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COMIC RELIEF

CORE STRENGTH
FUNDING – ANALYSIS
Sarah Menzies
David Kane
Marc Lawson
Faruk Barabhuiya

March 2017
Comic Relief
Core Strength Funding – Analysis

FOREWORD FROM COMIC RELIEF
This publication from NCVO Charities Evaluation Services gives a welcome analysis of the applications to
Comic Relief’s first Core Strength funding programme in 2016. Unsurprisingly we had a big response, with
1542 applications, and we were overwhelmed by the wealth of information they gave us. NCVO’s analysis
has helped to draw out the unique and compelling insight these applications provide into the current state of
the UK voluntary sector.
We already know that core funding is critical for organisational stability, provides a buffer against unexpected
hardship, strengthens independence and provides help with running costs. The current context of
increased demand on services alongside reduced resources is well documented, and following the launch
of our new grants strategy in 2016, we decided to test how core funding could help organisations address
these challenges. The ethos behind this fund was to let organisations decide what they needed funding
for and to tell us why they needed it. To this end, a key question on the application form essentially asked
what keeps you awake and night and how can this funding help you sleep better? Answers ranged from
paying the rent, heating and lighting bills to developing a strategic plan and diversifying income. Most
applications included both.
As this very useful analysis from NCVO shows, a staggering 95% of applicants had never applied to us
before. We were very pleased to reach beyond our usual cohort of agencies. Also, despite our assumptions
to the contrary, over 50% of applicants had actually grown in size over the last two years. Without further
analysis, the significance of this may not be fully understood, but it could suggest while the funding
context remains deeply challenging, the ability and desire to diversify, innovate and seek out new funding
remains alive and kicking.
Alongside the funding, we are offering additional support – designed on what agencies say they need.
We plan to share expertise around the things we’re good at as an organisation – digital storytelling,
communications, social media and technology – and will help funded organisations share their skills with each
other. Going forward we’ll want to understand what changes have resulted from this funding and support.
We plan to learn through recorded conversations with funded groups, alongside an external evaluation. It
is this learning that will help us shape future strategies. And as we go, we will share the journey with the
broader sector. This analysis has clearly reconfirmed our understanding that when organisations are offered
core funding, they will often choose to use that funding to improve their sustainability – and to buy time and
space for thinking and planning. This reflects a sector that’s up for thinking differently.
We are extremely grateful to Sarah Menzies, David Kane, Faruk Barabhuiya and Mark Lawson at NCVO for
undertaking the analysis to such a high standard and to ensure a timely release. We hope that sharing this
snapshot view of over 1500 organisations, and critically the analysis of what organisations identify they need
to strengthen and grow their organisations, will be of use to the sector and other funders.

Gilly Green, Comic Relief
Comic Relief
Core Strength Funding – Analysis

FOREWORD FROM NCVO
NCVO encourages and promotes the sharing of information between funders and across voluntary
sector organisations about issues facing the sector and lessons learnt from funding programmes. We have
particularly welcomed the opportunity to carry out this analysis for Comic Relief as part of a new and growing
culture of data sharing and also to shed light on the perceived need for core funding in the current policy
and funding climate. Our analysis of applications to Comic Relief’s Core Strength programme highlights
challenges faced by a sample of 1536 organisations across the UK. Funding changes are adversely impacting
on the sector’s ability to respond to new demands, often thrown up by the funding constraints and pressure
on services. Our study highlights the self-analysis by organisations of their current weaknesses; it also
illustrates ways that organisations aim to overcome them through core funding, often through innovative
developments, in order to provide more effective services.
Comic Relief
Core Strength Funding – Analysis

