London giving schemes awarded grant to address discrimination in access to funding

Haringey Giving recently led a successful bid from a collaboration of six local place-based giving schemes and has been awarded a grant from The Cornerstone Fund to help address structural discrimination in accessing funding and support for diverse communities in London. 

As the nation recovers from the pandemic and the uncertainty this continues to bring, the six individual giving schemes, which are local funders in their respective London boroughs, have been motivated by recognition of the plight of marginalised groups experiencing difficulties accessing support. Their collaborative work, under the ‘Givings Together’ name, will use participatory approaches to grant funding and decision making, to enable marginalised groups and communities to build their leadership skills and help overcome barriers to accessing grants and other support. 

With a shared commitment to shift power for communities impacted by structural discrimination, the partnership brings together well-established schemes as well as smaller, emerging place-based giving schemes. Partners include Barking & Dagenham Giving, Camden Giving, Haringey Giving, Harrow Giving, Merton Giving and The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation who will draw upon their unrivalled local knowledge, insight and expertise. 

This is the first stage in a two-stage funding process. Participating schemes will work with people with lived experience and marginalized communities to co-design a 3-year project to create systemic change in the funding world. If successful, the second stage of the project will aim to shift power back to communities in how money is spent and how decisions are made locally. 

The participatory working approaches identified and developed have the potential to be replicable and scalable amongst the wider London place-based giving scheme network; and to other grant makers including statutory partners aiming to devolve more power to communities and achieve full participatory ways of working. 

Colin Bowen, Director of Haringey Giving said: 

Our project has the potential to fundamentally change the way funders and others in positions of power engage with our communities and allocate resources. The appetite for participatory grant giving is growing and has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a shared commitment to further accelerating the use of wider participatory approaches across the place-based giving movement and inspiring action across the wider funding sector, shifting power for marginalized communities.

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