Final Evaluation of the LGBT+ Futures: Equity Fund

We are excited to be publishing the final evaluation of the LGBT+ Futures: Equity Fund, which has been funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, thanks to National Lottery players. The programme has also been supported by Comic Relief and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Our evaluators Civil Society Consulting CIC (CSC) explored all aspects of the programme, from application processes to the outcomes and short-term impact grantees are already having with their funded work. It provides Consortium, and the LGBT+ sector, with the evidence we need to put forward a strong business case for continued investment in specialist LGBT+ communities, particularly those working across diverse intersections.

The evaluation will be used to secure future funding of Consortium’s specialist funding, so we can continue to get resource to where it is most needed across LGBT+ communities, and support the development, sustainability and resilience of our sector.

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive at Consortium said, “This has been a transformative programme for Consortium, in our journey to be an established specialist funder. With the incredible support, dedication and passion of our Community Collaborators and Community Panellists, we have implemented an exciting participatory grant-making approach which puts people with lived experience in the driving seat of decision-making. This has resulted in LGBT+ organisations being funded who other funders simply couldn’t reach, and those who have struggled to secure appropriate resourcing for their life-saving work. Whilst this is the final evaluation of this phase of the work, this is just the beginning. Our ultimate aim is to develop an LGBT+ Endowment Fund so we have sustainable sources of income for our sector. We won’t rest until this become a reality and this evaluation helps us open doors and begin new conversations with funder and donors.”

Francesca Godfrey, Co-Founder of CSC said, ” Civil Society Consulting CIC has been with Consortium LGBT+ on their journey delivering the Equity Fund from start to finish, assessing both the effectiveness of its innovative grant making model, as well as the outcomes of the funding. From engaging with grantees, community panellists, a steering group informing the evaluative process and the LGBT+ Consortium grants team over the last 18-months, we have concluded that not only is the Equity Fund a truly participatory grant making mechanism that invests in (not just funds!) intersectional LGBT+ communities, but is, at present, one of the only viable sources of funding for the organisations that serve them. We would urge mainstream grant makers to take note of the factors behind the Equity Fund’s success to work towards better-serving intersectional communities.”

Consortium continues to work behind the scenes with all our stakeholders and partners on moving this work to its next phase. We are excited to see what 2024 holds and look forward to sharing next steps in the coming months.

A final thank you to everyone who has been involved in this first phase of this programme: The National Lottery Community Fund, Comic Relief and Barrow Cadbury for their financial support; CSC for their passion in making this evaluation community-centred; the Equity Fund team who have worked so hard to keep a complex puzzle together; our Community Collaborators for co-developing this programme; our Community Panellists for being so diligent in making decisions on what to fund; and to our Grantees for the incredible work they do day in, day out, making the lives of countless LGBT+ that little bit better.

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