ACT funds organisations built around a big idea; an idea that has the potential to make real changes to the lives of disadvantaged or vulnerable people.
New ventures are considered for funding on the following basis:
ACT can support work which fits our two charitable objectives:
This means that we can support ideas that address a wide range of problems that improve the lives of vulnerable people.
That said, we are currently focussed on seeking solutions to the following areas:
We know that the best innovations are simple; a model that is complicated is difficult to scale.
Ideas also need to have been tested and shown to make a substantially better impact than other approaches.
The best organisations show a commitment to measuring impact as an integral part of what they do right from the beginning.
Business models need to demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of how the solution will be sustainable in the long term.
Sustainable organisations will have:
• Strong and ambitious leadership
• A credible and ambitious business plan that includes a promising strategy for impact at scale
• A demonstrable ability to raise or earn money
• An clear organizational chart, with the right people in key positions
• Efficient financial and management systems
The organisation needs to be built on a clear understanding of how they fit in the wider world. This should include healthy partnerships and a collaborative approach. The model must be able to be implemented at scale whilst also allowing appropriate local interpretation.
Following the passion of our founder, Cecil Jackson Cole, we operate a venture philanthropy approach, supporting young organisations as the vehicles for social change. We take risks but then roll our sleeves up to work alongside those we fund.
When we select an organisations to consider, we take the following approach:
When we approach an organisation, we will initially ask for a simple summary of the idea and how it meets our objectives. This will be shared with all our trustees and so it needs to clearly communicate the need, the idea and its potential. If this is of interest to us then we will arrange a time to meet. At this point, the due diligence documents we require are things that organisations should already have on hand, including a business or strategic plan, financials, organisation chart, donor/investor list, leadership and board member CVs.
We do not consider unsolicited applications but for organisations invited to apply, assessment is likely to take place over 3-6 months. Our grant making process is illustrated below: