UK funders agree trialling new principles for grant reporting

10 December, 2018


A group of some of the UK’s most well-known funders and funded organisations launched a new set of principles for grant reporting.

The group, which has been led by the Institute for Voluntary Action Research and grant-maker Esmée Fairbairn, has developed the principles to make grant reporting a shared, more meaningful and mutually beneficial experience.

Caroline Mason, Chief Executive of Esmée Fairbairn said that when it comes to impact reporting, there should be a hierarchy:

“At the centre should be those that experience and live with the consequences of today’s issues.

“Next might be the frontline workers, practitioners or staff working with the realities of them every day. After them the organisation’s Trustees or directors. Then policy makers or other decision makers who could influence the work or improve the root causes.

“Only then, in the outer circle, come the funders. Reporting to us should be less important than to all those other groups – we are the last in that chain.”

The principles will be tested over the next six months by nine funders. The principles are:

1. Funders explain why they have awarded a grant.

2. Funders and funded organisations are clear about what grant reporting will look like.

3. Funders are clear about the type of relationship they would like to have with the organisations they fund.

4. Funders only ask for information they need and use, and question whether they need bespoke reporting.

5. Funders give feedback on any grant reporting they receive, and share their thoughts on the progress of their work.

6. Funders describe what they do with the information they obtain from funded organisations.

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