CONTENTS
1. Introduction............................................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 About this report and methodology........................................................................................................ 1
2. Key findings and considerations............................................................................................................. 2
2.1 Key characteristics.................................................................................................................................... 2
2.2 Challenges for the applicants.................................................................................................................. 2
2.3 Anticipated benefits from funding.......................................................................................................... 2
3. Applicant profiles, distributions and incomes...................................................................................... 3
3.1 Application overview................................................................................................................................. 3
3.2 Those in receipt of previous Comic Relief funding............................................................................... 3
3.3 Applications by region.............................................................................................................................. 3
3.4 Shortlisted applications by region........................................................................................................... 8
3.5 Organisation income................................................................................................................................ 9
3.6 Income growth patterns........................................................................................................................... 9
4. Challenges, capacity and development............................................................................................... 10
4.1 Challenges facing the applicants........................................................................................................... 10
4.2 Anticipated changes from funding........................................................................................................12
5. Reflections................................................................................................................................................15
6. Recommendations..................................................................................................................................16
Appendix.................................................................................................................................................. 17
Comic Relief
Core Strength Funding – Analysis

1. INTRODUCTION
Comic Relief launched the Core Strength funding initiative for applications on 16 June 2016, providing
grants of up to £20,000 a year for two years (maximum grant of £40,000) for core costs to
strengthen their organisation.
This specifically targeted organisations playing a vital role in their locality, with an income of between
£100,000–£500,000, working across any of Comic Relief’s grant-making themes (see www.comicrelief.
com/grants) of Empowering Women and Girls, Building Stronger Communities, Improving Health and
Wellbeing or Investing in Children and Young People.
Comic Relief received 1536 applications, of which 150 were shortlisted. In total 105 grants to a value
of almost £4 million (£3,993,838) were awarded. This was partly funded by HM Treasury’s ‘Tampon
Tax’ to support women’s and girls’ issues and to this end, grants to a value of £709,955 were awarded to
organisations working primarily with women and girls.

1.1 About this report and methodology
Between October and November 2016, NCVO Charities Evaluation Services and NCVO’s Research Team
were commissioned by Comic Relief to carry out an in-depth analysis of the applications made to Comic
Relief’s Core Strength funding initiative. The research explores application characteristics, geographical
distribution as well as the key challenges and support needs identified by applicants.
All the research, analysis and recommendations are the work of NCVO unless mentioned otherwise.
Key characteristics of all the applicants and the shortlisted group were analysed with Excel. QGIS, an open-
source geographic information system, was used for designing the maps. Using coding software (MAXQDA),
a qualitative analysis was undertaken of submitted applications to explore the key challenges faced by
applying organisations, and how they anticipated core funding would help their development.
A stratified random sample, including a mix of unsuccessful and shortlisted applications, was developed to
analyse challenges (85 applications) and how they anticipated funding would support their organisation
(90 applications). The numbers for these analyses differed to ensure equal representation across all
regions and nations of the UK. While this analysis of open-ended responses was challenging, a number of
common themes emerged.

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Core Strength Funding – Analysis

2. KEY FINDINGS AND CONSIDERATIONS

2.1 Key characteristics
Applications had a number of key characteristics:
•• They were spread across the country, with most coming from urban centres.
•• They tended to be from lower-income local authority areas. A third of applications in England were
from the 10% most deprived local authorities.
•• Only 5% of all applications and 4% of those shortlisted had been previously funded by Comic Relief.
•• The organisations had a median income of £211,106 (the entire group). For those shortlisted, their
median income was £230,127.
•• More applicants had increased their income over the previous two years than had seen their income
shrink or stay the same.
•• Those previously funded by Comic Relief were more likely to show growth than those who had not
received previous funding.

2.2 Challenges for the applicants
Inadequate funding, the adverse effects of recent political and welfare reforms, and capacity issues emerged
as the top three broad areas of concern for the applicant group. These issues are inter-related and have
hindered the ability of organisations to grow and innovate.
With core funding largely unobtainable for this group of charitable organisations, our analysis shows that
many struggle to maintain quality services, develop, and respond to current and emerging issues. Applicants
emphasised that they were unable to meet the increased demand for services – especially from those with
more complex cases – due to recent welfare and political reforms.
The inability to build up sustainable funding sources was a frequent challenge noted by applicants, leaving
them feeling financially vulnerable. This was compounded by less funding now available from local authorities.
Applicants listed many ideas for broadening their funding base, but the lack of core funds hindered this.
While organisations were attempting to diversify funding streams, many were struggling to achieve their
income goals due to the squeeze on resources across the sector. For many, it seemed impossible to
secure stable funding.

