Focus: Fundraising - How we got the grant - Common Purpose

Alison Coburn, chief executive, Common Purpose International

Why did you apply to the foundation? We run leadership programmes around the world and we wanted to increase our programmes from six to 12 over the next three years. This grant allows us to venture into Spain, France, Hungary, Turkey, India and Ghana.

We identified Vodafone as an organisation that might be interested in us because of its focus on leadership, and its director confirmed that we fitted its criteria. The foundation funds programmes that are global in scope - that is, those that run across a number of countries but have a clear local focus. It also looks for projects that are replicable, sustainable once the project ends and allow for Vodafone employee volunteering.

What did the application process involve? We had to fill out a seven-page application form, which we submitted to the Vodafone trustees. They then agreed changes to the budget and the key performance indicators.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? A small proportion of the funding will be going to train the Common Purpose team, who will in turn be providing on-the-job training to the teams in each country.

It also funds ICT equipment.

Did you apply to other funders? No. The application was tailored to our specific needs and fitted very closely with the criteria of the Vodafone Group Foundation.


We aim to make social investments that help people across the world lead fuller lives by sharing the benefits of mobile technology and supporting the local communities in which Vodafone operates. We are funding Common Purpose International to help it build its international network and develop sustainable leadership programmes overseas. These projects, which will be rooted in local communities, will aim to inspire decision-makers to be more effective in their own organisations and in society as a whole.

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