GM Funders Forum Open Event – March 2021

On Tuesday 9th March 2021, we hosted the second online GM Funders Forum open event to members local and national, including independent grant makers, social investors and public sector funders.

It was great to hear from Graham Whitham, the CEO of GM Poverty Action, who spoke about how funders can help address the underlying causes of food insecurity and poverty.

Following Graham’s presentation, attendees were asked to share what they were already funding that is aimed at reducing poverty, and what they could do differently or more of to reduce and prevent poverty. Attendees expressed concern about funding recipients after the withdrawal of a ‘crisis funding model’ as Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease. They also considered how we can continue to support those living in poverty.

Attendees expressed the need to tackle the underlying causes for digital exclusion, the importance of focusing on equality and diversity, and the ability to offer unrestricted grants to cover the core costs as important changes to take forward in funders’ work.

We also heard from Dr Virginia Tandy who is Director of CADA: the Creative Ageing Development Agency, hosted by Manchester Museum. Virginia spoke about the value of arts and heritage in building confidence and community.

Attendees were asked to consider what changes have been made to the way funders work in response to Covid-19, and how funders can use their connections to add value to their grants and encourage new networks and build collaboration.

Notably, the pandemic has meant that funders have had to be more flexible with greater levels of trust than previous and attendees reflected that they would like this to continue, noting that flexibility is very important.

In terms of funders using their connections to add value to their grants, attendees noted that it would be useful to explore resources and set up peer research networks. It is also important to use community knowledge to link up groups working on similar things.


The two presentations can be downloaded below.

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