2.3 Anticipated benefits from funding
On the whole, applicants were able to articulate where they most needed to develop, beyond the need for
funding. This included improved marketing, brand development, diversifying their audience, and establishing
links with potential funders. Monitoring and evaluation skills, as well as resources, were required to meet the
complex reporting required of them.
Applicants frequently mentioned concern that they were unable to invest sufficiently in volunteer
development, which was fundamental to service delivery.

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Core Strength Funding – Analysis

3. APPLICANT PROFILES, DISTRIBUTIONS
AND INCOMES

3.1 Application overview
In total, there were 1,536 applications, with 150 shortlisted.

3.2 Those in receipt of previous Comic Relief funding

All applicants Shortlisted applicants

Figure 1: Proportion of applicants and those shortlisted that were in receipt of previous Comic Relief funding.

Of the entire data set, 5% (82) out of a possible 1,536 applicants had received previous funding from Comic
Relief. This was a similar proportion to those shortlisted, with 4% (6/150) having been in receipt of Comic
Relief funding previously.

3.3 Applications by region
Figures 2 and 3 below show the distribution of all applications, firstly according to nation and English region,
and then by local authority. Figure 4 shows the distribution of those shortlisted. This analysis highlights the
demand for Comic Relief funding across the UK regions, with each nation and region well represented.

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Core Strength Funding – Analysis

Figure 2: Applications received by nation and English region

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Core Strength Funding – Analysis

Table 1: Distribution of applications by English region and nation

Region name Applications % of total applications
London 266 22%
North-west 166 14%
South-east 144 12%
South-west 141 12%
Yorkshire and the Humber 132 11%
North-east 98 8%
East Midlands 89 7%
East of England 84 7%
West Midlands 84 7%

Nation Applications % of total % of total population
England 1,204 78% 84%
Scotland 165 11% 8%
Wales 89 6% 5%
Northern Ireland 78 5% 3%

Figure 3 and table 1 illustrate the spread of applications across the UK. In comparison to the population
in each of the nations, England is slightly under-represented while there is a slight over-representation
in relation to the populations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The population across the UK is:
England, 84%; Scotland, 8%; Wales, 5%; and Northern Ireland, 3%.1

1
Office of National Statistics.(2016) Population of the United Kingdom by Country of Birth and Nationality [Online]. Available at:
www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/datasets/
populationoftheunitedkingdombycountryofbirthandnationality [Accessed 12 February 2017]

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Figure 3 shows the local authority regions with the highest number of applicants. Applications from London
are shown by borough.
Of the total applications, 83% came from outside London, although there were more applications from
London than from any other English region. Applications tended to be from lower-income local authority
areas; a third of applications in England were from the 10% most deprived local authorities.

Figure 3: Distribution of applications by local authority region

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Core Strength Funding – Analysis

The largest number of applications came from Edinburgh, Bradford, Greater Glasgow, Birmingham and
Bristol. Hackney and Lambeth were the two London boroughs with the highest number of applications. There
were 67 local authority areas from which there were no applications. This reflects the distribution of charities
across the UK and is therefore a good spread.
Local authorities with no applications were frequently from higher socio-economic areas of the UK.
This reflects the fund criteria, which stipulates that applicants must be working in areas facing significant
disadvantage or deprivation.

Table 2: Local authorities with 20+ applications

Local authority area No. of applications
Edinburgh 36
Bradford 32
Greater Glasgow 32
Birmingham 30
Bristol 26
Newcastle upon Tyne 25
Liverpool 24
Manchester 23
Sheffield 23
Hackney 22
Lambeth 22
Leeds 21
Belfast 21
Islington 20

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3.4 Shortlisted applications by region
The following map shows the location and spread of shortlisted applications across the UK. The map indicates
good regional spread, but with most shortlisted applications coming from urban local authorities.

Figure 4: Spread of shortlisted applications across the UK

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Core Strength Funding – Analysis

3.5 Organisation income
Based on the applicants’ previous year’s income, we calculated the median income for all of the applicants;
this was £211,106. For those shortlisted, the median was £230,127 (higher by £19,021). Among the entire
group, there were significant variations in funding: some organisations had no funding, while one applicant
had an income of over £18 million, rendering it ineligible. Overall, 9% (142) of applications were ineligible due
to exceeding the maximum organisational income of £500,000, as outlined in the fund criteria.

