Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, the national membership organisation for homelessness services in England comments.
2027 - The talent programme for class diversity in grant-making
Research carried out by McKinsey has demonstrated that there is a powerful correlation between diversity and organisational success. For foundations and trusts, a diverse workforce can lead to improved decision-making, but more than just being a means to an end, it is an important end in itself. Many organisations are now measuring their diversity against protected characteristics such as race and gender, but not yet social class. People from working-class backgrounds are just as likely as anyone else to hold high aspirations, but they encounter numerous barriers to entry, leading them to believe that the sector is ‘not for them’. We want to change this.
In order to take advantage of the lived experience of people from working-class communities, the 2027 talent programme aims to ensure 40% of grant-giving roles are held by talented people from working-class communities with lived experience by the year 2027.
Supported by Big Lottery, Esmee Fairbairn and Barrow Cadbury, 2027 is a 12-month, salaried job and professional development programme, which gives talented people from working-class communities the tools to become a leader in grant-giving organisations, creating real change in communities.
At the heart of 2027 is a paid 12-month job at a leading foundation or trust. A grant-giving organisation such as a foundation or trust is a charity that funds individuals or other organisations to run projects that positively impact the community.
As part of the programme, top talented participants with lived experience of working-class communities will be employed full-time in a grant-giving role, with a host foundation or trust. Participants will gain direct responsibility, helping their host organisation to manage their grant portfolio, source new partners, and analyse organisational performance.
Alongside the placements, they will take part in an extensive professional development programme, led by industry experts, coming together regularly for facilitated learning, networking and to explore key aspects of the grant-giving sector to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills.
This blend of training, networking and on-the-job experience will mean that at the end of the 12-month programme host organisations will have benefitted from excellent talent, and participants from working-class communities will have the experience and skills they need to prepare for a decision-making position in a foundation or trust to influence real change.
In the long run, we believe that by increasing fairness and equality within these organisations, we will begin the process of developing a fairer funding model for society.
We want as many people as possible to know about this opportunity so that talented people from working-class communities can access the programme and start building their career in grant-giving. Programme applicants need to self-identify as being working-class and have at least two years’ experience of working in a frontline role.
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Koreo Campaigns Administrator
Beth works on campaigns at Koreo, one of the managing partners of the 2027 programme. Her focus for 2027 is recruiting talented people from working-class communities onto the programme, to increase diversity in grantmaking organisations and develop participants into leaders in the sector.
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