Nest: supporting new movements

Nest helps new grassroots movements grow.

Through Nest, we provide essential start-up support to unconstituted and people-powered networks.

These groups often have no bank account, legal status, governance or decision-making structure or back office systems. Time and energy is at a premium, too.

This can prevent them from scaling up and changing the world.

Nest gets movements up and running by offering:

  • grant hosting
  • banking, financial administration and legal services
  • support to establish decision-making processes & legal structures
  • a tried-and-tested governance framework
  • access to a temporary trustee network
  • fundraising and comms support
  • strategic decision making support
  • leadership coaching and development
  • desk space and access to our networks, systems and tools

Nest gives groups bespoke support, helping them secure support and funding, with openness, transparency and accountability baked in from the off.

The goal? To grow the capacity and impact of fledgling social movements until they can sustain themselves.

“Our funders recommended your Nesting services as an ideal way for a grassroots campaign to get set up.

Nest has been really fantastic for opening up avenues to different people and services that can support us and help us with some different technical aspects of setting up.

And it has made quite a big difference in the way we’ve been able to operate. It’s taken some of the stress and pressures away from myself as the only staff member.”

Jake Woodier

Campaigns Officer, UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN)

Why is this needed?

Fledgling movements and community groups can often find themselves in a bind.

After reaching a certain size, the practicalities of running their network can drain their energy and enthusiasm.

Plus, funders want to give grants to ground-breaking movements. But too often, they can’t.

Why? They need oversight and scrutiny to ensure their money won’t be misused. And they can’t risk groups breaking apart when tough financial decisions hit home.

Nest gives new movements systems for using funding in a sustainable, transparent and accountable way.

Nest helps with:

  • agreeing a legal structure
  • making democratic, transparent decisions
  • satisfying funders
  • accounting and finance
  • evaluating impact
  • strategy and mission statements
  • establishing operational or marketing systems

“One of the biggest challenges for us was when we received funding, and suddenly being faced a dynamic that we weren’t used to. How do you make decisions? How do you involve [everyone]?

You move from being a child to suddenly being an adult. Suddenly, you have responsibility on a much larger scale. When you’re entrusted with a large sum of money, it’s all about accountability.”

William Nicholson

Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership

Why Nest with us?

We’re activists at heart. We’ve grown movements first-hand using crowdfunding and collective decision-making. And along the way, we’ve seen movement funders get things wrong.

Some funders place responsibility on one single group member, rather than the whole collective. This can upset group cohesion and lead to burnout. And sadly, some funders and intermediaries subsume their upstarts.

But Nest is for short-term incubation, not suffocation. And ultimately, it’s designed for collectives.

  • It ensures funding is managed to suit non-hierarchical groups with shared accountability
  • It gives funders confidence, while helping groups retain their independence
  • It imparts knowledge, rather than creating dependence
  • It offers seamless handover processes
  • It help groups to establish a backbone and then fly away

Networks we’ve nested

“The Social Change Agency helped us ask what it means to be inclusive, not just in running a meeting or event, but in making decisions about money. How do you be open and transparent?

It helped having them on the outside looking in, talking to all of our different members and being really inclusive in the process.

We went with them instead of a more traditional organisation because they understood the social mission that we’re trying to achieve. Their experience with networks and another similar organisations was also really critical.”

William Nicholson

Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership