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  • 31 Oct 2018

Backbone Fund awards £1.3m to bolster sector voice

Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) has made grants totalling £1.3m to seven organisations selected in the latest round of the Backbone Fund. The aim of the funding is to champion the vital role that these organisations play in building resilience within the sectors in which we have an interest. The fund is unrestricted and makes a lasting commitment of up to £50,000 annually for up to five years to each organisation.

The following seven organisations are vital connectors, collaborators and advocates that strengthen civil society through their efforts:

Part of a wider response to back civil society and its leaders, the Backbone Fund enables those involved to resource core activities, fund essential posts and to access reliable support for a significant period of time, free from political cycles. This is an approach that the Foundation has seen to be effective across wider funding portfolios.

A recent review of our funding has shown that organisations frequently find it difficult to plan strategically for the long term, as available funding is often short term and project based. Grants through the Backbone Fund are part of our broader commitment to fund in a way that allows organisations to reflect, learn, pursue change and focus on impact ambitions.

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, commented:

“The Backbone Fund responds to the need for long-term and flexible support in the voluntary sector, particularly among industry bodies that are so often hard hit by cuts to statutory funding. This commitment will allow organisations that support the health of the sectors we fund to get on with what they do best: building connections and relationships, future-proofing and speaking out on behalf of the people and organisations they support.”

The funded organisations are well placed to influence change and widen impact in a number of areas that are crucial to a thriving civil society. What connects them all is the value that they provide in finding avenues for voices from the field to influence change in their respective areas of operation.

Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive, Charity Finance Group, commented:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation; not just because we are thrilled with the support they are giving CFG itself but because of the message it sends to the sector. PHF is showing wonderful leadership by realising the importance of not just funding shiny new initiatives but by supporting a charity’s effectiveness with vital core funding.

“So many charities hear that ‘good’ charities push maximum funds to the front line and minimise ‘overheads’ –  however this choice between back office and frontline forces is a false one; too many charities give insufficient importance to their core functions which undermines effectiveness and ultimately is not in the interests of their beneficiaries.”

Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive, One Dance UK commented:

“We are delighted that PHF has agreed to support our work in dance education by awarding One Dance UK backbone funding over the next five years. As the Sector Support Organisation for Dance and the Subject Association for dance in schools we aim to advocate for the value of dance in education across all its settings and provide resources and professional support and development to dance educators. This funding will enable One Dance UK to continue to deliver support to this creative subject in the education environment.”

The fund is by invitation only.