Small charities form the bedrock of civil society. So their wellbeing needs to be attended to, especially in places where there are concentrations of economic difficulties. The problem with previous attempts to strengthen small charities is that ‘gold standards’ about what a successful organisation should look like have been adopted. And far too often, standardised tools have been developed to build the ‘capacity’ and ‘capability’ of such charities which simply don’t address the specific needs of individual charities.
Lloyds Bank Foundation has invested significant resources in the development of charities for many years through its Engage and Enhance programmes. But some charities which really need help don’t meet the eligibility criteria. This project seeks to change that by working with a small number of charities, intensively, over a period of a year.
Known as Lloyds Bank Foundation’s ‘Grow’ programme, this project seeks to experiment with new approaches to strengthen small charities without demanding standardised outcomes which meet the expectations of outsiders rather than of charities themselves.
Based in two areas of the UK which have been challenged economically in recent years, the project will invest significant levels of support to help charities become more resilient as organisations and effective in what they do but without necessarily expecting them to grow or change beyond the ambitions they set themselves.
Professor Tony Chapman has been chosen to assist in the development of this two year programme and will evaluate the success of the intervention.
Professor Tony Chapman and Stephanie Rich are to evaluate the National Youth Agency’s TEN programme which is funded by the Money Advice Service. The project brings together tried and tested approaches to inform the development of financial literacy and sustained money management skills and builds on the success of an existing intervention (Barclays Money Skills Champions).
Its purpose is to strengthen the existing evidence on the immediate advantages of the previous programme for Money Skills Champions, to get a better understanding of how peer education improves the financial capability of 16-21 year olds who are engaged in apprenticeships and which, in turn, has the potential to help influence subsequent decision making which could have longer-term benefit by enhancing the likelihood of improved retention on apprenticeship schemes.
More specifically, the evaluation aims to explore the efficacy of the project through the following research questions:
- To determine if the NYA’s existing approach to ‘peer education’ has distinctive and beneficial impacts upon young people’s approach to learning about discrete financial issues which are replicable for young people from disadvantaged or marginalised backgrounds.
- To find out if the financial learning intervention has a positive impact by improving young people’s knowledge about financial issues and strengthens their locus of control when making immediate financial decisions.
- To explore whether increasing knowledge and skills through peer education about financial issues may impact positively on young people’s ability to navigate key life transitions by weighing up the ‘opportunity costs’ of their decisions in financial and personal development terms.
The project runs for 18 months, beginning in January 2017.