SWIDN Update - Jul '16 - Jun '17

In July 2016 SWIDN was gifted a grant from Joffe Charitable Trust to develop the network into a strong, sustainable charity, supporting members to deliver the SDGs. Here's what we achieved between Jul '16 - Jun '17.

July 2016, SWIDN received a grant from Joffe Charitable Trust to develop into a stronger, more sustainable network with the aim of better supporting members to deliver the SDGs. A lot of hard work has gone into creating a strong foundation to build upon and we're all looking forward to what can be achieved in the coming years as we build the South West International Development Network. 

Achievements between Jul '16 - June '17


5 Training sessions for 65 people from 17 NGOs.

We’ve covered: project impact assessment (2 days), what influences people to donate to charities (1 day), crowdfunding for charities  (1 day), the International Aid Transparency Initiative and building a strong and high performing board (2 hour session).

NGOs attending included: African Initiatives, Deki, Development Initiatives, Ethiopiaid, Faith in Water, FRANK Water, Hope International, Leprosy Mission, Meningitis Research, Motivation, PHASE Worldwide, Salt of the Earth, Send a Cow, Temwa, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, TREE AID and United Purpose.

We scored: 9/10 for usefulness & trainer quality and almost all participants surveyed agreed the courses increased their knowledge, skills and confidence and they are able to apply their learning practically.


7 networking events with 12 guest speakers attended by over 350 people.

Topics covered: the Sustainable Development Goals, diversity, innovation, finance, grant funding, careers and marketing challenges.

Speakers from: Palladium Group, Comic Relief, Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel, Innovate UK, Development Initiatives and other experts in their fields.

253 Meetup.com event followers including professionals from DFID, UN agencies, NGOs businesses and think-tanks, university academics, students and the general public.  Networking events are open to everyone.

Working groups

3 different groups, meet every 2 months, supporting 50 professionals.  

Current groups titles are: NGO Directors, Global Development Consultants and NGO Programme Managers. Each group is supported by a private email discussion list and a volunteer co-ordinator.


We’ve sent over 30 e-newsletter to nearly 600 subscribers.

Our average open rate is 45% with a click-through-rate of 10%.

Our new ultra-modern branding and website was launched in February 2017.  

We have over 1250 Twitter followers and our profile receives around 600-1000 views per month. Our Tweets are seen 16,000+ times a month and on Linkedin we have nearly 400 followers interested in what we have to say.  

40 jobs have been posted on the website and this section of the website gets over 1500 visitors per month. More than 40 global development events have been promoted and 20 pieces of content/news have been featured on the site.


SWIDN is now in a relationship with…

Hub Cymru Africa after appointing Cat Jones to our board of trustees, so the two networks can benefit from a closer working relationship.

We’ve discussed our progress with the new Chief Executive of Bond, Tamsyn Barton and made a contribution to UK Aid Connect, whilst talking to DFID about the impact we’d like to make.

Bristol City Council included SWIDN in the cities global strategy and we have a seat on the newly formed Bristol SDG Alliance.


7 Trustees appointed and one paid member of staff.

June 2017, the Charity Commission made us a registered charity in England & Wales number 1173320.

We opened our own charity bank account.

Policies in place include: Trustee recruitment and selection, conflict of interests and financial policy and data protection.

We have started the process to recruit a trustee to lead on diaspora engagement.  


18 nonprofits, 2 Consultants, 2 Academic institutions and 14 individuals.  

Current income revenue split: Memberships = 17.5%, Training = 10.5%, Grants = 72%. By 2020 and with increased membership numbers we’re aiming for income coming from membership 50%, training 10% and grants and other income 40%.

What do we plan to do next?

  • Continue to provide more high quality, relevant, convenient, affordable training.

  • Introduce sponsorship of networking events and explore opportunities to start events in Cornwall and Devon.

  • Create working groups for: Academics, Diaspora organisations, Fundraisers, and Media/Comms/digital people in the sector.  

  • Make popular working groups available to paid members only.

  • Improve the functionality of our website to make it more user friendly and increase jobs visibility in search engines.

  • Shine the spotlight on our members by promoting their positive work on our website and social media channels.

  • Begin promoting quarterly funding opportunities in the UK.

  • Develop stronger partnerships with: DFID, UK Aid Network, Bond, Bristol City Council, Hub Cymru Africa, Bristol SDG Alliance and the Private sector.

  • Explore opportunities to obtain office/desk space in Bristol for freelancers, NGOs, networking & events.

  • Explore opportunities to engage in research and advocacy.

  • Fund some members to visit conference and events to access information and share learning back with other members.

  • Develop a high performing board of trustees and appoint new members and introduce Patron/Ambassador roles.

  • Recruit a freelance trusts & foundations fundraiser.

  • Continuously improve our membership benefits.

  • Continue to encourage and host high profile international development speakers in the South West.

If you are interested in volunteering to help us grow SWIDN please let us know how you'd like to get involved via info@swidn.og.uk.