Caption: A view of East Devon with an inset picture of Jamie Buckley, EDDC's Community Engagement and Funding Officer, who helped host and organise the event.
A view of East Devon with an inset picture of Jamie Buckley, EDDC's Community Engagement and Funding Officer, who helped host and organise the event.

More than 80 representatives from East Devon voluntary and community groups, social enterprises, and town and parish councils attended East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) free online Meet the Funder event on 29 March.

There is currently no Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) in East Devon, which would normally advise voluntary and community groups on issues such as governance, managing volunteers, and funding streams.

After requests from voluntary groups for more information on funding opportunities, EDDC and the new East Devon Community Network Co-ordinator worked together to organise an online Meet the Funder event.

The event gave voluntary groups an important opportunity to meet some of the key local funders and to start to build that all-important relationship with them. The following funders came along to the event, outlined the grants they currently have available, their assessment criteria and priorities, explained what they look for in a grant application and answered questions from attendees. 

·         Devon County Council

·         The National Lottery

·         Norman Family Trust

·         The Gibbons Family Trust and the David Gibbons Foundation

·         Devon Community Foundation

·         Devon Communities Together

·         East Devon District Council

Councillor Marianne Rixson, EDDC​’s portfolio holder for portfolio holder for climate action and emergency response, who had met with some of East Devon’s local voluntary and community groups throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and opened the event, said:

The aim of the meeting was to give voluntary and community groups the opportunity to meet and discuss direct with local funders what they are looking for in grant applications. We hope this will provide all groups with a better understanding and so lead to more successful outcomes in the future.

Ellie Barnes, East Devon Community Network Co-ordinator, said of the day:

It is great to be able to offer the vibrant and hard-working VCSE sector of East Devon the chance to meet so many local funders. I really hope this strengthens the sector by building knowledge and increasing confidence to apply to these grant streams. It was wonderful that so many grant makers gave their time to the event, and for it to be attended by such a vast number of people shows how much our sector welcomes these opportunities.