is successfully scaling rapidly, having set up three new franchises, with two more in the pipeline.
One in three people worldwide do not have the luxury of having waste taken away, and as a result they are left to dump or burn their waste, exacerbating the global public health and environmental waste crisis. WasteAid provides simple and cost-effective community waste management to combat this problem. In partnership with well-established local organisations, it trains local people to manage waste in a safe and affordable way and supports people to become self-employed recycling entrepreneurs, generating economic value from waste materials.
WasteAid used The Fore’s grant to develop the necessary administrative capacity to cope with rapid expansion. This has enabled a rapid scaling in the first year since funding – doubling the number of countries it works in (12 in total) and reaching 16,000 new people. WasteAid developed new income streams, more than tripling its unrestricted income, and also became sufficiently developed to secure funding from DFID. The CEO says that The Fore’s support has been instrumental in unlocking this rapid transformation.
“My business mentor asked me not to thank him because he gets so much pleasure from supporting and advising us — he said the feeling he gets from our conversations is like electricity.”
Sharla Duncan, Founder of Team Up
“The Engaging Experience network worked fantastically for me. At our initial meeting my twin interests in the arts and young people were soon identified and I was quickly matched with The Big House Theatre Company, a new and wonderful charity that uses drama to help disadvantaged care leavers realise their full potential. This has been a perfect and rewarding match, I can’t recommend it too highly.”
Tim Wright, trustee of the Big House Theatre Company and former Chief of Staff for London Stock Exchange Group.
“The lessons and insights gained from my philanthropic work have provided a very welcome foil to the high-powered, rarefied world of finance. Seeing mentored kids achieve great results or watching communities increase their income from monies I have helped to provide or from inspiration I have been able to give, is beyond belief.”
Tutu Agyare, Managing Partner and CIO at Nubuke Investments LLP and former Head of EMEA for UBS
“It’s been wonderful to realise how my experience and common sense approach has benefited an organisation in an area completely new to me.”
Ann Humphries, former Executive Board Member of John Lewis and mentor to innovative adult literacy charity, Read Easy UK
“As a grantee we have found the relationship with the funder to be one of total support and trust and feel part of a family.”
Marnie Rose, CEO and Founder of The Garden Classroom
“You seem to be one of the few organisations that understand… recognising that charities starting off need dedicated strategic support to get them to a place that is not only sustainable but puts them in a place where their infrastructure is strong enough to compete for larger bids.”
Bob Bharij, Foundation for Change
“I have not come across any other funder in my 14 years of fundraising who gives feedback for failed applicants. Most are not keen at all to speak to you when you have been declined. I believe that that this is both hugely useful for applicants for their own development and also for funders. Please keep this up!”
Stella Brown, Deptford Reach
“I really love it when you consult the charities you serve. This is commendable, especially at a time when a number of donors seem to have lost direction by coming up with lots of jargon that makes it extremely difficult for smaller charities to get funding.”
Collin Nyabadza, Collin Nyabadza Children’s Voice Charitable Trust
“The Fore is a pioneering initiative with the bold ambition of challenging the status quo. I know from my own experience in government that the system favours established players. This means the charities with the biggest marketing budgets and the best networkers have an inbuilt advantage. The Fore aims to level the playing field for high quality early stage charities and social enterprises. That is no doubt a big ambition, but one I am really excited to help make a reality.”
Rupert Harrison CBE, Chair of The Fore
“This innovative grants model is particularly valuable for smaller organisations, which rarely receive unrestricted development funding and strategic advice. Both are needed to increase mobility within the sector – support such as this is absolutely vital if they [smaller charities and social enterprises] are to reach their full potential.”
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive, NCVO
“As one of the largest social investors in the UK, the current failure to nurture the pipeline of high quality social impact organisations is a real risk to the future of social investment. The need for more intelligent, targeted funding and advice to develop innovative early-stage organisations is urgent.
The Fore’s thoughtful blend of bespoke support addresses the need to build confidence alongside capacity and has no barriers to access, connecting even the most isolated projects with the highest quality business champions. It is just what is needed. ”
Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive, Social Investment Business
“The charity sector is the life blood of our society: it supports those in need, bridges divisions and drives social change. By harnessing business support for small charities, the Fore Trust is a crucial initiative for strengthening our charity sector and equipping it for the future.”
Frank Field MP