Our vision and mission
The Fore believes any charitable organisation with the talent and drive to create social change should be able to access the support it needs to fulfil its potential.
We identify charities and social enterprises with the best ideas, the strongest management and for whom support will create the greatest impact. Our approach and processes are designed to break down barriers and improve equity in the funding system – we seek to take up as little of our applicants’ time as possible because time spent seeking funding is time away from their beneficiaries.
What we do
The Fore provides unrestricted grants of up to £30,000, business skills and training and impact management support to UK registered non-profits with turnover of under £0.5m. The Fore identifies and invests in non-profits with the strongest management and for whom support will transform future growth, sustainability or impact (for more information about our funding process, click here). We work with a wide range of partners including our expert ‘low-bono’ consultant grant assessors to ensure we add value for everyone, not just those awarded funding, and offer a full ‘venture philanthropy’ package:
Why we do it
90% of all charities are ‘small’, with annual incomes under £500,000. These small organisations provide crucial services in their local communities and are vital for social innovation. However, despite making up 90% of the sector, small charities receive less than 10% of all funding. Funding gravitates towards larger, established charities with well-oiled fundraising machines, because it is often too expensive to find smaller, younger organisations or too risky to support them.
This situation is further compounded as funding available to small charities is frequently ‘restricted’ to the costs of specific projects, leaving little behind for charities to invest in their organisations. A recent study found that the majority of charities would swap £1 million of restricted funding for just £500,000 of unrestricted funding, and one in five would swap it for just £100,000.
Finally, small charities, often embedded in local communities and with extremely small staff teams, lack access to the business expertise needed to develop their organisations or strengthen their governance. They also struggle to meet the rigorous impact measurement standards now demanded by many funders.
The Fore exists to remove barriers and challenge this status quo, supporting small charities and social enterprises to grow their sustainability, efficiency, scale and/or impact. Our mission is to help the best smaller players thrive, to unlock innovation in our social sector and create a society that is capable of tackling its biggest challenges.
What makes us different
The Fore is the only funder of its kind in the UK. The Fore’s collaborative approach ensures grantees have access to tailored support through a single, friendly point of contact, while funding partners maximise their impact.
For small charities and social enterprises struggling to operate in the current challenging environment, The Fore’s application and due diligence process is specifically designed to be charity led, level the playing field and add value. Applicants are empowered to ask for funding for what they really need and those short-listed are supported by our expert grant assessors to develop their strategic plans. Access to skills support and training is offered to all.
For business, it is a pioneering model of corporate philanthropy that offers unique CSR and skills development opportunities. Business partners gain access to a highly-screened pipeline of dynamic early-stage charities and social enterprises, and tailor-made opportunities for employees to use their skills to drive social change as grant-makers, advisors, non-execs and mentors.
For trusts and foundations, The Fore offers the philanthropic sector a compelling opportunity for collaboration. Partnership with The Fore is a cost-effective opportunity to provide high-impact unrestricted funding to exceptional small charities and social enterprises.
Theory of change
To download our theory of change, click here.