3.6 Income growth patterns
We analysed the patterns of income growth in both the entire applicant group and the shortlisted group over
the last two years. NCVO’s Almanac2 shows that charities within the eligible income bracket (an income of
more than £100,000 and less than £500,000) are shrinking in size, whereas larger charities are showing
signs of financial growth.

Grew by over 20% Grew by 1%–20% Stayed the same
Shrank by 1%–20% Shrank by over 20%

Figure 5: Income growth in the total applicant group over the last two years

Contrary to expectations applicants were more likely to have increased than reduced their income prior to
application. Just over half (55%) of applicants grew in income by more than 1% between the two years, while
two-fifths of applicants (41%) shrank by at least 1% over the same period. For 16% of applicants, their income
decreased by over 20%. This is explored in more detail in subsequent sections.
There was no difference in overall growth rates between shortlisted and unsuccessful applicants. However,
shortlisted applicants were less likely to have experienced either large growth or shrinkage over that time.
Other notable characteristics relating to income growth over the two-year period were:
•• Applicants previously funded by Comic Relief were more likely to show growth (67%) than those who
had not received previous funding (54%).
•• Applicants from urban areas were more likely to have grown (56%) than those from rural ones (47%).
•• Organisations in Northern Ireland and Wales were more likely to have reduced rather than
increased their income.

2
NCVO. (2016). UK Civil Society Almanac. [Online] Available at: https://data.ncvo.org.uk/a/almanac16/methodology-5/#Income_Bands
[Accessed 16 February 2017]. NB: This version of the Almanac is based on data from 2013–14.

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4. CHALLENGES, CAPACITY AND DEVELOPMENT

4.1 Challenges facing the applicants
The most significant challenges facing the applicants involved:
•• funding
•• the effects of recent political and welfare reforms
•• capacity.

Funding issues
Core funding
The biggest concern noted by all applicants related to core funding. This related specifically to securing
core funds (eg, essential staff, operations and overheads), with the struggle having a negative impact on
organisational development and future sustainability. One application pointed to the ‘growing imbalance
between funding for direct delivery and core services in the current austerity climate,’ explaining:

Funding for direct delivery to residents has held up relatively well but funding for core services such as
staff oversight and supervision, training and development, strategic planning, legal compliance, and
quality assurance, and for other core costs such as office running costs and overheads, has not kept
pace. It is difficult for managers to supervise and future-proof our services.
BME organisation in Yorkshire and the Humber

Sustainable funding/diversifying funding
Many applications recognised the need to be innovative in the pursuit of secure funding, more diverse
funding sources, and sustainable funding models. Two applicants noted:

[Our project] is currently reliant on grant funding to run all areas of the organisation. As we look to
continue to develop and become more sustainable we are keen to explore alternative methods of income
that will support this growth.
Youth project, south England
We have managed to survive for nearly four decades through sheer hard work and staying power but we
need to be more focused and creative to ensure that our legacy continues over the next decade.
BME organisation, London

Loss of statutory funding
Loss of statutory funding was a pervasive issue. Organisations that had been reliant on such funding to
deliver their services were now having to broaden their income base to survive. For the applicants, this had
posed threats to service provision and resulted in difficulty for organisations to meet the needs of their users.

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Core Strength Funding – Analysis

Specific sectors, such as those delivering youth work, had been significantly affected by the loss of local
authority funds. These points were illustrated by applicants in their responses:

This shift has coincided with another significant impact of public spending cuts – the loss of grant
funding support from the local authority, a gradual tapering over four years to zero.
Community development project, north-east England

In March 2016 [our organisation], for the first time in its 19-year history, lost its entire project funding
due to cuts within public health.
Community development project, East Midlands
The local authority is closing down 18 out of its 24 youth clubs.
Youth group, London

Effects of recent political and welfare reforms
Demand for services
There were many examples of applicant organisations experiencing an increase in demand for services. Users
may now face delays in accessing services, with some organisations ultimately unable to meet the increased
level of demand due to a lack of resources. As one applicant noted:

We now have a waiting list for the first time in the history of the charity of fifty-two women (girls aged
eighteen and under do not sit on the waiting list, they are seen immediately) with the longest waiting
time of nine months.
Rape crisis centre, south-west England

Political and welfare reforms
Political and welfare reforms were seen as responsible, at least in part, for the increased demand in services.
Applicants noted that the reforms had significant impact for their users, especially for vulnerable clients,
which included: benefits sanctions; increased poverty, debt and homelessness; a rise in cases of domestic
violence. Applicants also talked about cuts to services.

