BAME-focused Phoenix Fund opens for applications

Melanie May | 12 August 2020 | News

The National Lottery Community Fund and Global Fund for Children have opened the Phoenix Fund for applications.
This new initiative will provide £1 million in emergency grants to BAME community groups and will support BAME leadership across England.
The Phoenix Fund is accepting grant applications from micro and small BAME-led organisations in England, with a turnover up to £100,000, that are working with people of any age and providing essential and emergency services, support, and education tailored to the BAME community.
Successful grant holders will receive core funding to meet critical needs and continue their organisations’ missions, with the flexibility to make their own decisions about what is most important for their operations and programmes.
A collaborative panel of individuals who have understanding and lived experience working with Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities will drive the fund’s grantmaking decisions, awarding grants to BAME-centred and -led community organisations. Young people from Global Fund for Children’s Youth Leadership Council and The National Lottery Community Fund’s advisory group will also be involved to help lay strong foundations for future BAME leadership in the sector.
The £1.4 million commitment from The National Lottery Community Fund will see £1 million in grants go to BAME communities across England and £400,000 to support further development of the fund. This funding is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s wider Covid-19 emergency response for communities.
Shane Ryan, Deputy Director, England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“We’re proud that, thanks to National Lottery players, the Phoenix Fund has been co-created with a range of community organisations across the country and is committed to a more equitable future. Not only will it provide vital emergency funding to develop infrastructure and leadership, but will have, at its heart, the communities that continue to experience inequalities which have been heightened during Covid-19.”
“This is just the beginning and we will use learnings from this and invite others to join us, as we help ensure that the voices and expertise of BAME-led organisations are central in how we imagine a more inclusive civil society.”

Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO at the Ubele Initiative added:


“The Phoenix Fund has the potential to disrupt some of the prevailing ways in which grants are made in the UK. Not only does it promote participatory approaches, which cut through power dynamics inherent in grantmaking, but it also facilitates collaboration among an intergenerational group of skilled and experienced BAME leaders who hold deep knowledge of community needs at this challenging time.”
“The fund demonstrates that grantmaking can be empowering if controlled by BAME grantmakers who will support BAME communities’ access to funding. It offers a unique, system-wide learning opportunity, if lessons learned are listened to and adopted by the wider grantmaking system.”

The Phoenix Fund partnership is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s wider commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and is expected to inform The National Lottery Community Fund in developing its approach to equity and inclusion and to funding diverse groups.