The Fore’s mission is to ensure that anyone who has the talent and drive to create social change can access the financial and skills support they need to succeed.
Since it launched in 2017, The Fore has achieved exceptional results: £5.3m in funding and over 8,200 hours of skills support has been awarded to 402 small charities and social enterprises, catalysing new solutions to issues ranging from climate change to mental health support to disability inclusion.
The Fore is showing the power to achieve greater efficiencies and impact through collaboration, but it is determined to do more. Over the next five years we want to lead broader systems change in the current UK funding system, where inequalities and inefficiencies are rife. 90% of all funding in the sector goes to the largest 10% of charities; an estimated £1.1bn is wasted on the costs of unsuccessful fundraising each year (the whole sector has a total income of £6bn); and marginalised groups in particular find it harder to access funding.
The Fore's venture capital-style approach – a marked change from more traditional, siloed funding models – demonstrates a more equitable form of support for small charities but also one that works. The Fore is showing that treating leaders as experts in their own field and breaking down many of the existing barriers to funding works. Our 2019 study found that charities supported by us show income growth 800% higher than a comparison group four years after the grant.
The Fore’s broader vision for impact is based on the understanding that investing in dynamic small charities and social enterprises is a highly effective and cost-efficient way to support social innovation. The Fore has already secured recognition across the third sector and beyond for its funding practices and its commitment to research, impact management and transparency.
When the pandemic hit, The Fore moved fast to operate at 9 x previous levels, a result made possible by the robust systems it had already put in place. Through adapting its ground-breaking, charity-led funding model The Fore offered over 220 smaller unrestricted grants during the first lockdown to help small non-profit organisations adapt their services to the new circumstances and prepare for the future with extraordinary impact.
The Fore is supported by a wide range of partners including international businesses and funders as well as private and family foundations. For business, The Fore is a pioneering model of corporate philanthropy that offers unique CSR and skills development opportunities. Business partners gain access to a highly-screened pipeline of dynamic high-impact charities and social enterprises, and tailor-made opportunities for employees to use their skills to drive social change as 'dragons', advisors, non-execs and mentors. For private funders and philanthropists, The Fore provides access to a rigorously vetted portfolio of high-potential small charities and social enterprises creating social change.
If you've a couple of minutes, why not watch the short film below?