Capacity issues
Marketing plan
The need for a marketing plan was listed as a challenge by some applicants. It was widely recognised that
organisations needed to develop their brand, improve their skills in organisational promotion, attract new
clients, and expand their reach. This was particularly important as a strategy for fundraising and seeking
new potential partners.

Monitoring and evaluation
The challenge of monitoring and evaluation was frequently mentioned, particularly in terms of resources,
infrastructure and internal skills. Many applicants noted the necessity to provide complex data as part of

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funding reporting, yet did not have the budget to upscale their evaluation systems. Some reported receiving
consultancy/technical assistance, but continued to experience a lack of relevant internal skills, and the
need to invest in infrastructure. Furthermore, weak monitoring and evaluation skills hindered their ability to
demonstrate the impact of their work – especially to funders.

Governance
Issues related to governance were noted by many of the applicants, including: need for new board members;
trustee training; and wider concerns on the effectiveness of governance arrangements.

Staffing retention and turnover
Several staffing issues were raised by applicants, notably the impact of funding restrictions on the workforce.
Noted challenges included: maintaining a skilled workforce; retention of existing staff during times of
financial uncertainty; negative effect of staff turnover on remaining staff; overall reduction of staff teams.

Volunteer development
Many applicants were concerned that they lacked the resources to maintain and develop existing volunteers,
to attract new volunteers, and to establish volunteering systems. This was considered especially challenging
when funding for paid staff was decreasing.

4.2 Anticipated changes from funding
The most significant changes applicants hoped to achieve through Comic Relief funding related to:
•• staff or volunteer development
•• organisational development
•• service improvements.

Staff/volunteer development
Increased capacity of staff
Increased staff capacity was the most commonly cited way in which a Comic Relief grant would provide
support. This included freeing up staff time to concentrate on organisational development, with fundraising
mentioned frequently. It also included time to reflect and consider the future direction of the organisation.
A significant number mentioned that they would use any funding to train and develop staff. A typical
response was the following:

Securing funding that will contribute to the salaries of the project manager and admin officer will
free up resources to secure the medium to long term stability and sustainability of the organisation.
Youth project, Scotland

Board/senior management development
Many of the applicant organisations wanted to increase the capacity of their senior management team and
board. This involved recruiting new people, improving human resources processes and training.

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Volunteer development
Some of the shortlisted applications emphasised that Comic Relief funding would help them to recruit new
volunteers, improve volunteer systems and carry out volunteer development.

Organisational development
Sustainable income
It was widely noted that Comic Relief funding would allow a more sustainable funding base to be developed,
primarily through enabling staff to explore new funding sources, develop income-generation models and seek
commercial sponsorships. Several applicants sought to transition away from grant or local authority funding.
As one organisation reflected:

In particular, we will expect to see [our organisation] expand its funding base with less reliance on local
authority funding and a greater diversification of funding sources. We will expect [our organisation] to
develop ongoing partnerships with other agencies in order to spread the funding risk. We will expect
[our organisation] to consider and examine more commercial partnerships with social enterprises and
community interest companies.
Carers’ project, north-west Midlands

Networking/better connections
The emergent theme of better connections included ideas around using Comic Relief funding to forge
new relationships with external partners. Applicants explained that funding would enable better support for
clients, organisational development and sharing of best practice. For example:

Through being able to dedicate time to review our services and reinvigorate or develop partnerships
with other agencies, we hope to mitigate or reduce the challenges we face …For example we are keen
to explore how we can work within [our area’s] new multi-agency safeguarding hub and locally-based
referral hubs providing wrap around support to some of the most vulnerable families and maximise
existing resources locally.
Domestic abuse project, south-west England

Monitoring and evaluating
Reflecting the challenge relating to monitoring and evaluation, applicants saw Comic Relief funding as a
means to strengthen their capacity in this area, including developing infrastructure and processes. This would
allow them to be more efficient and effective, plan better for the future, and secure new funds.

