'The speakers were excellent, and the networking was superb'.

'There is funding out there if you know where to look and can share openly in your community.

'Like all W3RT events that I have attended, this was insightful, engaging and provided a welcoming and supportive space to network and explore funding opportunities.'

Those were just two of the comments from attendees at W3RT CVS' Funding Fair which took place last week. Every year, W3RT CVS hosts a funding fair with the aim of supporting local voluntary organisations with all aspects of funding. This year saw the return of an in-person funding fair, nearly three years to the day since lockdown restrictions prevented in person events. Therefore, we were delighted to have 20 representatives from a range of charities from across Watford and Three Rivers for a series of presentations and networking opportunities.

During the three-hour event, a series of national and local funders provided presentations for the attendees including Helen Snowden, funding officer for the National Lottery Community Fund provided a presentation about the various funding options available from the National Lottery Community Fund and some top tips on the application process and some common pitfalls for organisations. One top tip was to consider applying to the Lottery's Awards for All fund if you are a newer organisation as this has a shorter application form and a quicker response time! Additionally, Watford Community Housing's Edel Maher provided an update on their Let's Go Business Plan, how the funding has been spent in the community since 2020 and their plans for the next financial year. Whilst their Community Development Fund is no longer accepting applications this year, attendees were able to find out how Watford Community Housing could support their projects.

Finally, Alex Murray and Gill Crowson provided a series of presentations on the Hertfordshire Funding Database, the does & don't of fundraising as well as a summary of the funding support available from the W3RT CVS. With a wide range of different organisations in attendance, these presentations were key to ensuring all local organisations are aware of the correct way to fundraise and how they can use the Funding Database to find new funding opportunities.

As well as these presentations, the format of the event allowed for a significant amount of networking time which allowed for attendees to connect/catch up with each other and to see how they can work together for the benefit of the community. One attendee has already told us that "they met a number of people that they have dealt with over the years but never met face to face that the networking was superb, and the event has already led to one opportunity and with another in the pipeline."

We would like to thank all the speakers for attending and presenting at the event as well as the team from PWC Watford for hosting the event. We would also like to thank all the organisations who attended the event and for the commitment and dedication to supporting the local community. We hope this event and some of the opportunities that come from it make it easier to do what you do!

For more information about the presentations, speak to the CVS Team or click the links below

Alex Murray


Lead for W3RT CVS in Watford. Helping to strengthen and support the local voluntary sector.