Kent Community Foundation analyses Kent and Medway’s voluntary sector

A survey commissioned by Kent Community Foundation in December 2023 has revealed the challenges and opportunities facing Kent and Medway’s voluntary sector in 2024.

The survey revealed:

  • Fundraising and financial planning were the biggest anticipated challenges with local government contracts and funding having been or expected to be reduced or cut entirely in 2024
  • Collaboration and partnerships with other charitable groups will create opportunities in 2024
  • Incorporating environmental sustainability and equity, diversity and inclusion are important to forward planning

Natalie Smith, director of grants and impact and deputy chief executive of Kent Community Foundation, said: “We evolve and adapt in line with the needs of the county and the voluntary sector addressing these needs.

“Hearing directly from the organisations we support is instrumental in guiding our strategic direction. Our commitment to the simplification of processes and more funding signifies our continued efforts to supporting those who create meaningful change in our local communities.”

In response to the survey, Kent Community Foundation has pledged to:

  • Review the funding application processes
  • Maintain momentum to encourage the delivery of critical infrastructure support for small organisations
  • Become a more inclusive funder by welcoming applications from those supporting the most under-represented, under-funded, disadvantaged individuals and communities
  • Ensure that a minimum of 20% of all funding in the financial year 2024/25 is awarded to first-time grantees
  • Encourage more individuals, families and businesses to support small charitable organisations
  • Collaborate with other funders and explore ways to work more collectively.
  • Inspire the charitable sector to think and act in an eco-friendlier manner

Josephine McCartney, chief executive of Kent Community Foundation, said: “We have the privilege of advocating for our county’s voluntary sector and actively encouraging more money to be awarded through us to incredibly effective small charities and community groups.

“Thanks to an army of dedicated charity employees and volunteers, complemented by our experience of professional grant-making, we can confidently assure our fund-holders that funds will be used to deliver better social outcomes for local people.

“Giving is a joyful and rewarding experience for individuals, families and businesses alike, and we are committed to raising the profile of the sector’s positive impact to increase support in 2024.”

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