Business/strategic planning
Although lack of planning was not in the top ten responses relating to challenges faced by organisations,
business planning was frequently anticipated benefit of Comic Relief funding. For applicants, this
would enable them to set the organisational direction, gain clarity on future aims, and expand/diversify
their income streams.

Marketing/awareness
Applicants felt that funding would allow them to develop stronger marketing plans, which they anticipated
would lead to increased reach to service users, potential partners and funders.

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Service improvements
Development of services
The development of new services, and increasing the access to them, were frequently cited by applicants.
Some suggestions were broad in scope, such as to ‘grow our national footprint’ or to ‘to develop more
exciting, innovative projects.’ Others listed new services that they would like to deliver in response
to changing demands, such as ‘the development of services in specific areas such as BAMER [Black,
Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee], learning difficulties and young people’ (Rape crisis project,
south-west England).

Client engagement
Applicants expressed the desire to improve the engagement of their service users in programme
development and management. It was anticipated that this would lead to improved services, as well as raising
service-user confidence and skills.

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5. REFLECTIONS
This report provides an insight into the experience, challenges and aspirations of this sample of charitable
organisations from across the UK. It particularly explores which aspects are their most important challenges,
as well as their top priorities for change. Applicants clearly articulated existing issues and anticipated
areas of development.
Recent policy changes were considered to have directly contributed to increased demand for services,
increased client vulnerability and the creation of fresh challenges requiring response. Many organisations felt
under pressure, and while they were aware of their weaknesses, they lacked the resources (financial, capacity
and knowledge) to effect change. The funding terrain had seismically changed over the previous few years.
Paradoxically, senior managers needed to secure funding to sustain core staff and operations, at precisely the
time when they were being held back by organisational and service development needs.
Many organisations had interesting ideas on how to diversify income but found it challenging to broaden their
funding base. Some were engaged in social enterprises and adopted income-generation models, but required
support (time, resources, and cash flow) to develop this further.
One anomaly remains: while funding was the clear top concern, more applicants had grown in income size
over the two years prior to application than receded; yet funding was the top concern. This may be due to an
increase in project funds – but not core funds – leading to a lack of overall sustainability. Furthermore, this is
contrary to the findings of NCVO’s Civil Society Almanac: across the UK, small and medium-sized charities
are suffering from decreased income. Further research is required to elaborate on this particular finding.
Applicants stated a clear need for organisational development, particularly to be competitive, to develop
and extend their fundraising capacity, marketing skills and impact measurement. Core funding would ease
a number of these challenges, particularly in allowing dedicated staff time to develop a response to these
emerging, challenging areas.
The capacity-building priorities highlighted by applicants would allow for stronger, more professional
organisations that are resilient in the face of political and welfare reforms, economic realities and sector-
wide changes. But to do this, applicants need the time and resource to build connections, establish new
partnerships, attract new users and secure sustainable sources of funding.

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6. RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on this research, the following recommendations are made by NCVO:
1. Funders should consider the importance of core funding for organisations if they are to maintain and/
or develop services. The current difficulty in securing core funding is hindering the ability of many
organisations to deliver much-needed projects.
2. Funders should consider allowing – and encouraging – budgets for building staff capacity and/or
discrete pieces of work such as developing monitoring and evaluation systems, improving marketing
and strategic planning.
3. When providing core funds, funders should consider the importance of including organisational
development time for senior managers to build organisational sustainability and improve infrastructure
(such as monitoring systems or volunteer management).
4. Other funders should also consider sharing their own learning and analysis of their funding applications
to build cross-sector learning and development. This analysis has provided valuable insights in to the
demand, need and value of core funding, and would be complemented by research completed by other
funders of the voluntary sector.

