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£6m capacity-building fund launched

£6m capacity-building fund launched
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£6m capacity-building fund launched

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 10 Jul 2012

Support and development organisations will be able to choose what assistance they get, and then rank the quality of that help, in a new capacity-building programme launched today by NCVO and the Big Lottery Fund.

The £6m Assist programme is designed to help local organisations build capacity in local frontline organisations and is being described by BIG as a “radical departure” from previous capacity-building programmes.

In it, organisations are allowed to determine what kind of support they want to receive from Assist, choosing from a menu of support and experts, and then will be encouraged to publicly rate the usefulness of that assistance so as to enable other organisations to choose wisely in future. The organisations will work with the Assist programme first to identify the areas in which they need help to address the changing needs and expectations of their local frontline organisations.

BIG England’s director Dharmendra Kanani (pictured) described the change. “In the past we funded capacity building through intermediary bodies. In the future, we are giving organisations the power to choose support from a range of options and providers best suited to meet their individual needs,” he said.

“The Assist initiative is only the first but crucial step in turning this new approach into action, and a vital investment in creating the conditions for this new approach to thrive."

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said the programme will improve the efficiency and sustainability of the organisations it touches.

“Putting both the money and the choice in the hands of the people who understand how infrastructure works, and how it needs to change, will better equip the sector as a whole to adapt to the current and future operating environment,”  he said. 

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