Fundraising News: Single strategic grants fund is created for kids

The Government has merged five separate grant schemes to provide a national strategic fund for voluntary organisations that work with children, young people and families.

Formerly run by four different government departments, the new fund, The Children, Young People and Families Grant Programme, will be managed by the Department for Education and Skills.

It has brought together the Children and Young People's Consultation Fund; the National Voluntary Youth Organisations Grant Scheme; Safeguarding Children and Supporting Families Grants; the Strengthening Families Grant; and the Sure Start VCS grant.

A spokesman for the DfES said: "In undertaking this more strategic approach, we want to reduce any unnecessary bureaucracy associated with grant funding.

"We believe that integrating individual programmes into a single programme is the most effective way of achieving these aims."

The first round of funding - which is now open for applications on the Every Child Matters website - will provide about £20m for projects involving capacity building, infrastructure construction and specialist services.

Barnardo's, the UK's largest children's charity, took part in the consultation and has welcomed the plans. Meg Fassam-Wright, head of corporate planning and information at the charity, said: "It is a better solution than having a variety of grants and should help reduce bureaucracy."

It is expected that no more than ten out of the existing 200 or so organisations that currently receive funding would not be eligible after the consolidation.

The spokesman said: "We are unaware of significant concerns among voluntary organisations that previous grant applications will be ineligible in future."

A threshold for the grants has not been set, but the DfES said it expects to make awards of at least £50,000. Applications must be received by noon on 11 November.

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