Supporting charities to become stronger and more resilient;
providing funding advice, research and practical support
Funding consultant, Funding Eye offers a friendly and professional solution to your fundraising needs. With over 20 years’ experience as a funding consultant in the third sector and fundraising I can help your organisation secure the income it needs to deliver and develop its services.
Funding Eye Ltd is now 11 years old, and supported over 100 organisations and in doing so raised over £8 million for charitable causes and community organisations across the UK. I’ve helped new groups become established, other smaller groups helped to significantly raise their income; for example I started working with an advice group that had an income under £25k and now forecast £150k , as well as securing significant 6 figure grants for organisations.
Covid recovery and the pressured of the cost of living rises are putting more pressure on fundraising resources. More than every organisations need to be very clear about the outcomes and impact of their work.
Whether you need help to develop a funding strategy, improve your fundraising success or want someone else to do your fundraising for you, Funding Eye can help. My approach looks at the whole organisation and the challenges it faces rather than just looking at individual grant applications. A lot of fundraising work comes down to the design of the project, identifying the changes you want to make and demonstrating a clear need from the community. All of which I can help you achieve.
I have a high success rate with National Community Fund applications and many other larger Trusts and Foundations. I’ve put a list of funders here
Some ‘go to’ funders I always suggest people try include:
Awards for All – quick and easy grants from the national lottery for upto £10k (£20k from the Autumn)
Moondance Foundation (Wales only) a fantastic funder supporting a variety of organisations, especially keen to hep groups in real need and responding to the most challenging problems
Check out you local Community Foundation, who will manage a handful of small funds which are normally straightforward to apply to
Oakdale Trust (Wales) a small funder (max £2k) and supported a wide range of community/environmental project
NB – most of the above will also fund non-charities including CICs.
Planning is the key for any project/ funding application success. I have many years’ experience preparing feasibility studies and business plans to create compelling evidences base case for projects. Such work is the foundation for making a case for funding but all too often overlooked. Taking a more strategic and considered approach to funding will improve success rates and ensure the evidence is in place to support grant applications. Projects recently completed include a business plan for a Community Centre, Development of a multi functional Sports and community building and a hospital wing in Pakistan.
Within the of the planning support I offer coaching and mentoring to help build the capacity within organisations.
I have a background in research, working for The Cardiff Business School and University of Wales, Aberystwyth. These skills lend themselves to finding and evidencing information to strengthen funding applications and demonstrating why a project is needed. I also provide evaluations of projects to demonstrate to funders the impact of your work and to help you improve and develop future services. Ive undertaken evaluation of a £million advice project and mentoring programme, through to community partnerships, and mental health projects. I encourage the use of Social Return on Investment as a tool to demonstrate value and also to effectively engage stakeholders in your evaluation process.
Benefits of using a Funding Consultant to help with your fundraising
Cost effective – The cost of my services is recovered many time over in the grant, I can save you time hunting for grant opportunities, and I’m familiar with most of the large grant programmes
Quick – I can concentrate on completing the work for you without the distraction of trying to run and manage an organisation
Specialist knowledge – I have built up considerable knowledge in all aspects of fundraising from grants to donations through to legacies and social enterprise
Added value – I share ideas and solutions to problems I identify and can link you with other organisation or initiative
Fresh perspective – I bring an external view on your work; often able to see strengths in your work which although every day to you, maybe new and exciting for a prospective funder
My approach to fundraising
We make decisions with our heart and back this up with our head. This is the approach I take in applications, identifying the personal and individual needs within a community and then using hard evidence to back this up to build a compelling case for support.
I feel that a fundraising consultant’s role is not simply to undertake the work and present it back to the group, I prefer, and get better results working with the group. After all you know the community/ clients better than most so are best placed to help build the case for support. My strengths lie in listening to what you and your community/ service users need and asking you the questions to draw out the information to make a strong application.
