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26 November 2014 – minutes

Influencing Funders Group meeting
Present: Susan, Ian and Rose
1. The Funding Network

Susan has put together a great briefing not to use as a discussion starter at the TFN meeting on 4 December. Patrick will attend also.

The intention is to sound out the group for potential overlap, using the questions in Susan’s document to see what’s possible.

We had a good discussion about their approach and thought that perhaps one possibility would be for them to host a ‘grassroots’ themed meeting.

The meeting on the 4th December will sound them out/ see if there’s potential for future meetings, and at this point we can hone our ‘ask’.
Action: Susan and Patrick to feedback at the next meeting.

2. Lankelly Chase
Although we were successful in being invited to interview, we didn’t win this tender.
However the fact we got as far as interview is testament to our approach, especially considering the short turnaround.
There are three main takeaways from this:
A. Will the winner of the tender be consulting with our members / working with us?
B. Will LankellyChase be willing to share the outcome of this project to inform our work?
C. Can we use the tender document as a ‘proposal’ to give other donors, ‘this is the type of thing we can offer you‘?
It’s hard to answer these questions without speaking with those who were involved, but it seems like there’s a lot of potential here.
Action: Rose to speak to Sophie when she is back from holiday, to update the rest of the group.

3. Forward Foundation
Rose and Isis met with the Forward Foundation’s Michael and Suraj on the 29 Oct. There was a lot of interesting conversations generated, but there were three main points:
A. They focus on technology and data, and offered to help us with our tech/ data analysis.
B. They asked whether we may refer applicants that may be of interest to them.
C. They asked for a ‘critique’ of their model – are they as open, accessible, transparent etc. as they want to be?
I suggested that forging a relationship with them could be helpful, because they could A. help us with mapping / knowing our applicants (so we can see the gaps etc.) B. If we can get that right, then we may be able to filter orgs that could be of interest to them and other donors; and C. Perhaps we could try out our LankellyChase proposal approach on them (depending on what was in the LankellyChase proposal.)
Action: Rose to keep in touch with them to see how we can help each other (see below.)

4. Referring groups to other donors
Rose has been in touch with a Manchester- based organisation that may be interested in some of our applicants; TFN may be interested in some of the proposals that we get that may be too ‘charitable’; and Forward are interested in supporting new, unfunded initiatives to support young people.
However we currently don’t have a system by which we can search / refer organisations. We talked about two things:
A. Confidentiality: many groups won’t want their proposals passed on.
Action: Ask groups whether they’re ok with us sharing top level info: Name, location, what the group is, what they do, whether they have charitable or service delivery elements (for example). Perhaps the Comms group can get in touch with them, and ask them to ‘opt out’ if they don’t want us passing on this top-level stuff to interested donors? Is this a bad idea?
B: Data: We need to work with our spreadsheets to see what’s possible to capture / filter / search etc.
Action: Rose to speak to Sophie about what we currently have, and see whether this is something Forward may be able to help with.

6. Resources for the Influencing Funders Group
We had a quick chat about how the groups are supposed to support Sophie, but we’re worried that we rely on her a bit too much.
Therefore we’re hoping that when we’ve got a few of these systems in place, things should be able to run themselves a bit better:
A. Proposal that we can offer donors, similar to a reduced version of the LankellyChase tender
B. Process for referring applicants.
C. The list of questions for TFN that Susan drew up is a really nice starting point for conversations with donors. We thought we could hone this a bit after the TFN meeting.

7. Dates and times of next meetings
We haven’t set any more dates and times for next meetings, so I will do that for January, February and March.
Ian and Susan can be relatively flexible in terms of dates and times. It seems to me that we had the most people at the October meeting (6pm on a Sunday), so perhaps we can use that as a guide, but perhaps have one meeting during the week for those who can’t do Sundays.
Action: Let Rose know if you have a day / time preference for meetings.
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