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Weeknotes 34 (8th-12th July)

I’m on my way to Montenergo for a holiday, and I can’t wait!

It’s been a full-on week.

What we’ve been doing

On Tuesday we had the UK Panel, where we took 19 papers to panel. 13 of which were funded. It always feel stressful because of the level of responsibility you feel about doing justice to those organisations you’ve supported through to panel. 19 papers is also a really large amount to get through — it was a long and intense afternoon!

On Wednesday I did lots of prep to get ready to go on holiday, went through and shortlisted people who’ve applied to join the Digital Fund team, and was really happy with the range of applicants. We’ll be doing interviews when I get back.

I also got to catch up with my colleague Laura Furness, Head of Funding and lead of Fulfilling Lives programme, and hear about her work launching Multiple Disadvantage Day, which had huge levels of engagement last week using the #seethefullpicture tag.

This morning I delayed my holiday to speak at the launch of The Catalyst, a brilliant new initiative being incubated by CAST with a whole range of people and partners. I also wrote the first in a series of blog posts for them about The Catalyst and how it can act as a collective compass for the sectors future. You can read that here.

Kamna and I also finalised the design of, and agenda for the Design Day we are doing with all the hospices that applied to the Digital Fund, in a few weeks time. We’re lucky to have Cat Drew, new Chief Design Officer at the Design Coucil and one of the Snook team joining us, as well as Angela from our internal Service Design team, and several people from our technology team – thank you to my colleague Matthew Green (our Technology Director) who is so helpful and accommodating whenever I approach him.

What we’re learning

For the first time in my 7 months here, this week I had to do two of those really hard phone calls, when you’ve taken a proposal to panel but the answer is a “No.” It’s not always hard to say no to people but it is really hard saying no to people when you believe in what they’re doing and you think it’s something that should be funded. We’ve had to make a lot of hard decisions in this round of the Digutal Fund because going from 1200 applications to about 30 means there’s lots of fundable work we’re turning away.

I had to remember when I picked up the phone to call, that it’s a LOT harder for the organisation hearing they’re not getting funding than it is for me to make that call – certainly in the days and months after.

John Knight’s commented after the UK Panel how he feels the panel members themselves are seeming more confident around digital grant making decisions. This feels like an important landmark and we’re going to interview each panel member over the next month to understand what they feel they’ve learnt 3 panels into the Digital Fund, what helped things click into place, so we can learn from that and share it more widely.

What we’re celebrating

The Digital Fund team has done a brilliant job in the run up to panel, and during panel itself, so I’m definitely cheering and celebrating them. Thank you, Team.

I’m also celebrating the launch of The Catalyst because I truly believe it could really make a difference in strengthening our social sector and civil society. Some people have asked why it’s different… I shared a few thoughts on Twitter below.

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Mostly though, I’m celebrating being here with my friends, on what is my first holiday since I started at The National Lottery Community Fund – and I really need it!

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Who works here? — an introduction each week from inside The National Lottery Community Fund

This week I’m introducing you to Jo, a Facilities Officer in the Facilities team in London. Jo is the person who sorts so much out in the London office, keeping us all on the straight and narrow, and making sure we have everything we need.

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Three things you do in your role

  • Manage hospitality arrangements with caterers for stakeholder, senior management and board meetings
  • Ensuring all Health & Safety, legal compliance and procedures are followed
  • Schedule and coordinate on site work ensuring the RAMS are within the required guidelines of the company’s regulations.

What are you working on that you’re inspired or excited by?

Well-being room and looking at ways of improving it for staff. A year ago this space did not exist but facilities team are working hard to develop this space with the well-being team and staff to make this a warm and inviting space.

What is your burning question at the moment?

Wimbledon — who is going to win the trophy Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.

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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