Better Together for Healthy Marrow
Bone marrow failure results from several different and often quite rare conditions. People affected can find information and connection from the specialist organisations set up to support them. However, these micro-charities, which are often set up by a family member affected by a bone marrow condition, have limited resources, so their ability to promote themselves, raise money and create good quality information can be limited.
Working as an alliance changes this. The Better Together for Healthy Marrow partnership brings together seven charities. Individually, they are champions of their own communities but together as an alliance, they benefit from shared working and pooled resources to deliver more than they ever could alone.
Sustainability of their support services is essential, so the small but mighty charities collectively applied for funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, with The Aplastic Anaemia Trust as the lead partner.
Insley Consulting helped to design a plan for how the project would be evaluated, including a Logic Model, Outcomes Framework and Learning Log, and suggested methods to measure the difference to organisational and individual resilience. Our support helped secure over half a million pounds of funding.
The alliance had a clear and articulated vision – and it sailed through the preliminary stages of the funding process. However, the second-round application required more detailed and rigorous thinking.
Stevie Tyler, lead partner and Chief Executive of The Aplastic Anaemia Trust explains:
“This was a project that developed over time. We knew that with the funding and focused action, the impact of our work on our communities would be immense. But our skills to develop the bid proposal were limited.
We lacked the expertise to define and gather the evidence needed to demonstrate how we would monitor the project – and how to build a framework to evaluate this.
“We knew we needed an expert to not only show us what needed to be done, but who understood our world.”
Insley Consulting was commissioned to help structure the thinking around the difference the project would make and how this would be evaluated.
BUILDING A FRAMEWORK FOR INPUT
We kick-started the project with an online workshop with The Aplastic Anaemia Trust as the lead partner. From this, we built the basic structure of the Logic Model and Outcomes Framework and shared it across the charities, giving the wider team something tangible to work with.
National Lottery Community Fund was keen to ensure that partners learn from the project, so we developed a Feedback Loop and systems for partners to review evaluation data and consider if and how the project will need to change as a result.
It was important for this alliance that evaluation methods were proportionate to the capacity of the small charities involved.
“It was evidently clear that Emma understood the requirements of a successful Lottery funding bid and how we, as an alliance, could make practical changes to monitor our impact over time.
Emma took the conversations from across the charities, brought the contributions together and mapped the specific outcomes they each wanted. She presented the results in a way that we could use immediately – and within the bid document.
Emma gave us a piece of the puzzle that we could not have had by working on our own. Without her knowledge and expertise, we could never have had the complete picture of what we needed to do.”
Lead partner and Chief Executive of The Aplastic Anaemia Trust
The partnership was successful in its bid. The National Lottery Community Fund awarded funding of £579,707 over three years. Insley Consulting has now been commissioned to evaluate the three-year project.
Beyond the future benefits for people affected by bone marrow conditions, partners now have:
- A practical and relevant outcomes framework that can be used by all partners.
- Confidence and reassurance that the project will be robustly monitored and evidenced.
- A more secure future for partner organisations and the communities they serve.
- A long-term Learning Partner in Insley Consulting who understands the goals and will provide the expert and independent evaluation annually to track, monitor and measure the outcomes from the funded project.
The bid was lauded by The National Lottery Community Fund as a strong example of how partnership funding can be successful. Indeed, the application is to be used as a case study.
“We were delighted to secure the National Lottery Community funding and I am sure that it was at least partly because of the evaluation plan we developed and how well it showed our priorities and goals.
“We know that, by working with Emma, we will become more experienced, more proficient, and more capable. We will have access to tools relevant to us and our progress. I am truly excited about our future.”
Stevie Tyler, lead partner for the Better Together for Healthy Marrow alliance
Learn more about The Aplastic Anaemia Trust’s work here.