Funders’ Collaborative Hub

What is the Funders’ Collaborative Hub?

The ‘Hub’ is an initiative to enable increased understanding, closer alignment, and opportunities for funder collaboration in response to Covid-19. It aims to enhance the effectiveness and impact of individual and collective responses by funders, in order to maximise the potential of their resources to benefit civil society organisations and the communities they serve.

Purpose: The Hub brings together the knowledge, skills, expertise and resources of funders (including foundations, philanthropists and others) in partnership with wider civil society, to create a time-limited, collective, evidence-based and effective contribution to the response required as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Vision: The Hub informs and amplifies the contribution that individual funders can make. The impact of the hub is more than the sum of its parts and contributes to a VCS that is resilient, inclusive, informed and effective.

Principles: Drawing on those developed by the Covid-19 Funder pledge, the Hub works to the following guiding principles: Intelligent, complementary, easy, trusting, flexible, reflective, equitable, straightforward, quick, transparent, and co-created.

The Hub promotes activity and learning developed by existing and developing funder collaborations responding to Covid-19 with a focus on particular issues or areas. It has a UK wide remit, and while organisations involved in the Hub do not need to be members of ACF they should be committed to sharing data, including through 360Giving, and insights/learning via the Hub.

What does the Hub do for funders?

The Hub helps funders answer four primary questions:

  • “What collaborations are happening already in response to Covid-19?”
  • “Who else is involved or is interested in a collaboration focused on an area of importance to us?”
  • “How can our funding best help?”
  • “What and where are the emerging needs and gaps?”

To achieve these outcomes the Hub will:

  • Encourage funders to connect to achieve a critical mass of engagement and data that is accessible, open and helpful for all kinds of funders
  • Promote ways that funders can collaborate that includes pooled and aligned funds, but also information sharing, including linking to existing or emerging networks and convening groups of funders
  • Ensure that the Hub platform is up-to-date, comprehensive and easy to engage with
  • Bring to funders the voices, key evidence and data from wider civil society to ensure they are directed towards emerging needs and gaps

Progress to date and next steps

In recent weeks, the Hub has evolved from a project in development to one that is now delivering. In parallel with the recently launched pilot web platform, the Hub team is promoting the benefits of funder collaboration at a range of external events, supporting funders to think collaboratively and develop their ideas, and enhancing the connectivity and partnerships of existing collaborations. The Hub is now:

  • Engaging existing funder collaborations
  • Supporting new ideas
  • Showcasing the benefits of working together
  • Engaging with wider civil society

The Hub team is continuing to engage with funders to test the online platform, and engaging wider civil society. The Hub will evolve in response to the needs of the sector. If you are involved in a collaboration, interested in joining one or have comments and suggestions about any aspect of the Hub we would love to hear from you. Please email

Who is involved?

ACF hosts a small staff team that delivers the day to day work with support from a volunteer project group comprised of foundation representatives that has met weekly since early May (a list of members of this group is here). ACF and the project group report to a volunteer Strategy Group comprised of representatives from the foundation and philanthropic sector and civil society organisations (a list of members is here, along with its terms of reference).

How to get involved

Critical to the effectiveness of the Hub is involvement of a wide and diverse range of organisations. If you would like to:

  • Join the Hub's stakeholder list
  • Tell us about a funder collaboration
  • Seek support to develop your ideas
  • Provide input to the development of the Hub

Please email to get in touch and follow the Hub on Twitter @FunderHub


17 November 11am-12.15pm

Funder collaboration: Key ingredients and ones to avoid

Join Global Dialogue and the Institute for Voluntary Action Research to hear about the must- and mustn't-haves of funder collaboration

Drawing on their long-term experience of hosting, supporting and evaluating funder collaborations, our expert panel will share their expertise and insights on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to aligning or pooling funds, converging strategies and sharing operations or governance.This learning event is particularly aimed at foundation staff and philanthropists who are at an early stage of their collaboration journey.

About the speakers:

  • Ben Cairns, Director, the Institute for Voluntary Action Research
  • Esther Hughes, Executive Director, Global Dialogue
  • Rob Abercrombie, Project Lead, Funders' Collaborative Hub (event chair)

Funders and philanthropists can book a free place now

19th November 2020, 11am-12.15pm

“Contribution above attribution? A spotlight on place-based approaches to funder collaboration from across the UK and the Channel Islands”

Drawing on their extensive experience of supporting, convening and participating in funder collaborations of different kinds, our expert panel from the Funders Forums for Jersey, Bristol and Northern Ireland will share their expertise and insights on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to aligning or pooling funds, converging strategies and sharing operations or governance. 

About the speakers:

Sufina Ahmad, trustee of ACF and member of the Hub's Strategy Group (event chair)
Katie Le Quesne, Chair of the Jersey Funders Group and Chair of Lloyds Bank Foundation for the Channel Islands
Paula Reynolds, Chair of the Funders' Forum for Northern Ireland
Ronnie Brown, interim CEO of Quartet Community Foundation and member of Bristol City Funds

Find out more and register for a free place here

9th December 2020

"Using data to drive funder responses to Covid-19"

This event aims to inspire funders and philanthropists to think harder about the value of their data and how they might effectively share it. We will hear from an expert panel about the benefits of using funder data to inform decision-making, avoid duplication and address emerging needs and gaps in their responses to Covid-19. 

About the speakers:

Tracey Gyateng (event chair)
Tania Cohen, CEO at 360 Giving
Amelia Smith, Impact and Evaluation Manager at Buttle UK
Rosario Piazza, Principal: Data at NPC
Jo Kerr, Director of Impact and Innovation at Turn 2 Us

Find out more and register for a free place here


Past events

Webinar: Foundation collaboration in response to Covid-19

8 October 2020

This special event for ACF members set out the key ingredients for effective foundation collaboration, drawing on lessons from the past, examples from the present and plans for the future. It also provided members with a briefing on the new Funders' Collaborative Hub. 

Chair: Faiza Khan, Engagement and Insight Director, National Lottery Community Fund

Panel: Carol Mack, CEO of ACF; Ben Cairns, CEO of the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR); Clare Carter, Director of the Access to Justice Foundation ; James Banks, Director of London Funders; Max Rutherford, Head of Policy at ACF, speaking on behalf of the Hub team

Further reading

Diversity, equity and inclusion

The Hub considers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) throughout its work as a strategic priority and an ongoing work in progress. The initial strategy group draws on expertise from across foundations and civil society. Activity and deliverables are intended to be co-designed and co-produced so that they take account of the needs of protected characteristics (including race, gender, disability), and also to recognise the circumstances of different places in terms of location. It also seeks to embed ACF's ‘pillars of stronger foundation practice’ developed through its Stronger Foundations initiative.

Page last updated 21 October 2020

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