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APPENDIX

Organisations funded through the Core Strength programme

Organisation name Project title Grant amount
Capacity building grant to strengthen
Crossroads Derbyshire £39,762
domestic abuse charity
JUST Lincolnshire A just and fair Lincolnshire - the journey £39,453
continues
Home-Start Dover District Home-Start Dover District £39,441
The High Street Centre Ltd Rawmarsh at heart £38,302
Sikh Sanjog Sikh Sanjog £40,000
Getaway Girls Getaway Girls Empowering girls and £40,000
young women in Leeds
First Steps Women’s Centre Women Matter £30,000
The Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Sustain Sexual Violence services for £40,000
Centre (Darlington & County Durham) Women and Girl in County Durham
Keighley Healthy Living Network Strengthening Infrastructure and £38,791
Capacity
Colin Community Counselling Women’s Counselling Project £40,000
The Birchall Trust Survivors Support Programme £36,570
Fraserburgh Development Trust Ltd Build Fraserburgh - Fraserburgh £36,400
Development Trust
EVA Women’s Aid Ltd EVA’ Women’s Aid - Core Strength £37,950
Women Acting In Today’s Society (WAITS) WAITS Services £36,000
Arts Factory Ltd Trerhondda the Future £36,942
CASBA Strengthening Foundations / £38,891
Transforming Lives
The Dracaena Centre Skoodhyans £34,164
The Rainbow Centre Improving the Health and Wellbeing of £40,000
our Rural Elderly Community
The Junction The Junction-Nested Provision Model £39,890
Independent Arts Build From Strength £34,966
M3 Project Building Toward the Future £37,319
Carmarthen Youth Project - Dr. M’z Carmarthen Youth Project - Futures £39,884
Support Arts Gardening Education Putting down longterm roots £39,987
Cothrom Ltd Cothrom Ltd - Towards our digital £39,966
Future
Salford Lads Club Brightening Young Lives 2016 £40,000

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Organisation name Project title Grant amount
Wyre Forest Nightstop & Mediation Sustaining Nightstop: Supporting £40,000
Scheme Disadvantaged Young People to move
forward
Bierley Community Association Ltd The Life Centre, Bierley £39,666
New Dawn New Day Ltd Building Resilience £39,873
Refugee and Migrant Centre Refugee and Migrant Centre £40,000
Wolverhampton and the black Country.
Island Community Action Island Community Action: Fighting Fit £39,490
The Proud Trust (Formerly known as LGBT LGBT YOUTH - SAFER, STRONGER £40,000
Youth North West.) AND EMPOWERED
Oasis Cardiff Warm Welsh Welcome £40,000
Trust Links Trust Links core strength and capacity £40,000
building
The Foxton Centre Building a sustainable future £39,195
Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre MFCC Core Costs £39,585
St Martin’s Centre Partnership St Martin’s Centre Core Costs £40,000
4us2 A Stronger Future £39,660
Home-Start Down District Core support to families in Down £40,000
District
Genie in the Gutter Ltd Recovery Rises £39,209
East Durham Trust Core Strength £38,746
Centre for Health and Wellbeing Enabling a sustainable future £40,000
Caxton Youth Organisation Caxton Youth Organisation £37,654
The Green House Bristol Evidencing our impact and securing a £40,000
sustainable future
Newport Credit Union ltd Building Newport Credit Union £37,597
Mayfield Nurseries Helping Mayfield Nurseries to blossom £39,620
Reading Community Learning Centre Survival and building long term £31,000
sustainability
Nottingham Central Women’s Aid Nottingham Central Women’s Aid £31,274
-Stronger Women
New Heights - Warren Farm Community Strengthen New Heights as a £40,000
Project Sustainable Community Resource
Plymouth & Devon Racial Equality Council Strengthening PDREC £40,000
Stepping Stones Luton Core Strength £39,915
Break The Silence Break The Silence - Evolve £40,000
Pilton Community Health Project PCHP Core CR £38,704
Young Asian Voices Creating New Skills and New Futures £39,160
Sparkle Appeal Sparkle: Performance & Quality £40,000
Pennine Lancashire Community Farm Pennine Lancashire Community Farm £36,924

