New taskforce chair calls on foundations to examine role of enterprise

8 Nov 2022

The incoming Chair of the Enterprise Grants Taskforce, Anna De Pulford, has called on charitable foundations to examine the complex ways in which their grants interact with enterprise and trading.

In a blog, published today on Civil Society, the Director of the Dulverton Trust says that foundations – regardless of whether they directly support enterprise activity or not – must examine the role of enterprise on the outcomes they are seeking to achieve.

She advocates for a ‘systems thinking’ approach and identifies a need to shift from strengthening the capacity of individual organisations to deliver specified outcomes to supporting the capacity of the field of actors to deliver. She concludes that ‘consideration of enterprise and trading must exist in grant-makers’ pursuit of ambitions to fund ‘the field’ and to fund more equitably.

In October, Anna De Pulford took over as chair of the Enterprise Grants Taskforce from the Association of Charitable Foundation’s Carol Mack OBE. This follows a recent recruitment process led by the steering group.

Previously known as the Match Trading Taskforce, Mack has overseen the work of the taskforce since its inception in 2018.  Key highlights during Mack’s tenure include Match Trading’s inclusion in the Levelling Up agenda, an ongoing research partnership with the Marshall Institute at LSE into its long-term benefits and multiple partnerships trialling Match Trading innovations.

The group, relaunched as the Enterprise Grants Taskforce in the summer, will explore how enterprise grants can be better utilised to boost enterprise in the charity sector. The taskforce will seek to define and scope the field of enterprise grants, working together to define best practice, and setting an ambition to grow the field over next decade.

Incoming chair of the Enterprise Grants Taskforce, Anna De Pulford, said

“Increasingly foundations are recognising the role of enterprise in supporting their ambitions to tackle challenging problems in a complex funding environment. I am excited to be joining the Enterprise Grants Task Force to build on the impressive achievements under Carol Mack, and together explore how supporting enterprise can help maximise impact”.

Carol Mack, Chief Executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations, says of Enterprise Grants:

“Supporting enterprise income makes sense for foundations. It can help build the resilience of the charities and social enterprises that funders seek to support by diversifying their income. The Enterprise Grants taskforce offers a great platform for more foundations to understand the role that enterprise can play in the sector’s funding ecology and how best to support its growth.”

Enterprise Grants Taskforce

The Enterprise Grants Taskforce brings together funders and foundations looking to support the development of earned income across the sector.

Enterprise Grants are grants made by public or private funders which are used to help charities and social enterprises increase their capacity to earn income from selling services or goods, or reward trading growth.

The work of the Taskforce will combine efforts to define the scope and size of enterprise grants in the UK, as well as identifying best practice and developing detailed plans for scaling the approach, with the sharing of practical insights and approaches.

For more details about the group, click here.

Anna De Pulford, Director of The Dulverton Trust

Anna De Pulford, Director of The Dulverton Trust and ‘tech for good’ entrepreneur, has experience in harnessing the capacity of data, most notably on the board of 360 Giving from 2015, which led to the jointly presented Open Data Institute’s 2017 ‘Woman in Data’ award, in recognition of their innovative work.

Alongside her 11 years working as a funder, at Nesta, Yoti Ltd and Dulverton, De Pulford also has a history of participating in collaborative platforms, such as joining the Social Finance Impact Incubator and the Funders Collaborative Hub.