The need for equitable funding to rebuild after Covid

At the start of this month, we were proud to take part in the LGBTQ+ Funders Fair, in partnership with City Bridge Foundation, London Funders and The National Lottery Community Fund. The event, taking part at the very start of LGBT+ History Month, was organised by The LGBT Consortium and hosted at the LGBTQ+ Community Centre in Blackfriars. Around 40 people attended, from at least 10 specialist LGBTQ+ community groups, representing a broad range of communities within London.

The focus for the event was to bring funders and grassroots organisations together, from a section of the charity world that is often underfunded, to share experiences and insights with a view to providing more equitable funding practices and opportunities. Many of the groups present have struggled to rebuild after the impact of Covid-19, while others are just starting out and looking for start-up funding so vital to long-term sustainability for a grassroots organisation. LGBTQ+ groups working in the arts and supporting the elderly are particularly vulnerable, having seen their entire programmes wiped out by the pandemic. Providing core funding in addition to project costs enables strong foundations to be built and specialist groups to become more resilient, especially with the rising cost-of-living. Making funding more accessible to these organisations is vital to ensuring the most marginalised members of the LGBTQ+ communities are represented and supported.

The London Community Foundation display stand at the Funders Fair

As we spoke with representatives of these groups it was clear that flexible and multi-year funding is so desperately needed. It’s a message that we regularly hear from the grassroots groups we support and one we are committed to addressing. It’s a balance between responding to the unprecedented scale of demand for funds in the grassroots sector and ensuring that funding given is empowering and sustainable. But The London Community Foundation is taking every step possible to strike this balance and getting essential funds to where it matters most.

It was a great privilege to take part in this Funders Fair. We recognise how important it is for funders like us to give grassroots groups the chance to meet us and put a face to the funders. We hope in doing events like this we can encourage greater levels of trust to form. It was great to meet such a diverse range of specialist organisations serving the LGBTQ+ communities at the event and we hope we can support many of them in the future.

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