Forás Forum


The Ireland Funds Great Britain


Forás Forum

forásm. (gs. -áis). Growth, development; progress. 

Forás Forum offers non-financial support and expertise to charities. It is delivered by The Ireland Funds Great Britain with the assistance of a team of volunteers. The programme was founded in partnership with Anthony Harte, IFGB Grants Committee member.

The Forás Forum is a two-part programme.
Workshops

It involves, firstly, a series of workshops which help charities and community organisations raise funds by sharing success stories of experts in the sector, providing practical examples and building a community of likeminded organisations. Speakers in these workshops include Carmel McConnell MBE, Founder of Magic Breakfast charity, Alex Smith, Founder and CEO of The Cares Family and Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2be.

Volunteers

In addition to the workshops, organisations have the opportunity to access a range of volunteers who will provide guidance and hands-on support in a nominated area of expertise in a skills sharing partnership. The fields of expertise include:

  • Strategy & Planning
  • Marketing & Social Media
  • Sales & Fundraising

FAQ

I am a charity

1. Who can apply for the skills sharing partnership?
Applications will be by invitation only initially. Registered charities and not-for-profit organisations based within Great Britain and the 32 counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be invited to apply. Organisations must have a turnover of less than £1m per annum.

2. What are the expectations for the partnership?
We launched the Forás Forum to provide non-financial assistance to charities in our network. We have a network of business professionals with commercial skills and knowledge that may be helpful to a charity. We hope that by connecting our charities with our volunteers that meaningful relationships will evolve and lead to the development of new ideas, initiatives and problem solving.
We have grouped the skillsets of our volunteers as follows:

  • Strategy & Planning
  • Marketing & Social Media
  • Sales & Fundraising
  • Finance and Administration
  • Key Relationship Management

3. What level of assistance can be expected if our application is successful?
If your application is successful, you will be matched with a group of 2-3 volunteers. They will have some of the skills you have identified as useful to your organisation and they will work with you to resolve the issue or idea that has been outlined in your application. We propose that the partnership will last for 6 months, with 1-2 hours assistance provided per month. The partnership may be extended or shortened at the agreement of all parties. Depending on the nature of what is required, assistance may be via videocall, telephone call, email or if COVID restrictions allow, in person.

4. What if the issue or idea is not ‘solved’ by the volunteers?
As this is a voluntary partnership, unpaid and with time constraints, we cannot guarantee that the issue you are attempting to solve or idea that you are trying to develop will occur. However, we can try and work together to see what we can achieve within these parameters.

5. What is expected from the successful charity applicants?
We expect charities to have realistic expectations for this partnership. A clear mission and helpful indicators of how the volunteers can assist.

6. What if we are not matched with a volunteer group?
We hope to be able to match every organisation with a volunteer group, however we realise that we may receive more applications than we have volunteers; in this case we will keep your application on file and as the programme develops and volunteers are recruited, we will endeavour to match your organisation

I am a volunteer

1. What is the time commitment?
Each volunteer group will be expected to provide approximately 1-2 hours of assistance per month for 6 months. As you will be in groups this will allow flexibility for volunteers depending on their availability however we encourage you to work together with the charities to find a suitable time for all parties. Interaction with the charities may take place by video call, telephone call, email, or if COVID restrictions allow, in person.

2. What is expected from volunteers?
Your group of volunteers will be paired with a charity that has identified an issue they want to solve or an idea they want to develop. We expect that you offer what you can and feel comfortable providing advice and guidance in your chosen skill area in the time outlined above.

3. What will IFGB provide?
IFGB will split volunteers into groups, based on their skills set. Each group will be sent a set of charity applications and they will agree which project they would like to work on.

Forás Forum FAQ


Contact

The Ireland Funds Great Britain
ifgb@irelandfunds.org