ActionFunder in action

Businesses come to ActionFunder to match with grassroots non-profits and drive impact in communities.

The outcome? Social and environmental action plus a boost to brand value, stakeholder sentiment and employee engagement. All at an increased speed and reduced cost of giving.

Sound too good to be true? Dive into some case studies below to see for yourself.

Sir Robert McAlpine Strong Foundations Grant 2021

Sir Robert McAlpine launched 8 regional funds in 2021. Those funds totalled £106,000. Hundreds of non-profits pitched for the funding and the team at Sir Robert McAlpine got together to shortlist the projects most aligned with their aims and values. They chose to fund 41 diverse community projects near the company’s major construction sites in Bristol, London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Knutsford, West Hyde, and Kettering.

Together, the funded projects reached over 38,500 beneficiaries. And the team at Sir Robert McAlpine reported a major boost to brand value and employee pride!

Hector McAlpine, Executive Partner, said “As a 152-year old family-owned business, one of our defining values is the care we show our people, our clients and our partners. Wherever we have projects, the measure of our success must include the positive, lasting legacy we leave in those local communities to ensure they thrive. ActionFunder is helping us to quickly find, fund and follow the impact of community action.” 

See all of the projects funded by Sir Robert McAlpine’s Strong Foundations Grant in 2021 here. For an overview of two of the funded projects, Oxford Mutual Aid and Alive Activities, read on.

Oxford Mutual Aid: £2500 = over 500 beneficiaries received food & support

Oxford Mutual Aid provides life saving food and family supplies to people on low incomes, people living with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness in Oxford. 

With Sir Robert McAlpine’s backing, Oxford Mutual Aid rented kitchen space, covered staff costs, acquired food containers, and bought subsidised ingredients to provide meals to local people living in food insecurity.

One beneficiary reported: “Your gift of hot meals at a time of loneliness and desperation has cheered me up so much. Because it isn’t just the food: the love and kindness that comes with it are helping so much.”

Alive Activities: £3000 = opening a dementia-friendly allotment

Alive Activities is based in Bristol where they work with older people and their carers to provide activities that enrich their health, wellbeing, and overall life.

With £3,000 from Sir Robert McAlpine, Alive Activities opened a dementia-friendly allotment and started running supported gardening sessions. This new space offers older people the chance to socialise, gain new skills and boost local biodiversity while they’re at it!

Shortly after receiving funding, the non-profit posted an update to say “Thank you so much to the Sir Robert McAlpine Foundation and their grant through the Strong Foundations Grant Bristol. We are celebrating the official opening of our dementia-friendly allotment this week and are excited to start welcoming older people to enjoy gardening and the outdoors with us!”

Lynda Thwaite, Group Director of Brand, Marketing & Communications, Sir Robert McAlpine

“ActionFunder allows us to target specific regions and causes and gives us commercially usable impact reports. We connect to more people, do good and I’ve never seen anything instill more pride and connect more of our people to who we are as a business than our work with Action Funder”

South West Water Neighbourhood Funds 2021

South West Water launched 3 regional funds in 2021 to boost community action in 3 key service areas: Cornwall, Devon, and Bournemouth. The utility company made £5,000 available in each location. Non-profits  working across food action, homelessness prevention, mental health and more pitched for the funding. The team at South West Water chose to support 15 community projects. Those projects have reached over 2,000 beneficiaries. South West Water reported that ActionFunder had opened up access to under-the-radar grassroots initiatives that are normally overlooked because they’re so hard to access.

You can see all of the projects funded by South West Water here. CRUMBS and Girls Assemble are two of the non-profits funded by  the company as part of the Neighbourhood Funds 2021.

CRUMBS: £1,000 = weekly community club for disadvantaged adults

CRUMBS supports Bournemouth-based adults living with mental health issues, learning disabilities and stabilised addictions. They provide vocational training that empowers beneficiaries to gain confidence, up-skill and find employment.

With funding from South West Water, CRUMBS launched a ‘Community Club’. The club brings members of the local community together with disadvantaged adults. The weekly evening of bingo, crafts and board games has boosted wellbeing and community cohesion. As one beneficiary reported, “The Community Club has made me feel part of something. I can share my ideas on the Committee and am more confident about speaking and being heard.”

Since funding this project, the South West Water team have visited CRUMBS to engage further with the non-profit and their important work.

Girls Assemble: £1,000 = STEM evening classes for 20 women and girls 

Girls Assemble is a female-only workshop that promotes STEM learning among women and girls in the local Cornish community.

With £1,000 funding from South West Water, Girls Assemble supported 20 women and girls through STEM evening classes covering carpentry, welding, architecture and engineering. The beneficiaries reported immediate mental health benefits. Additional to that short term impact, the team at Girls Assemble predict long term economic benefits from promoting STEM education among women and girls.

During the classes funded by South West Water, students built workbenches that are now used by all the students that pass through the Girls Assemble community workshops.

Jo Ecroyd, Customer Service Director at South West Water

“Action Funder provides a brand new, innovative approach to charitable giving. The platform is a valuable tool in awarding grants as part of our Neighbourhood Fund, which is designed to offer support to community groups and initiatives in the local area.”

Sykes Cottage and Cheshire for Good Fund

Responsible business network Cheshire for Good teamed up with Sykes Holiday Cottages to support local communities in Cheshire. Cheshire for Good raised £2,000 and Sykes Cottages matched that, allowing them to launch a £4,000 fund. With that funding, they backed 5 projects, reaching over 160 beneficiaries. Cheshire for Good reported that working with local non-profits and following the impact of their funding instilled a sense of pride among members.

You can see all the projects funded by Sykes and Cheshire for Good here. Two of those projects are Warrington Youth Club and YMCA Crewe.

Warrington Youth Club: £690 = sponsoring 20 young people through activities

Warrington Youth Club host a diverse range of activities and programmes for local young people to develop confidence and skills. 

With funding from Sykes Cottages and Cheshire for Good, WYC sponsored 20 young people with additional needs through a holiday club that provided a range of activities including baking, arts, sports, and bushcraft. The sessions boosted the beneficiaries mental and physical health while supporting them in developing resilience and confidence.

Shortly after receiving funding from Sykes Cottages and Cheshire for Good, the team at Warrington Youth Club said: “On behalf of WYC and everyone involved in the Aspire Holiday Club, we would like to thank Cheshire for Good and Sykes Cottages for the generous funding which made this project possible. We have had an abundance of positive feedback from children, parents, and carers, who were delighted that we were able to provide such a high-quality and fun project during the school holidays.”

YMCA Crewe: £510 = art therapy for people experiencing homelessness

YMCA Crewe support people experiencing homelessness, care leavers, unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and refugees. They offer accommodation, training and an all important social network.

With £510 of funding, the YMCA put on art therapy sessions for people experiencing homelessness. Beneficiaries reported a boost to emotional wellbeing following the sessions. And the YMCA team encouraged beneficiaries to make the most of the other support and training opportunities (from accredited training to budgeting guidance) on site.

With improved emotional wellbeing and access to a wide range of support under one roof, individuals are empowered to move forward on their journeys to strong mental health, employment and permanent accommodation.

Donna Okell, Founder – Cheshire for Good

“There are 4,000 charities in Cheshire, most of them quite small… There are also close to 100,000 businesses in the county, many of whom would love to be able to make a difference but don’t necessarily know where to start. ActionFunder is a great way of bridging that divide.”