1. A £30m small grant programme for some of the most deprived areas in the country.
2. A national endowment match challenge. The aim of this is to encourage local and national giving to raise money for longer term sustainable funding for communities, which the Government will match with £50m of investment.
Who is running it?
Following a competitive bid process, the Community Development Foundation (CDF) has been chosen by the government to deliver the Community First programme. CDF is a charity and social enterprise with over 43 years' experience of working with communities and has recently delivered the government's £130m Grassroots Grants programme.
"All communities have assets and aspirations, but some need a little more help to realise them. We know from our experience on the ground, that small amounts of money can make a huge difference to communities. Community First is more than just a grant programme, it will mark a step change in how communities work together to make a difference."
Alison Seabrooke, Chief Executive of CDF
How will it be delivered?
The small grants programme will use the £30m fund to encourage people in deprived communities to give their time and expertise to local projects, to raise money and help make their local area a better place to live. The grants will involve match funding for other giving, but this will consist not only of giving money, but also of volunteer time, goods, services and facilities.
The aim of the endowment match challenge will be to encourage both national and local giving to raise £100m to be matched with £50m of government investment. The idea is to create a fund which grows over the life of the programme to provide sustainable funding for neighbourhood projects after the programme ends in 2015.
"Community First has introduced a new approach by providing grants to neighbourhoods on a matched basis, primarily to encourage the giving of time. The programme offers support to communities to enable them to build more self-reliance and capability to make the changes they want to see in their area."
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society
CDF will work with several organisations to deliver the programme including the following:
• Supermarket chain Asda, through its network of 500 stores, will identify local priorities and support local groups through fundraising in stores and online.
• The Community Foundation Network is a network of local community foundations with over 50 in England,. They will encourage philanthropic giving to raise the expected £100m from donors.
• CCLA Investment Management Ltd provides specialist investment management for charities, faith organisations, and local authorities. They will manage the investment strategy now to ensure the maximum possible income is available for communities once the programme ends in March 2015.
• The Social Investment Business is the largest social investor in the UK and its parent charity the Adventure Capital Fund has been providing grants to community enterprises since 2003. They will help develop social investment propositions for the endowment beyond the end of the programme (from April 2015)
• Locality is a national network of community owned and led organisations. They are delivering the Community Organisers programme and will work closely with CDF to ensure both programmes are integrated and complement the different needs of communities.
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