We are here to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action in Middlesbrough

If only I had the money!!

In times of austerity, we all feel the pressure whether this is within our own organisation, the people we serve or personally.  No matter how we feel this pressure, we are all aiming for the same goal – to improve our organisation, the lives of others, our family, friends and ourselves, however challenging this may be.

We know there are major funding issues facing many local authorities across the country which have had serious consequences for the voluntary and community sector, local people and their communities.   

A recent report commissioned by Lloyds Bank Foundation ‘a quiet crisis’ explores the issues affecting local council services and in particular the move away from preventative spending to crisis spending. 

The report also acknowledges that local charities funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation tell them every day of the increasing pressure on their communities and that when council services face rising demand and shrinking resources, it is often local charities, and people themselves, who are left to pick up the pieces.

However, all is not lost. 

I recently attended a North East Funders Network hosted by VONNE and FINE along with a number of other social infrastructure organisations and funders.

VONNE have recently carried out some research into how charitable funders are investing money in the region and were able to identify ‘cold spots’ defined as geographical areas where funders are spending less money than they would expect to.

There were a number of configurations that were looked at in the research but what was clear from the analysis was that less funding was received in the South of the region

The most consistent and severe cold spots were identified as Sunderland, South Tyneside and the Tees Valley.

It was clear from the funders who attended the Network that they are keen to redress this imbalance by investing more in the south of the region.  Although as with local authorities’ funders are trying to do more with less and some are giving smaller grants (but to more organisations) than in previous years.  Funders are also looking for much more collaboration across the voluntary and community sector. Most are not looking for lengthy bidding submissions and are keen to hear about your ideas.

With this in mind, MVDA is hosting a ‘meet the funder’ event on Monday 15 October 2018 where some of the funders who were at the Network event will be attending.  You will have an opportunity to listen to the funders to hear what kind of activity they will fund and then have a one to one discussion with any funder who you think might be able to support your ideas and organisation. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to speak to funders who are looking to invest more in our region and sign up now to attend. You should also check out our Find a Funder for more funding opportunities. 

Happy bidding.




Lesley Spaven


Head of Community and Service Development

Email: lesley.spaven@mvdauk.org.uk