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"THE FORE" – funding for social entrepreneurs....

How the UK’s “most powerful man you’ve never heard of”, a former captain of the All Blacks, a CEO of Jane Austen’s bank and Dido Harding are disrupting the charity sector....


How the UK’s “most powerful man you’ve never heard of”, a former captain of the All Blacks, a CEO of Jane Austen’s bank and Dido Harding are disrupting the charity sector.

They may seem an unlikely bunch but Rupert Harrison CBE (former Chief Economic Advisor to the Chancellor and named most powerful person you’ve never heard of in 2014 [Note 1]Anton Oliver (Captain of the New Zealand rugby squad in 2001), Alexander Hoare (partner of C Hoare and Co and CEO 2001-2009) and Baroness Dido Harding - are just four of the impressive individuals that are behind The Fore Trust which launched on the 27th March.

A bold new initiative, The Fore is creating connections with the business community to make sure talented social entrepreneurs in small charities across the UK, get the funding and advice they need to prosper.

More and more philanthropic giving in the UK is going to larger charities [Note 2] leaving smaller organisations struggling to survive [Note3] 

Chair of The Fore, Rupert Harrison, says  “I know from my own experience in government that the system favours established players. We aim to level the playing field.”

The Fore has already won the attention of the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.  Thanks to National Lottery players, The Fore’s first grant recipients will benefit from £300,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Simple processes and extensive due diligence

The Fore’s simple processes are designed to respect how precious time is for those working on the front line. The Fore’s experienced assessors complete extensive due diligence before putting the best applicants forward to “dragons’ den” style panels. Business members decide who gets funding and offer themselves as mentors, trustees or advisors.

The Big House Theatre Company -

“Being in a position to give away money is such an opportunity,” says Mary Rose Gunn, CEO of The Fore, “but we had noticed that despite having large foundations, so many businesses weren’t letting their staff enjoy the experience."

The Fore is a chance for businesses to meet great small charities, but it is so much more.

"Being a mentor to an inspirational founder or advising someone who is changing the lives of others, really does feel," as one of their Members put it, "like electricity.”

By collaborating with the Big Lottery Fund the Fore will strengthen its connections with community foundations across England. This will extend the Fore’s networks with the aim of benefiting more charities and social enterprises in the future.

Creative Futures UK -

James Harcourt, England Grant Making Director, Big Lottery Fund said: “This initiative combines the Fore’s business network with our voluntary sector expertise and network. By working together we have a compelling opportunity to support a much wider range of organisations. This collaborative approach is one we’re committed to developing, helping to maximise the impact funding raised by National Lottery players can have.”

The Fore has been born out of the experience of the Bulldog Trust and the Golden Bottle Trust, two foundations related to C Hoare and Co, the private bank that counts Jane Austen as a former customer!  Having spent the last four years piloting a funding model that has had huge success offering funding and business expertise to brilliant grassroots project, they decided to think bigger and help more small charities.

For more information contact:   Mary Rose Gunn, Chief Executive The Fore, 2 Temple Place London WC2R 3BD

Tel: 020 7240 6044               


Notes:  1 Telegraph,2014.Everwonderedhow George Osborne can be apart-timeChancellor?

2 NCVO’sUKCivilSocietyAlmanac2016

3 LocalCharity andCommunity GroupSustainability Report,2016.