Government and National Lottery backed #iwill Fund supported by Oxfordshire Community Foundation with The Good Exchange

Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), funded through the #iwill Fund, is working in partnership with not-for-profit, online matching cloud platform.

The #iwill Fund was created through £40 million of seed funding from Government, and the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. It supports the aims of the #iwill campaign, to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people. This includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable young people to make a positive difference to their communities.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation is acting as a match-funder and awarding grants on behalf of the Fund via The Good Exchange platform.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the #iwill Fund to increase participation in social action from young people from lower social economic groups and those who might not usually take part in these types of activities,” said Jayne Woodley, CEO of Oxfordshire Community Foundation. “Working with The Good Exchange, we will be able to streamline the application process, reach and collaborate strategically with other funders to provide match funding, and encourage applicants to drive donations and fundraising of their own to help them meet the qualification criteria.”

By bringing together funders from across different sectors and by making sure that young people have a say in where the funding goes, the #iwill Fund is taking a collaborative approach.

“The immensely positive impact of funder collaboration on the overall success of campaign fundraising is well proven, and we’re delighted to be involved in facilitating this compelling incentive for the #iwill campaign,” said Ed Gairdner, COO of the Good Exchange. “We’re in full support of the campaign’s overarching objective: to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, recognising the benefit for both themselves and their local communities. We are delighted that OCF has chosen to partner with The Good Exchange to expedite the process and help find matching funders.”

The #iwill Fund prioritises projects that embed skills in young people and the wider community as part of their delivery, and which clearly demonstrate principles of great youth social action. As part of the current round of funding, OCF has already awarded £5,000 to arts charity The Story Museum for their ‘Young Producers’ project, and will be making grants on a rolling basis until the #iwill funds are spent. Other groups should therefore consider making applications as soon as possible.

Grants made through OCF’s previous #iwill funding have already made a demonstrable difference to local communities. The Didcot TRAIN Youth Project works with young people who are at risk of educational failure, crime, child sexual exploitation, and alcohol and substance abuse. The project received #iwill funding for its Young Leaders Programme, which created a virtuous circle by enabling young people to help themselves and then to help others. Oxford Hub’s Schools Plus programme has used #iwill funding from OCF to place student volunteers in tutoring placement across 13 schools in Oxford City. The pupils improve their academic attainment in different subjects; while young volunteers develop new skills in team work, communication, tutoring and leadership.

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