Funding story: Match funding from within the sector

The youth volunteering charity v has started to match-fund for its fellow voluntary sector organisations.

The second 'Oxjam' music festival sets out across the UK this month. It's the result of matched funding, a collaboration with a private sector partner and a grant from another third sector body.

There's a lot of matched funding around from different lottery funders, but it tends to be statutory, in particular from the European Social Fund, or given by companies to support employees' fundraising activities. Most other grant-making foundations tend not to work this way.

Youth volunteering charity v, however, is running a 'match fund' to fund activity from other voluntary sector organisations that give volunteering opportunities to young people, provided they work with companies that can offer financial or in-kind support.

In Oxjam's case, the private sector support comes from music channel MTV. The broadcaster has set up Get Seen, Get Heard, a talent search that offers aspiring bands the chance of appearing on the channel next year.

Through a partnership with MTV and Galaxy FM, youth volunteering charity v matched their support with £285,000 last year. "It struck me as an innovative approach," Gareth Simpson, head of events and community fundraising at Oxfam, says. "We have been working with MTV on different projects for a few years, but this allowed us to do work I think neither of us would have funded on our own."

The funding Oxfam received from v helped to cover production costs for the TV programmes, making it possible to use the money from the public to fund Oxfam's project work. There's also been a slightly different spin-off this year in the form of young volunteers attracted from the v website.

Simpson describes his recommendations to anyone thinking of a similar three-way partnership as pretty obvious. "Be very up-front about what you want to get out of it," he says. "But if you want the same outcome you can generally work around some of the stuff you might not agree on. Only do it if it's right for you. You might not have the turnover of a corporate, but you're valued by the public, and that puts you in a strong position. There is a responsibility across the sector for charities to understand the value of what we bring to partnerships."

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