Fundraising should not begin and end with the application; this is only the final stage; the important element of a strong application is in the preparation; ensuring that the project offers the right solution to the community. Therefore, my starting point with all groups is to clearly identify what is the change you want to bring about, and how do you know this change is needed (opposed to ‘we need funding for this post/ worker’). This then provides a foundation to build the case for support, focusing on the change your work will bring.
I will help you identify key selling points of your work/ organisation that makes you stand out from similar applications that are made. A common fault I see in many bids is talking generically about the problems of a client group. A stronger bid will talk about the specific problems, not only showing you understand the community, but also making the application more personal and passionate to the reader.
Alongside work as a funding consultant, I also undertake evaluations and feasibility studies which provide useful information to strengthen future funding initiatives. I have worked as a grant assessor for European Grants, so I also understand applications from the funders perspective.
International Community Youth Well-being
- Crickhowell Volunteer Bureau
- Rhayader and District Community Support
- Rhayader 2000
- Quinborne Community Association
- Stow Park Community Centre
- Bristol Advice Service
- Llandrindod Wells Community Events
- Brecon’s Creative
- Bracken Trust
- Bryncynon Community Strategy
- Chedhams Yard
- Pontardawe Arena
- Coop Foundation
- Responsible Tech Collective
- Seven Sisters RFC
- Homemakers Community Recycling
- Open Food Network
- Disability Powys
- National Cycle Museum
- Spectacle Theatre
- Severn Rivers Trust
Health and Wellbeing
- Anorexia Bulimia Care
- C3 Collaborating for Health
- Advance Brighter Futures Wrexham
- Disability Can Do
- Flintshire Disability Forum
- Age Concern Birmingham
- Conwy Connect
- Inroads Street Drug Project
- Person 2 Person
- Powys Carers Service
- Newport Mind
- Conwy Mind
- Meadow Village Farm Village
- Wales Neurological Network
- Cymryd Rhan
- Your Voice
- Rhayader and District Community Support
- Mind Cymru
- Ponthafren Association
- Mid Powys Mind
- Brecon Mind
- Merthyr and the Valleys Mind
- Mental Health Matters
- Healthy Friendships
- Ynys Mon Mind
- Family Place Foundation
- Tros Gynnal Plant
- Vibe Youth
- YFC Cymru
- Kids in the Community
- Carmarthenshire Youth Project
- Maldwyn Nursery
- Rhayader Nursery
- Play Radnor
- Right From The Start
- The Big Skill
- Welshpool Scouts
- Asylum Justice
- Somali Advice Link
- Abdi Welfare
- Safe Foundation
- World Of Water
- Chinese in Wales Association
- Tools for Self Reliance Cymru
Jon Matthews, Director
After graduating from Aberystwyth University I worked as a Research Associate for both Cardiff Business School and Aberystwyth University. I entered the voluntary sector in 1996 when I became a Development Worker for a mid Wales market town. I went on to join Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations as Funding Officer, working with groups of all different types and sizes to support funding and project work. I set up as an independent funding consultant in 2001, before establishing Funding Eye Limited in 2011.
I bring a wealth of professional and personal experience in charity development, research and community improvement, particularly in Wales. I have a track record of successfully developing funding streams and writing grant applications for a range of clients from local to national charities. I am an approved funding consultant for Lloyds Foundation and the Plunkett Foundation.
My experience of undertaking feasibility studies and development planning, coupled with his practical experience of running social enterprises and community organisations, has also led me to deliver a range of research projects for larger clients such as the Welsh Assembly Government, Welsh Water and the Ramblers Association.
I am a full member of the Institute of Fundraising and has over 20 years experience in fundraising and am the Chairman of Rhayader and District Community Support, a valuable organisation that provides community transport, volunteer bureau and local health initiatives in the heart of rural mid Wales.
Away from work, I’m a keen climber and have a small herd of alpacas along with two very lively cocker spaniels.