Change Can Happen fund

In 2017, Here and Community Works worked together to set up a new funding stream that aimed to support local charities and community organisations to address their resilience and sustainability. The fund helped organisations to develop their assets and capabilities and encourage different cultural perspectives which were innovative in seeking new opportunities and models of working. We wanted to know if a small amount of funding could make a big step-change in an organisation’s future. This fund is now closed, but the following is a snapshot of what was achieved.

15 local charities were awarded grants totalling £35,000. They were:

Allsorts, AudioActive, Brighthelm, Brighton People’s Theatre, Fabrica, Friends First, Hangleton Community Association, Lunch Positive, MindOut, MOSAIC, Safety Net, Speak Out, Stay Up Late, Sussex Prisoners’ Families and Switchboard

All 15 have reported on the impact of Change Can Happen and we have evaluated this across three core areas of stronger leadership, better finances and effective organisational plans:

Stronger leadership

  • built the skills and confidence of trustees to take the lead
  • improved internal communications to work in an integrated way
  • recruited new trustees and brought in new skills
  • linked the strategic plan to team and individual staff work plans
  • collaborated with another organisation at board level to begin joint working

Better finances

  • increased fundraising capacity by collaborating with service users
  • generated unrestricted income through charitable giving
  • increased income through venue hire
  • increased the financial know-how of their whole management team, so no longer reliant on one person for this expertise
  • laid the foundations to sell training


Effective organisational plans

  • used their data strategically
  • produced a specification for building works
  • developed a new fundraising strategy
  • put a strategic plan into action
  • learned to use a database for monitoring and evaluation