RAFT Fund is dedicated to the memory of Richard Q (Tigger) Hoare who died on 24th March 2020. Richard was the inspirational founder of The Fore’s parent charity, The Bulldog Trust and a venture philanthropist before his time.
Rapid Action by the Fore and Trusts Fund (‘‘RAFT’’) is providing for high- quality, well-managed small charities and social enterprises with great leadership doing vital work in their communities.
The UK has a range of vibrant, high-impact small charities and social enterprises operating across the country that are addressing pressing social issues from knife crime to domestic violence to climate change. However, due to the nature of fundraising, most small charities operate on a hand to mouth basis with few reserves to sustain them through crisis times such as these. RAFT is specifically looking to shore up and build resilience in high-impact small charities, giving them a better chance to continue their services and navigate through the crisis.
RAFT Fund, alongside RAFT Directory of Skilled Volunteer Requests, is seeking to ensure that high-quality small charities and social enterprises are able to meet the rapidly changing needs of their beneficiaries, remain viable and prepare for delivery when the acute phase of the crisis is over. Many organisations have scaled back their activities significantly during this period but need to ready themselves for an intense period of delivery once current restrictions are lifted. For example, a charity that provides tutoring for disadvantaged GSCE students will be vital after a prolonged period of home-schooling. If such an organisation could use this time to recruit and train more tutors, it will be ready to meet the increased level of need. Similarly, organisations supporting people into self-employment, addressing mental health issues or childhood obesity need to be ready for significant scale-up. Other organisations, for example an environmental charity, need to have the tools and the capacity to build on the opportunities and openness to new thinking the pandemic has brought about.
In April 2020 over £1m in funding was raised for RAFT Fund and applications were opened on Wednesday 22nd April 2020. The first grants will be announced on 6th May 2020.
The application cap was reached on Friday 24th April and we regret that no more applications can be accepted until the next £1m of funding has been raised. The Fore are actively fundraising for RAFT Fund and donations can be made online. Please consider donating to help us reopen for applications.
How to Apply
Applications for the RAFT Fund have now closed, as all available spaces have been taken. The Fore are actively fundraising in order to be able to re-open for applications and help more crucial small charities and social enterprises. At this time, you will be able to apply using a link posted on this page. Please keep an eye on our social media ( https://twitter.com/theforetrust ) for updates.
FAQs about the Fund and our application process can be found here.
Who Can Apply
Applications for RAFT will be accepted from any UK registered charities, CICs, CIOs and CBSs with annual incomes below £500,000.
About the Grants
RAFT Fund offers unrestricted grants of up to £5,000 to organisations that are able to demonstrate the impact of their mission and offer creative solutions to getting through the current crisis and building for delivery beyond the acute phase; certain applicants may be eligible to re-apply for further funding if appropriate. The application process is extremely simple with a high level of support provided by The Fore’s assessors. The aim is to place minimum administrative burden on the applicant in order to ensure the charities can continue to concentrate on delivery of services. Funding decisions are targeted to be made within two weeks of receipt of application.
Please find details of the first RAFT grants awarded by clicking the button below. This is a live document that is updated whenever new grants are made.
The Fore’s process is designed to put as low a burden on charities as possible. Applicants are required to fill in a very simple form. The Fore’s assessors, all of whom have 15+ years of professional experience, will conduct desk research and one-to-one due diligence before writing up funding requests. Funding decisions will be made at regular weekly panels containing a diverse, rolling mix of individuals representing the third sector, strategic experts, business and funders.
How to contribute to the fund
Benefits for Funding Partners
Capacity: The Fore’s consultant grant assessor model is flexible and enables rapid scale-up.
Speed: The Fore’s established roster of third sector and business partners is available immediately to sit on the funding panels and offer crucial pro bono support.
Systems and monitoring: Regular reporting on which organisations have received grants will be available through The Fore’s established and tested systems. For those organisations looking for repeat funding, the impact of the previous grant/grants will be closely monitored to ensure the effectiveness of funds disbursed.
RAFT Fund Partners
The Lovington Foundation
Garfield Weston Foundation
Four Acre Trust
Golden Bottle Trust
Henry Oldfield Trust
LGT Vestra and its clients and employees
Michael and Sarah Spencer Foundation
The Bulldog Trust
Tribe Impact Capital
The Fore would also like to thank its regular funders – BlackRock, Moody’s, Rothschild & Co., Postcode Local Trust and Power to Change – for agreeing to redirect their previously committed funding to support the RAFT Fund.