Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Direct support to implement procedural and system changes
Who are we?
The Connect Fund is managed by the Barrow Cadbury Trust on behalf of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. The Connect Fund was established as the social investment infrastructure fund. Its objective is to improve the social investment (SI) market in England by supporting and strengthening the infrastructure, so it can better meet the needs of charities and social enterprises. By infrastructure, we mean social investment market intermediaries and support organisations, as well as the shared processes, tools, networks and partnerships that enable best practice.
The Connect Fund’s funding strands have been developed to align with Access’ strategic objectives.
Why is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) a priority?
Tackling inequality and the lack of diversity within the social investment sector has been a key priority for the Connect Fund since it launched in 2017. To date it has funded and championed a number of EDI-focused initiatives that have identified and sought to tackle barriers to accessing social investment experienced by under-served communities and increased the sector’s understanding of how systems and processes contribute and lead to inequality. You can read about the projects we have previously supported here.
Covid-19 has exacerbated the inequalities in society and led to worsening outcomes, particularly for people from minoritised communities. While there is greater awareness of the barriers to social investment and an increased appetite to address these challenges, there is still more work to do and it is vital that key stakeholders are able to continue advocating and taking action to create greater equality in the sector.
Who can apply? All Connect Fund applicants must meet all the following criteria:
- Your organisation must be based in England.
- Your organisation must be a social investment fund manager or advisor; membership body; sector, place-based, or equalities network; umbrella organisation; voluntary sector infrastructure organisation; or community foundation.
- Your organisation must be incorporated and registered as a charity, social enterprise or have social purpose clearly incorporated into your articles of association with an appropriate asset lock and/or mission lock.
We welcome applications from organisations led by Black and minoritised communities, Disabled people, the LGBTQ+ community and women.