What is the Echo Community Fund?
At Echo, we believe communities are stronger when they’re more connected. That’s why we set up the Echo marketplace to help local people and businesses connect and support each other by trading their skills and resources, 1 hour for 1 Echo.
We know there are so many people in east London doing some incredible things to strengthen their communities and improve the lives of those living around them. In our eyes, they’re our superheroes!
But, we know that getting any idea of the ground can be a challenge even when you’ve got money in the bank, and it can be an even greater struggle when you don’t. So we wanted to do something to help.
That’s why we’re launching the ‘Echo Community Fund’ to help local East Londoners to get the skills and resources they need to make their ideas happen and do something amazing to support their local community.
We have 5 Echo Grants to give away to 5 fantastic local projects. Each grant is for 20 Echoes, which buys you 20 hours of professional expertise and practical support from our growing community of 3,000+ members.You won’t have to pay back the Echoes and there are no strings attached. All we ask is that you share an outline of how you plan to use them, why you’ve chosen to spend them in this way and keep us up to date with your progress.
On top of your 20 Echo grant, you’ ll also get:
We’re keen to hear from a wide range of people and projects doing all kinds of different things. It might be a one-off project or event, or something that with a little support can become sustainable and benefit people time and time again.
It might be an arts project, a music event, or a tea party for the elderly. Perhaps, it could be a tech innovation, a social enterprise, or a parent & toddler group – it’s up to you. With that in mind, it could be for young people, older people, students, mums, or for an individual person* – you name it.
There are really only three criteria:
*We are also welcoming applications or nominations for individuals who could benefit from a Community Fund grant. Perhaps you’re working with a brilliant employee or volunteer and would like to be able to offer them training but don’t have the budget, or maybe you know someone who could use an Echo grant to help gain the skills and confidence they need to get a new job, start a project or get better at what they do. If so, you can apply or nominate via the links below. The beneficiary must live or work in one of the postcodes listed above.
The exchange rate is simple, 1 Echo = 1 Hour. So, you’ll have 20 hours of professional expertise and practical support from our growing community of 3,000+ members across London.
Echoes can be even more valuable than cash in lots of ways. Cash comes and goes and is certainly helpful in the short term, but what’s really valuable is a building a network of supporters. Echoes are great at building relationships that’ll benefit your project long into the future.
This is what 20 Echo spend could look like:
Poppy’s Gardening Project
Poppy applied for an Echo grant to start a gardening project in her local area to help people learn new skills and meet their neighbours. She used her Echoes to access the things she needed to get started and then get expert support and training to help her make her project sustainable.
Our team will sit down with you to help you look at your plan and pinpoint exactly what you need. Then we’ll get to work connecting you with the most relevant people in our network so you can get the very most from your 20 Echoes.
It may be that you need help with your marketing or PR, or perhaps you need support with design or copywriting. Whatever it is, we’ll do our best to help you get the skills you need. We’ll also use our networks to help promote your project and make introductions to useful contacts along the way.
Applying is easy, just follow one of the links below, fill in the form and hit submit. We’ll review your application along with all the others and will be in touch to let you know if you’ve been successful.
You can either apply for yourself or nominate someone else that you think could benefit from the Echo Community Fund.
We want to get a feel for your passion and share your vision, so the more details you can give us up front the better.
Apply for yourself – click HERE
Nominate a project or someone – click HERE
This deadline for applications has been extended to midnight: 16th October 2016
Jodie’s been a member of Echo for two years and has used it to help get her art workshops business off the ground. She’s found it’s given her the creative freedom to explore her ideas and the opportunity to experiment to see what works. It’s also been a great way to offer something back to her local community, from running workshops for kids at Hub67 in Hackney Wick, to giving local people a chance to explore their creativity at her printmaking workshops.
“Echo really is a great network of like-minded people who want to help the community. There is a real range of people who have really interesting creative ideas and it’s a great resource to get advice and support.” Jodie
Her first Echo trade was with a graphic designer who helped her design her brand logo and business cards. Since then, she has accessed a whole range of skills including a design course, business support, venue space to hold workshops and a pitch at Chatsworth Road market to help her market her offer to new audiences – all without spending a penny.