WCT is currently undergoing a review of our funding strategy. A key part of this review is a piece of research The Centre for Social Impact has carried out – which provides a set of recommendations to inform how we can prioritise our funding in a more equitable way. We’re sharing this with you now to bring you on the journey with us as we prepare to launch our new strategy in April 2021; and as a resource that we hope will prove to be helpful to other community groups and funders working in the region.

The Research

We wanted to bring community voices in to balance the data (which is mainly deficit-focused); so, as well as an analysis of data sets, the research team carried out interviews with key community leaders/informants – in which community strengths were highlighted. We are grateful to the community organisations who took the time to contribute their insights and views as part of this research.

The following reports detail the findings and recommendations from this research. And below are a few key take-outs. We are still working on finalising our strategy; and this report serves as one piece of the advice and recommendations feeding into this strategy review.

Key Take-outs from the research:

  1. The research report supports WCT’s general direction of travel in terms of priorities over the last two years – In particular, the Trust’s more recent focus on applying an equity lens to the initiatives that we fund.
  2. We recognise this research is not a single point of truth however it does provide a picture of the population groups and specific locations within our region who experience greater risk and inequity. WCT relies on a variety of sources of information to inform funding strategy, particularly where there are gaps in data, for example environmental data, information about rainbow and disability communities.
  3. Key themes:
    1. The positive impact of moving away from some traditional ways of working to support a more relational, responsive, and proactive approach.
    1. The importance of being close enough to communities to understand their aspirations and needs and to see where there is a willingness and interest in collaborating.
    1. The importance of approaching funding relationships in a way that supports community self-determination. Self-determination means making things happen in a person’s own life, instead of having others do things to, or for them.