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Digital Fund Weeknotes 21(8th-12th April)

A very short one this week as it’s been a full on delivery week and I’m too tired to do much reflection this evening. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend Rohan and celebrating his new job instead!

But do remember to fill in this survey if you applied to the Digital Fund.

What we are doing

This week has been one long learning event! London on Monday, Newcastle on Tuesday, Belfast on Wednesday and Glasgow today (Friday). That is all I have been doing all week, and when I’ve not been running the sessions I’ve been travelling to and from places.

After the learning event this morning, with colleagues here, I ran a session this afternoon with a few other funders in Scotland about digital, the social sector, and generally how the sector becomes fit for the future. The new Head of Nesta in Scotland, Adam joined us, with Gordon from the Corra Foundation. It was really interesting and useful to share our strategic plans and to think through some of the questions we are all asking and how we can work as more of an ecosystem. I will come up to Scotland again in May to run a bigger session with my colleagues here and a larger group of funders, in the hope of sparking a monthly informal gathering for funders — something that everyone in the session today said would be useful. If you are a funder based in Scotland or know one, please do get in touch so that we (Alastair, Evelyn and I) can include you in the May gathering.

What we are learning

I’ve so much to write up about what we’ve learnt from doing these events — and this is where I am going to have to cop out today as I’m exhausted! Next weeks post will be long, and will include insights from the 6 events we’ve done so far, and links to the slides we’ve been using in the sessions, as well as to a Slack group we’ve set up because of the interest from participants to stay in touch and connected as a learning group.

Alongside people finding the content useful, most of all this has felt like a listening exercise, as one Welsh participant summarised —

“After attending the talk in Cardiff I feel a lot happier. I had an opportunity to question and to hear a funder admit to issues with a fund. I’ve never seen a UK fund manager visit Wales to talk to unsuccessful applicants which is a definite plus for me.”

So much more to share….next week!

What we’re celebrating

I’ve loved meeting my colleagues in different places and want to give a shout out and thank you to Robbie, Amanda and Yvonne in Belfast, and Evelyn and Alastair in Glasgow. Also a big thank you to the Digital Fund team who have helped deliver the events this week — Cath, Joel and Amy. And to Janet at Reach Volunteering, Dan and Ellie at CAST, Sally and David at SCVO and Ross at Third Sector Lab for making the time to come and deliver different sessions during the events.

I’m now off to enjoy this glorious weather and view in Scotland for the weekend. ❤️

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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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