In 2019 the Virgin Money Foundation committed to expand its grant making into Glasgow and with the support of a local partner the HFD Charitable Foundation, worked to develop the Community Anchors' Fund Glasgow.
Being new to the City we talked to a number of organisations involved in the voluntary sector, listened to their thoughts and held a very successful round table discussion in February 2020. How long ago that now seems!
As the impact of the pandemic became clearer we recognised that we had to adapt the way we planned to work in Glasgow and designed and launched a COVID adapted Community Anchors' Fund. The new fund would offer applicants awards of up to £10,000, with an additional £10,000 available should it become clear during the assessment process that this amount was insufficient and an additional amount would make a major impact. The funds were be used to offset reductions in income and/or to cover the additional costs of providing support to vulnerable members of the local community as a result of the lockdown.
In order to work quickly we were grateful for the support of knowledgeable Glasgow-based funders who we worked alongside to agree a shortlist of around 30 community anchor organisations which we then invited to apply to the fund. To date we have made 16 awards totalling £205,000. Many of the first grants were made to cover lost revenue as organisations were forced to close their buildings and the purchase of emergency food, fuel and data. Later requests - as the organisations came out of lockdown - were forward looking proposals, requesting core and project funding to provide additional support to families and to young people dealing with the effects the pandemic had on their community.