Paul Hamlyn Foundation backs CFG with new grant

Paul Hamlyn Foundation grants Charity Finance Group £70,000 over two years as part of its core funding to infrastructure groups.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) has made lasting commitments of up to five years to ten organisations through the Backbone Fund. The Fund provides core funding to key infrastructure organisations, including CFG, to help to build resilience in the sectors PHF supports.

Commenting on the grant, Caron Bradshaw OBE, CEO, CFG, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this grant through Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Backbone Fund. Our charity’s vision to inspire a financially confident, dynamic and trustworthy sector is as important today as it was when were founded 35 years ago.

"This unrestricted funding will enable us to continue supporting thousands of charity professionals, and be a strong, impactful voice for and within the sector.

"As an infrastructure organisation and relatively small charity, we understand the enormous challenges that civil society now faces. The sector is doing all it can to remain financially sustainable and the support that charities receive from CFG and others is never more needed.

"Forward-thinking funders like Paul Hamlyn Foundation play a crucial role in helping us to deliver positive impact for the charity sector. We thank them for recognising this and for providing much-needed support during these uncertain times.”

As vital advocates, connectors and collaborators that strengthen civil society through their efforts, the following ten organisations have received backbone funding:


About the Backbone Fund

The Backbone Fund is now in its sixth year and is part of PHF's commitment to civil society and its leaders. The fund enables vital organisations to plan strategically for the long term.

Moira Sinclair, CEO, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, commented: “The challenges created by the pandemic and more recently by the cost-of-living crisis have underlined the need for good, resourced infrastructure support.

"We see these organisations as crucial in building a healthy, thriving eco-system – they provide training, speak up for the sectors they support, capture data and act as a vital connector for ideas and leaders.

"We hope more funders will resource this work and consider long-term, core funding too, giving organisations the head space they need to plan strategically and to respond in dynamic and uncertain times.”

To understand the impact of the Backbone Fund, PHF commissioned an independent evaluation and has published a summary of the key findings. The evaluation found that the Backbone Fund provided organisations with:

  • A sense of credibility and organisational confidence
  • An ability to balance strategic and operational needs
  • A sense of security and stability
  • The ability to be responsive to a fast-changing context
  • Influencing the wider sector and key decision-makers
  • Growth: a catalyst for engaging with other funders
  • Widened reach, engagement and participation

The report also makes a clear case for more funders to invest in infrastructure organisations, encouraging them to:

  • Provide long term unrestricted funding to infrastructure organisations to support the health of the third sector as a whole
  • Support and empower a culture of learning to help build the value case for infrastructure organisations
  • Create a more consistent and collaborative approach across funders and organisations to strengthen voluntary sector infrastructure and support long term resilience
  • Drive diversity, equity and inclusion in the voluntary sector by building a wider ecology of infrastructure organisations

The evaluation demonstrates the value of long term core support for infrastructure organisations – as a result the Foundation has reaffirmed our commitment to the Backbone Fund. Holly Donagh, Director of Strategic Learning, Insight and Influence, reflects on how the evaluation findings will shape the way we make grants through the Fund going forward in this blog.

Find out more about Charity Finance Group's funders.


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