Our members occupy different parts of a spectrum of collaboration. Many funders already collaborate widely and actively seek out opportunities for collaboration. For some other organisations, collaboration may be limited to engaging only with organisations similar to themselves or within a particular sector, or they may just be young organisations and collaboration has yet to become part of their culture. We see our role as providing the space to enable organisations to grow and develop towards where they want to be along the collaboration spectrum. We help to do this through our regular network meetings and at events, and by distributing information from funders across our networks.
New funders among London Funders members tend to be interested in learning which other funders are interested in the issues most relevant to them. We have helped very young organisations to begin the process of mapping the landscape of organisations that share their interests and challenges, and forging the relationships they need to work towards their goals. Our support works through practical means such as regular communications, network meetings and opportunities for establishing contacts.
Barbra Mazur is director of the Battersea Power Station Foundation, formed in 2015 to support communities affected by the redevelopment of the landmark site in Southwest London and conversion of the surrounding area to residential and commercial uses. “With connections made through London Funders we are hoping to establish a Lambeth funding group, which will enable better working between different funders focusing on that borough. Our new funding stream on gang and youth violence has also been influenced by what we have learned from other funders working in this area, who have shared their knowledge and expertise.”
As initial scoping work progressed towards a review of the future of civil society support in London, it became clear that partners from across the civil society ecology would be needed. A partnership was formed with Greater London Volunteering and London Voluntary Services Council (LVSC), representatives of civil society support organisations, who joined London Funders as partners in commissioning the review.