In this blog, our Head of Grants Lisa Raftery outlines the third Phase of the Reach Fund and how the fund has helped organisations so far.
27 January 2022
The Reach Fund Phase 3 – Supporting Charities and Social Enterprises to access social investment
Head of Grants
Launching The Reach Fund Phase 3 – Supporting Charities and Social Enterprises to access social investment
We are excited to announce that Access The Foundation for Social Investment has committed an additional £10 million in funding, to continue the pioneering support provided through The Reach Fund.
Since 2016 Reach has given over £9.8 million in grants to over 800 charities and social enterprises. Between 2016 and 2018 Reach Fund support led to organisations raising over £17 million in social investment. This investment has supported charities and social enterprises to achieve their ambitions, to develop stronger more sustainable organisations delivering social impact.
There are countless examples of Reach funded organisations across the country who have benefited from the fund – from a community bike facility in Yorkshire to a charity supporting people experiencing homelessness in Oxfordshire. For a closer look at the geographical spread of Reach Fund grantees take a look at this interactive map here on The Access Foundation website.
Case Study – Boxing Futures
One example is that of Boxing Futures, an independent charity established 6 years ago in Peterborough, and since expanded to multiple locations such as Cambridge and London. The charity works to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of disadvantaged young people. Boxing Futures youth provision is based around the Boxercise Award Scheme model of ‘non-contact boxing’, and delivered to young people generally aged between 10 and 25.
The CEO of Boxing Futures first heard about The Reach Fund when attending a local business course in Peterborough, and met one of The Reach Fund’s Access Points Sporting Capital. The CEO had the vision of expanding into alternative education provision (AP) to enable them to deliver a range of programmes to develop soft skills, build resilience and tackle loneliness and isolation amongst disadvantaged young people.
They were awarded a Reach Grant of £8,989 following referral from their Access Point, which was used to work with external consultants on what this vision might mean for the organisation and its purpose. The work specifically looked at the business plan, how the AP model would work alongside Boxing Futures current activities and how they could ensure the good elements of the current model were incorporated into the new model.
Undertaking this work led to being in a stronger position to access £70,000 (including £20,000 grant) in blended finance from Sporting Capital, and work has now begun on realising their vision to expand into alternative education provision and support more vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.
How does Reach work?
Managed by Social Investment Business and funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, the programme works in partnership with 18 social investment providers, known as Access Points. These Access Points refer charities and social enterprises into the Reach Fund, who have a promising investment proposal, but which needs further support or development before an investment can be made. The full list of current Access Points can be found here.
What support is available?
Grants are available to support organisations to undertake work required by the Access Point to raise social investment. This can include:
- Support with updating business plans
- Support with producing financial forecasts
- Support with producing specific marketing plans
- Supporting with reviewing staff and governance skills
- Additional staff time for part time staff to work increased hours in order to work on the project.
- Costs for additional staff to backfill full time staff so as to provide them with time to complete the project.
New Reach Fund Priorities
The fund particularly welcomes applications from charities and social enterprises from:
- Black and Minority Ethnic communities
- Rural areas
- Areas of high deprivation (IMD 1-3)
How to apply?
Following a referral to the Reach Fund from an Access Point you can begin your application following the process outlined below: