Those of you with an eye on the charity sector will have noticed a strong recent trend towards measurement: measurement of impact, of outcomes, of value. In fact, this trend towards the measurable has swept across many spheres of life. Although it is an important part of evidencing the value of an organisation’s work, an over-focus on statistics and data can lead us to neglect the things that are not so easily measured.
Of all of our Vital Signs themes, ‘Strong Communities’ is probably the hardest to pin down to measurable, concrete outcomes. Yet the elements that make up a strong community are of crucial importance to improving societies: cohesion, belonging, awareness, participation.
It is often said that grant making is more of an art than a science – at least, we say it often. Never is this truer than when looking at strengthening communities. Here at Quartet, we try to look beyond the objectively measurable to get a sense of the right timing, the right place, and then how the work of small, local groups will contribute towards these very big, intangible themes – to strengthening our communities.
The foundation of a strong community is participation, so we encourage you to join in.
If you represent a business, you may want to consider choosing ‘strong communities’ as your ‘cause of the year’ rather than a better-known, bigger charity brand. Or you might want to choose from one of our other causes. Our Choices Toolkit should help with your decision making.
A critical way to help is by fundraising – although volunteering with time and talent is also much needed. Our small and local charities who are working within our communities need money to meet local needs. Large donations would obviously be welcome, but most of our regional charities are tiny and even a few hundred pounds will make a world of difference.
If you don’t know how to find these thousands (in our region c3,500) of local good causes that need your support, you can deliver your fundraising to them through Quartet’s collective giving programme. We deliver grants to them every day because of the support of people like you.
Quartet Community Foundation give nearly 1,000 grants amounting to almost £3m to local charities and voluntary organisations each year. Strong Communities is one of the themes under which we distribute grants.
In 2016/17, 112 applicants under the strong community theme received £329,386.51
The smallest grant was for £75.