Guest blog: A guide to the Wales Funders Forum

The Wales Funders Forum is the membership network for funders and investors with an interest in Wales. In this guest blog, Andrea Clarke gives an overview of the Forum and recent developments.

Q: What do Comic Relief, The Waterloo Foundation, and the Oak Foundation have in common?

A: A love of Wales!

Every quarter, 25- 30 funders/investors take part in the Wales Funders Forum, hosted by the Big Lottery Fund and the Association of Charitable Foundations. The Forum has been going for over 10 years but in recent years membership has seen a rapid growth as funders thirst for understanding Wales grows.

With new funders joining, staff changes and developments in the funding sector, there’s a lot of updates, research and relationship building that goes on behind the scenes.

So why do they come?

The Wales Funders Forum is the membership network for funders and investors with an interest in Wales. We bring funders together to:

  • Promote and share good funding practice
  • Share learning about “what works”, “what doesn’t work” and why
  • Provide opportunities to discuss and debate developments in Wales
  • Provide a safe place and opportunities for funders to collaborate and network

What has been discussed?

Over the last 12 months, we’ve heard updates from The Oak Foundation, UnLtd, The FSI and the Institute of Fundraising as well as thematic learning on fundraising trends in Wales, community asset transfer, support for small charities, approaches to place based funding, monitoring and evaluation, outreach and engagement as well as the impact of Brexit.

Linking with London

Our chair is Carol Mack, Chief Executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations, who provides a great connection to other foundations with an interest in Wales.

Reviewing success

One of the key reasons the forum works is that the agenda is led by members. If they want to discuss it, we vote and find an expert speaker to help our knowledge. If people can’t come, we get in touch and find out why.  It’s important to know and understand the dynamics of what makes the forum useful and what could be improved to ensure buy in. Feedback towards the Forum has been glowing:

‘’Thank you very much for inviting me to WFF and for the monitoring and evaluation catch up after. Both were really interesting and helpful’’

‘’Thank you for getting a wide range of interesting speakers each quarter.  I’ve already made new connections which I will be following up.’’

If you are a funder and would like to get involved, get in touch with me:


Andrea Clarke
Communications Manager
Big Lottery Fund

We support UK foundations and grant-making charities