“we can see how much our work is helping to carve out civil society space”
The Social Change Nest CIC is proud to be in the top 100 Social Enterprises in the UK this year. As many of you know, we started The Social Change Nest in 2019 at the beginning of the pandemic. Designed to support the grassroots in responding to the emerging crisis, we provide digital fiscal hosting and transparent money management for unincorporated community groups. The team at The Social Change Agency has since worked hard to ensure that the service grew sustainably while never losing sight of its original purpose.
We incorporated it as an independent CIC in 2020 and now we support almost 300 community groups, host 8 organisations and networks for change, facilitated the growth and spin-out of The Young Trustees Movement and help to distribute over £3.2 million in grant funding. We work collaboratively with Foundations enabling them to channel their money into civil spaces that funding would not ordinarily access.
Now in 2022, we can see how much our work is helping to carve out civil society space at a time when it is shrinking vividly. Not just civil society in the UK, through our work such as The Changing Ideas Mutual Aid Fund, but now also globally, thanks to our work with the Urban Movement Innovation Fund.
We know first hand how hard it is to make a difference working with and through others. The structure and systems of governance, money and power, often make it impossible to set up, get going and keep going as a committed group of people who want to change the world. The Social Change Nest was created to remove as many structural blockages as possible for the people who want to do this.
An award is an award, but it is also a moment to stop and appreciate the work and effort of everyone involved. Not just my team, but the thousands of people who worked tirelessly through the pandemic, and continue to challenge, inspire and energise.
We are currently pulling together our first impact report, but we can share a sneak preview of what some of our clients have been up to and what they think of our support so far:
Impact from mutual aid groups during the pandemic
- Willesden Green Mutual Aid in London provided food to 300 vulnerable families
- Black Trans Foundation were able to provide 16 weeks of free therapy to 28 Black trans and non-binary people
- Cambridge Solidarity Fund distributed £5,500 in emergency grants for food, heating bills and travel costs to people
- Kensington and Chelsea Mutual Aid raised £2,860 in funding to support over 800 Afghan asylum seekers through community
- Carlisle Mutual Aid raised over £23,500 to fund life-saving goods for those who were shielding
- Exmouth Mutual Aid were able to support the entire town of Exmouth during the pandemic with 400 volunteers
Feedback on our fiscal hosting service from community-led groups
- 75% say our fiscal hosting service has helped them to build more trust and transparency with the community they serve
- 39% of community-led groups have successfully applied for and received grant funding since joining
- 65% say our fiscal hosting service has given them more time to focus on non administrative tasks
- 88% of groups said that our service had helped them feel more peace of mind about their group’s finances
How we support funders to distribute money to grassroots organisations