“It’s fair to say, if it wasn’t for A5cend, we wouldn’t have kept going. A5cend was able to provide an outside perspective and made us see that it was worth sticking at it.”
“Both Reaching Communities and other funders were happy that we were using external evaluators. It also makes us more professional, which will hopefully help us to get better funding and resources in future.”
How A5CEND helped
After writing a draft application in-house, GDP turned to A5cend to help refine it. They also helped GDP to access BIG’s Building Capabilities grant to help build the organisation’s capacity. We carried out an Organisational Strength Review, which looked at GDP’s development needs around:
- Training & Development,
- User Involvement,
- Partnership Working,
- Finance & Fundraising,
- Monitoring & Evaluation,
- and IT & Facilities.
We then used this to help GDP structure the Capital Build element of its Reaching Communities bid and to lever in extra funding through the Building Capabilities grant to strengthen its infrastructure.
“A5cend made us realise that we didn’t need to have everything in place from the beginning. They told us about the Building Capabilities element of the Reaching Communities grant which we could use to build our capacity. The internal review was very useful. Out of that we were able to lever in extra investment to develop key tools, such as our client database system and our new website. It also gave us capacity to re-shape our board and how it works together.”
With A5cend’s help, GDP was finally successful in its application for a Reaching Communities grant and was awarded funding for a 3-year project. The project has helped to fund a team of paid staff, an office, volunteer facilities and new processes and systems to ensure the smooth running of the charity. This in turn has helped GDP to regenerate the public areas at Cody Dock, construct new creative studios, moorings and visitor facilities that will in time enable GDP to generate a sustainable income, and engage thousands of people in the shared experience of transforming their area.