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Comic Relief
Core Strength Funding – Analysis

Organisation name Project title Grant amount
Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services Core Funding Application £39,968
Well Women Centre Tipping Point £35,328
Seaview Supporting Homelessness in Hastings £38,000
and St Leonards on Sea
Greater Shankill Partnership Property Shankill Unlimited £36,558
Development
Reeltime Music Reeltime Music (Core Strength) £39,992
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services Strengthening us for the Future £35,858
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse £39,951
Centre Centre: Income Generation Plan
Hikmat Devon CIC Sustainable Funding Transition Project £39,972
Skipton Extended Learning for All SELFA Core Costs £40,000
Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) Building WEN’s core strength £38,840
It’s Your Choice Funding the Future £39,848
Cambridgeshire Deaf Association Increasing the sustainability of the £39,757
Cambridgeshire Deaf Association
Synergy Theatre Project Synergy Theatre Project £40,000
Women’s Health Information and Support Working for Women’s Health £37,492
Centre
Inclusion Ventures Strengthening Inclusion £36,000
Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre Volunteer Co-ordinator £37,440
Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust £30,406
Hope Community Project Hope4U £39,272
(Wolverhampton)
Bread Youth Project Bread Youth Project - Investing in Youth £40,000
Islington Centre for Refugees and Islington Centre for Refugees and £39,880
Migrants Migrants - strengthening our core
Netherton Park Community Association Engaging change £30,700
Scotswood Natural Community Garden Strengthening Scotswood Natural £33,519
Community Garden
Sandwell African Caribbean Mental Health Nia Development Project £31,274
Foundation
Ebony Horse Club Project 21 £34,580
brap Equality is not a dirty word £39,746
Rosmini Centre Wisbech Communities Together £40,000
Carers Outreach Service Volunteer Co-ordinator £39,690
Community recording studios Mission Studio £37,520
CAN I Can, You Can, WE CAN! £37,705

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Comic Relief
Core Strength Funding – Analysis

Organisation name Project title Grant amount
The Harbour The Harbour & Comic Relief - support £40,000
for vulnerable people facing life-
threatening illness
The Cara Trust The Cara Trust £21,268
Pembrokeshire People First Cynnal £38,704
Derbyshire LGBT+ Derbyshire LGBT+ Invest £40,000
Whiterock children’s centre Whiterock Children’s Centre Strategic £40,000
Development
Imara CIC Early Intervention service for children £39,632
and teenagers after disclosure of child
sexual abuse
Shire Community Services Preparing for the Future £36,048
Women’s Work (Derbyshire) Ltd Core Strength £39,768
Kennington Association Lollard Street Youth and Community £39,809
Hub
SE1 United Ltd Back on Track £40,000
Beyond Skin Youth4Peace £39,500
The GalGael Trust Strategic and Capacity Developments £32,481
Oblong Ltd Invest to Sustain £38,185
North London Cares / South London Cares The Cares Family: shoring up the centre £40,000
Mid Wales Rape Support Centre Support for Victims of Sexual Violence £40,000
in Mid Wales
Community in Partnership Knowle West Your Community Centre in the Heart of £39,123
Your Community 
Home-Start Colchester Home-Start Colchester, Extending £40,000
Opportunties
Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre Moving On: Sustaining & strengthening £40,000
support for women in Cambridgeshire
Edberts House Core salary costs £40,000
Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Empowering Suffolk’s Minority Ethnic £30,000
Equality Communities
Kinship Care NI Kinship Care Support Service £28,074

20
About NCVO Charities Evaluation Services
NCVO Charities Evaluation Services (NCVO CES) is the
leading evaluation consultancy for the voluntary sector. Over the
last 26 years we have worked with tens of thousands of voluntary
organisations, their funders and commissioners, helping them
improve their effectiveness. We do this through:
•• external evaluations
•• building organisational capacity in monitoring and evaluation
•• tailored training
•• developing resources and toolkits designed to meet
organisations’ needs.

ncvo.org.uk/charities-evaluation-services

NCVO
Society Building
8 All Saints Street
London N1 9RL
020 7713 6161
ncvo@ncvo.org.uk
ncvo.org.uk
Registered charity number 225922