MICRA researcher explores potential for microfunding in new report

Research fellow with the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing Sophie Yarker has contributed to a new report exploring the potential for microfunding for social mobility.

Ambition for Ageing’s Changing a place: Microfunding, co-production and community development investigates how a small pot of money can generate change within neighbourhoods and how the right environment and support can bring guidance, mediation and oversight to facilitate change with impact.

With Yarker’s expertise, Ambition for Ageing has released a suite of resources looking at the conditions needed to get microfunding right. The documents draw on learnings from Local Delivery Leads on delivering microfunding and note challenges and share best practice for those who may want to choose a similar route.

The full report identifies the potential for microfunding to involve more diverse groups, and to deliver a microfunded programme, the right conditions of social networks, social infrastructure and relationships should be pre-existing.

With the right environment and support to provide guidance, mediation and oversight, the changes offered by a small pot of money can have a significant impact, the report states, while the variety of ways to engage using these models means many of the barriers to participation within marginalised groups can be overcome.

The recruitment and retention of older volunteers is a challenge faced by many social programmes and microfunding models are not immune to this, however, offering flexibility can help overcome this.

In addition to the full report, a four-page briefing and technical guidance on delivering a wraparound microfunding model are available to download.

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