Fund to help small charities bid for public contracts

Futurebuilders pot is first in a series to aid small voluntary organisations

A £220,000 grant fund to help small voluntary organisations tender for public sector contracts has been launched by Futurebuilders England and the National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning.

The NPTSC, a Cabinet Office scheme to help not-for-profit organisations win service delivery contracts, will contribute £150,000, with Futurebuilders contributing another £70,000.

Futurebuilders said the fund, which organisations can use to cover tendering costs or build capacity, will be the first of a series of programmes intended specifically to help small organisations land contracts.

"This new fund offers a great chance for smaller third sector organisations to realise their potential," said Jonathan Lewis, chief executive of Futurebuilders. "It is just another way we can assist more organisations, regardless of size or stature, to win public sector contracts and develop long-term sustainability."

Futurebuilders is also in the process of launching other initiatives to help the third sector compete effectively during the tendering process. The first of these was a £1m loan fund, which opened last summer (Third Sector Online, 30 June).

The new fund is open to organisations that have been trading for one year and have turnovers of less than £250,000. Organisations can receive grants worth up to 10 per cent of the value of the contracts they want to bid for, up to £15,000. Contracts must have a minimum value of £30,000.

Grants will be distributed only to organisations that can show they stand "a good chance of success" in their bid. There is no closing date for applications.

For more information, visit the Futurebuilders website, email info@futurebuilders-england.org.uk or call 0191 261 5200.

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