In addition to the funds awarded to the specialist women and girls’ organisations through the Women Thrive Fund, in partnership with ROSA UK, Smallwood have been addressing some of our grantees' needs for capacity-building and other non-financial support.
These challenges were highlighted during the Thrive Fund application process and resulted in the Trust commissioning Anj Handa, Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers, to develop and deliver two workshops that focused on ‘Navigating and Managing Change’, with one for small/medium sized organisations with a turnover of less than £250K and the second aimed at larger organisations.
The workshops were well-received and included subjects such as: strategic business development, monitoring and impact evaluation, funder relationships, board development, and supporting staff well-being. Some of the feedback we received are below:
“It was both interesting and encouraging to meet so many people doing related work and facing similar challenges in the various organisations that were represented.”
“It was hugely inspiring to be part of change-making discussions which put a spotlight on the invaluable work of Smallwood Trust funded, women-focused community initiatives.”
“A safe and inspiring place, which focused on the needs of women to help them move beyond the insanity of poverty.”
“Learning to effectively and appropriately challenge systems, which keep women impoverished, was an important takeaway from the discussion.”
After reviewing these events, Anj Handa provided the Trust with a number of recommendations for how grantees can be supported in the future and we are looking to facilitate these, particularly with regards to peer-network support.
Indeed, making these connections was one of Anj Handa’s main takeaways from the workshops: “Whether the charity is large or small, people want their voices to be heard and valued, and they thirst for supportive conversations with their peers. It’s all about relationships.”
Rosie Learmonth, Grants Manager at the Smallwood Trust, concluded: “We recognise the importance of providing development support for our grantees, in addition to their funding, especially for smaller organisations who may lack capacity support networks. We’re pleased that these workshops have brought these organisations together and we are keen to help them to continue their journeys in tackling gendered poverty.”
You read more about Anj Handa and Inspiring Women Changemakers in our Spotlight article here.