Read about the experience of our Founder and Chairman, Marcelle Speller, in setting up her own funding criteria on Brevio

Although I have been convinced of the need for a system like Brevio for several years now, once the platform was up and running, I wanted to test it for myself. 

As I have been an enthusiastic supporter of local charities since I set up LocalGiving 12 years ago, top of the list of my funding criteria were two local areas that I care about – Manchester where I was born, and the South West where I live now.

Setting my criteria

I kept my eligibility criteria broad. I wanted to capture any charities that are helping to support their community through the impacts of Covid-19, whether that be children, homelessness, domestic violence, poverty or other areas that are desperate for support right now.

The great thing about Brevio is that it lets you go as broad or as specific as you like when it comes to setting your criteria. In order to enable Gift Aid, I specified registered charities and I was happy to fund any type of funding need, except a loan. 

A couple of weeks later I got an email from Brevio telling me there was an application for my Manchester fund. Excitedly I logged into Brevio and saw that it was from the Higher Folds Community Centre who wanted to set up a special program for 0 – 2 year olds. I had heard about the importance of programs for this early age group, and how during the stress of lockdown, new parents in deprived areas were facing even greater difficulties.

Getting to know my chosen charity

While this charity fulfilled the funding criteria I had specified, it was also really helpful to understand the softer issues by reading their mission statement and the clear description of why the project was needed.

Children begin at their nursery at age 2 with poor development for their age. The Nursery often struggles to have children school-ready at age 4. This poor infant development stems from a lack of parenting skills and little social interaction with other children prior to nursery. Statistics for the area show that education and employment opportunities are below local and national averages. 

Tools for decision making

The next stage was to look at their website and find out a bit more about them. And then I decided to pick up the phone and call them. I left a message, and the Community Centre Manager David Rainsford, called me back 3 minutes later. We had a wonderful conversation. I could really sense his passion for his community, and his objective to give babies in Higher Folds a better start in life, and avoid this vicious cycle of disadvantage.

Brevio gave me the information and tools I needed to make an informed decision about who to grant my funding to. I transferred the amount David required to set up the project into the charity’s bank account that afternoon.

I always knew that Brevio would save charities from the soul-destroying process of completing so many grant applications (and David confirmed that this was so)! But I didn’t realise just how wonderful it would feel to be able to help children who do not have the start I had from my wonderful parents all those years ago in Manchester. Without Brevio, it would have been almost impossible to find Higher Folds. I’m so very glad I did, and I’m looking forward to calling in on them when I’m next up North!