Funding news

Endowment fund proposed for Communitybuilders - 25 February 2011

The Social Investment Business, the manager of the government’s £70m Communitybuilders programme, has proposed putting its funds into an endowment so that recipients do not have to spend loans or grants in the current financial year.

The Social Investment Business (SIB) told applicants in October that their bids would only be considered if they could spend any funds awarded in this financial year. It blamed the decision on the Treasury's firmer line on annuality, which requires government budgets to be spent in the financial year or returned.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations described the move as "outrageously bad funding practice".

SIB has since asked the Communities and Local Government department, which was responsible for Communitybuilders, to put the programme’s remaining £10m in an endowment run by the Adventure Capital Fund, the SIB’s parent charity. It has yet to receive a response.

A SIB spokeswoman said an endowment would mean "greater flexibility in committing and paying funds".

A spokesman for the Communities and Local Government department confirmed it was considering an endowment approach and hoped to have a resolution soon.

"We are working with the Social Investment Business to achieve the best solution for the sector, so that access to the fund is practical and realistic," he said.

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