With the benefit of many years experience of making grants to local organisations, in 2015 the Foundation reviewed its grant-making approach.
In winter 2015 we launched our Development Partner programme to explore how we as a funder, together with some of our funded partners could work more closely together to make a deeper impact in improving lives for Islington residents.
We wanted to co-develop an approach in which people matter
Anne | Programme Director | Cripplegate Foundation
Development Partner grants were designed to offer successful applicants 5-year core funding plus additional funding to work in partnership, allowing participants security and space to plan and work both individually and collectively.
The programme was set up to have a solid framework of regular engagement and communication but otherwise we left the programme and the issues it would address open to be co-developed once the partnership was formed.
In March 2016 four local organisations joined the programme:
These organisations combine a breadth of expertise from working with parents and families, young people and older people and in neighbourhoods affected by poverty and issues of isolation.
The Development Partners reach residents from across the borough. Collectively, these organisations reach over 3,200 people who would otherwise fall ‘under the radar’ of local support.
The partnership of six (including the Foundation and Islington Council’s Homes and Communities team) spent time getting to know one another and our different areas of work. This was invaluable in building trust and understanding. It also meant we were quickly able to discover a common passion for improving the way people are treated by voluntary and public services so that individuals feel they matter and have a voice in the support they receive and decisions that affect them.
From this we defined a core purpose for the partnership - to explore what a “people matter” approach means in different contexts, how it can be supported and how it can improve people’s lives and experiences.
As we come to the end of the five years of working together, we have put together a website sharing our journey and learning as a free resource for anyone who believes it’s time to put quality relationships at the heart of our services.
If you would like to have a conversation about this work please get in touch