On Saturday 30th April 2022 we celebrated the 10th anniversary of GRIN (Grants Resources Information News). Here’s a short, potted history of GRIN:
Founded in 2012 with invaluable help and advice from Lorna Turner and Debbie Stewart of business consultancy, The Fruit Tree, we started GRIN with an ambitious portfolio of services for not-for-profit organisations seeking to attract grant-funding.
In 2012, GRIN founders, Dominie Dunbrook and Paul Tucker were both working full-time as Grant Managers for different organisations. Once the day job ended, GRIN work began and, for the first 2-3 years we were usually working on the business late into the night and throughout the weekend from our home office in Tiverton, Devon.
Realising this wasn’t a particularly sustainable or healthy arrangement as the social enterprise grew, Paul gradually switched to working full-time on GRIN, while Dominie moved to a full-time post as Economic Development Manager at North Devon Council. At the same time, we relocated the GRIN office from Tiverton to our current base, Christmas Cottage in Great Torrington, in order to be closer to Dominie’s workplace in Barnstaple.
Paradoxically, as GRIN continued to establish itself, we’ve significantly narrowed the range of services we offer to:
o A daily Grant Bulletin providing detailed information of 2-3 grant schemes. The bulletin is sent out at 8.30 each morning every weekday throughout the year, with the exception of bank holidays and a 3-week break over Christmas and the New Year.
o Circulation of a monthly Grants Database – all the grant schemes we feature in the daily Grant Bulletin are collected in the Database. As the bulletins are well over issue #3,000, the database contains a lot of information, which takes time to update and improve.
o Working with one or two exemplary charities and projects – we don’t have the capacity to work with a large number of organisations, as you can see from the timetable below, so we have deliberately limited our project work to working with usually one and occasionally two initiatives.
As we’ve decided to keep GRIN as a 2-person social enterprise, and as Dominie works full-time across North Devon, we’ve had to manage our time carefully. This is how a typical day pans out in the GRIN office:
08.30-10.00 Database entries and updates.
10.00-11.00 Emails, social media entries and pro bono commitments (so far this calendar year we’ve provided pro bone advice and support to over 50 not-for-profit organisations).
11.00-13.00 Project work/commissions.
14.00-18.00 Researching and preparing the daily Grants Bulletin.
18.00-19.00 Dominie and I work on admin, setting up free trials and responding to email enquiries.
02.00-03.30 Paul prepares the website ‘News’ item for the following day.
We know from the many lovely emails we receive that the GRIN Bulletins and Grant Database have helped organisations secure the vital funding they need to deliver exceptional services to some of our society’s most vulnerable members.
The first 10 years have been a blast – here’s to the next 10!
To celebrate our 10 years as a social enterprise, we’re inviting anyone who wants to wins a free 24-month subscription to our Grants Database and the daily Grants Bulletin to enter our music themed competition. Details can be found at this link to our website.