Building A Modern Future For Third Sector

16/03/2009 Return to news archive

A key strand of the Government’s £42.5 million recession package for the third sector will open to applications next month.

Futurebuilders and Capacitybuilders have been tasked with delivering the £16.5 million Modernisation Fund that was outlined last month as part of the “Real Help for Communities” action plan.

From early April, Futurebuilders will invite bids to the first strand of the fund from larger charities, social enterprises and community groups with a turnover of £750,000 or more.

Loans ranging between £30,000 and £500,000 are being made available to primarily support mergers and collaborative activities between organisations that will make them stronger and more resilient to the impact of the recession.

These loans will be interest-free for up to five years, whilst repayment holidays for the first 12 months will also be considered.

Jonathan Lewis, CEO of Futurebuilders, said:

“This is a great opportunity to use Futurebuilders' existing infrastructure to quickly support a major government initiative and to get funds out to the sector to address immediate and pressing issues.”

Later in the summer, Capacitybuilders will launch a second strand of the Modernisation Fund offering smaller grants to help third sector groups get business support so they can investigate collaborations, mergers and organisational restructuring.

These grants will be available to charities, community groups and social enterprises with a turnover of less than £1 million, and will be targeted at organisations working in areas at most risk of being hit by the economic downturn, especially bodies providing debt advice, family support and other forms of counselling.

Capacitybuilders CEO Matt Leach said:

“The third sector will be critical to ensuring the resilience of our communities during the current economic downturn. Capacitybuilders' support will target those organisations who are making that difference and help them plan and prepare for the challenges they will face over the medium term.”

Further information about the Modernisation Fund is expected to be released by the Office of the Third Sector by the end of March.

Source: Futurebuilders, 02/03/2009