The Fore launched in March 2017 to open up access to funding and professional expertise for exceptional small charities and social enterprises. During its first year of operation, The Fore experienced extraordinary demand for its style of funding. It also received extremely positive feedback from both successful and unsuccessful applicants as well as corporate partners and other stakeholders.
The Fore funding process is based on the model piloted by the Bulldog Trust and the Golden Bottle Trust from 2012-2016. The scheme experienced exceptional demand from charities for this style of funding and from funders for the strong pipeline of small organisations it created. It also achieved impressive results.
The Big House Theatre Company builds the core skills of young adults leaving the care system using the intensive, structured and supportive environment of theatre production, with award-winning results. Since the first critically acclaimed production in the summer of 2013, funded by The Fore pilot, Big House has run three further
programmes and won support from major donors including the Arts Council England. Tim Wright, who worked at the London Stock Exchange Group for 18 years was introduced to Big House by our philanthropy network to help with strategy and became a trustee in 2013.
Founded in Liverpool in 2008, Street Doctors recruits volunteer medical students and doctors to teach young offenders the immediate management of traumatic injuries. Teaching gives skills and confidence in pre-hospital care as well as facilitating a change in attitude towards violence. In January 2013 The Fore pilot funding enabled the employment of a part time CEO and the development of infrastructure required to formally contract with Youth Offending Institutions and Teams. The Fore has introduced two additional trustees with business experience. A small scale student voluntary organisation has now transitioned into a national charity reaching over 5,500 youths and operating in 13 locations across the UK.
Enabled Works is a West Yorkshire-based Workers Co-Operative owned and run entirely by its own disabled workforce. Day-to-day operations consist of contract packing (currently for Haribo), mailings, and electrical assembly work for businesses and local authorities. Alongside this, Enabled Works also provides training, rehabilitation workshops and work placements for disabled and disadvantaged people, using their network of business contacts. In 2015, funding from The Fore pilot facilitated Enabled Work’s expansion plans which will provide more employment opportunities and a crucial additional income stream.
Founded in 2013, Franklin Scholars helps Year 7 students at-risk of underachieving. During the transition to secondary school each student is assigned a dedicated and professionally trained Year 10 mentor, named a Franklin Scholar, as a personal tutor. These real role models provide personalised academic and pastoral support.
In September 2013 The Fore pilot funds enabled a second member of staff to be employed to assist the roll out of the service across multiple schools. Franklin Scholars has also accessed training, developed new partnerships through networking events and benefited from social investment expertise. Since starting in 3 schools in 2013, Franklin Scholars now operates in over 50 schools and continues to grow, achieving exceptional results and feedback.
Plant Your Future, based in London, has been working in the Peruvian Amazon since 2009 improving the livelihood and sustainability of rain forest subsistence farmers whilst mitigating climate change and protecting high conservation value forest. In the Peruvian Amazon there was an estimated 7.9 million hectares (equivalent to the size of Scotland) of deforestation from 2000-2010 due to rural farmers growing low-value crops on cleared land or grazing low density cattle on degraded pastures.
In 2014, The Fore pilot funded the design and implementation of a chilli pepper business with Peruvian Amazon rural smallholders, providing crucial short term income for farmers as they transition from devastating slash-and-burn techniques to sustainable agro-forestry systems.
“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