Black, Asian, multi-ethnic and refugee-led (BAMER) charities and social enterprises are to receive advice and support in accessing funding for their work following a grant from London’s largest independent funder. The City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust has given £150,000 to Money4You to support its AVOCADO+ Accelerator programme.
Over the last four years AVOCADO+ has provided much-needed support to BAMER-led non-profit organisations, which are under-represented in the sector and often lack experienced, in-house fundraisers.
The programme and Money4You was set up in 2014 by Carol Akiwumi, a former investment banker, who is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. A former Chair of the Black Fundraisers UK she has been a trustee of the Chartered Institute since 2015.
Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said that the funding was given against the background of the coronavirus pandemic. He said of the AVOCADO+ Accelerator programme: “This scheme will help BAMER-led charities, which all too often miss out on potential sources of income due to lack of fund-raising expertise, improve their chances of accessing funding and put themselves on a sound footing for the long-term future.”
Funding over three years
The £150,000 grant covers three years. It will enable the AVOCADO+ scheme to offer “intensive support from dedicated consultants” to 50 non-profit organisations and online support to 200 more.
Organisations taking part receive an initial diagnostic check to see how they can make themselves more attractive to potential funders. They then receive practical support through workshops and one-to-one sessions to help them submit successful funding applications.
Carol Akiwumi, Money4You founder and CEO, said: “This scheme helps BAMER-led charities and social enterprises be much more confident in their ability to raise funds, which gives them a much better chance of surviving in these difficult times – without it, many of them would have to shut their doors. The funding from City Bridge Trust will make a world of difference, enabling us to put down deeper roots, expand the scheme and help even more organisations survive and become sustainable.”
Proud To Be Me
One of the organisations to benefit from the AVOCADO+ pilot was Proud To Be Me, a Peckham-based social enterprise that empowers teenage girls to develop healthy self-esteem, positive mindsets and self-confidence.
Olutoyin Adeyemi, its project co-ordinator said: “Fundraising was not something I had done before, but the AVOCADO+ project gave me the confidence and the capability to be able to write successful funding applications. It was also really informative and the information we acquired is something that will have an impact on our charity – and on young people’s lives – for many, many years to come.”
City Bridge Trust
The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has allocated £11 million to the London Community Response, set up to help charities deal with the impact of coronavirus, and has also given over £1.7 million in one-off grants to 202 organisations it already supports to help them offset lost income resulting from the pandemic.
- BAMER-led organisations invited to pitch for grants at Dragons Den event (28 August 2020)
- Claire Rowney takes over as IoF Chair with Carol Akiwumi appointed Vice Chair (6 July 2020)
- IoF creates panel to advise on making fundraising more diverse and inclusive (5 February 2018)
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