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What have I been doing this week?

  • Half of my day every day is doing external calls with grantees, working out how we can best support them or calls with external stakeholders, listening to what they sense is happening.
  • I’m involved in a small leadership team working across England and UK to distribute Government funds. This is time consuming, complex, and important. We are shouldering a lot of responsibility. This means attending England Senior Management meetings twice weekly.
  • A meeting with Jane and Scott in our policy and public affairs team, who have been doing some great thinking about involving the views of the wider sector in how we distribute funds.
  • Working with the RSA to design a 3 part event series we start next week about ‘assembling together and bringing coherence to fragments of the New Normal.’ I’m looking forward to Dawn being in conversation with Matthew Taylor to introduce the series.
  • A call with Michael Jarvis from the Transparency and Accountability Initiative — always enjoy connecting with people new to me in the philanthropy world.
  • Ran a Funders Who Tech session with Tom, with about 18 other funders present from different UK Trusts and Foundations.
  • Attended a session for an update on the work Catalyst is doing.
  • Designed and set up a horizon scanning and sense-making function across the Fund with my colleague Hannah.
  • Alongside all this, I’ve been in various team calls, trying to keep them informed and supported.

What has been important this week?

Getting this statement up on our website has been really important this week — I can’t take any credit, it’s been the work of some colleagues, but I’m fully supportive of it. I’m going to be working with my colleague Shane and some of our staff networks over the next weeks to speak with a group of organisations Dawn pro-actively reached out to who are best placed to address inequalities around ethnicity, disability, age, gender and sexual orientation. This will be part of us making sure we distribute funds through an equity lens.

“More of life than ever is now lived through, monitored and enabled by data and digital technologies. What does this digital shift mean for civil society — and how could civil society be in a digital world?”

There is also a short survey to fill in, asking for civil society organisations to reflect on what they’ve experienced because of any digital shifts.

“This research aims to spot some of the second-order consequences of these changes: what care, support, infrastructure and organisations will be needed as we settle into a more digital future?”

What I’ve learnt this week

In a previous blog I referred to a metaphor I’ve been using to think about the different types of funding that is needed at the moment, and the different kinds of roles Trusts and Foundations need to play.

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  • Show that bold, collective action is the only response that makes sense.
  • Help people see this time as a moment when change is possible, necessary, and desirable.
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Written by

Senior Head, UK Portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund & Co-founder of the Point People. Previously Strategic Design Director at Doteveryone.

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