Dawn Austwick

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What a can-do community in Glasgow taught me about funding

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged for Third Sector so I wanted to share some thoughts with you before we head into the festive break. I’m resolving to be a more frequent blogger next year, and I’m also getting to grips with Twitter so please do follow me @dawnjaustwick to keep in touch.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit an incredibly diverse range of projects across the UK over this past year, and I’ve recently been reflecting on a trip to Glasgow which made a particular impression.

Tackling poverty: how can funders help?

The debate around the nature of poverty in the UK is becoming increasingly polarised.  As Julia Unwin argues in her book, Why Fight Poverty?, and as we’ve seen from the responses to programmes such as Channel 4’s Benefits Street, there is a fierce debate about whether individual behaviour or wider structures are responsible for poverty.  Unsurprisingly, this choice has produced a stalemate which has led many people to conclude that widespread poverty is inevitable.

Immediate need or early action?

Since becoming chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, I have inherited a lot of goodwill and a lot of advice on where the organisation should lead, where it should follow and where it should keep out.

The advent of the government’s Triennial Review of the Big Lottery Fund was therefore a timely piece of work and we are looking forward to hearing their views on us in due course. 

From grant dependency to great grant making

I was reading recently in Third Sector about a new piece of research looking at how grants help smaller charities to thrive and grow and ‘crowd in’ other sources of funding. For every pound of Lottery grant received, medium-sized charities increased their income on average by £1.60 after four years.