Grants - how do you think they should be managed?

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8 June, 2022


If you have 15 minutes spare then using them to answer The Funding Experience Survey from the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) to influence key funders, could be time well spent.  

More than 100 independent funders have registered with the initiative in an effort to be more open about how they award grants and have signed up to eight commitments:  

Don't waste time; Ask relevant questions; Accept risk; Act with urgency; Be open; Enable flexibility; Communicate with purpose; Be proportionate. 

As well as agreeing to adapt their current practice in these ways they also want to know what changes charities, community groups and social enterprises think they could make to support organisations who apply to them. So, they are keen to give applicants a voice within the funding relationship, to share issues that may feel difficult or sensitive to raise, but could address how these relationships can work more productively. 

When speaking to Charity Today, Ben Cairns, Director of IVAR, said: “This is a watershed moment for UK funding: over 100 grant makers are committed to listening to applicants, and adapting how they work to reduce the wasted time, effort and stress of fundraising and funding relationships.” 

Harriet Stranks, Director of Grants at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said: “As funders, our job is to support charities so that they can do what they do best. It’s important that we listen to charities, respond to feedback and adapt the way we work so that we can meet the needs of the charities we exist to serve. We will be reviewing the responses to this survey to see where we can learn and improve.” 

Taking part in the survey will grant givers the opportunity to hear how you think funding relationships could be developed, and how processes could be improved to reduce current levels of time and resource that go into completing bids.  They have put in measures to ensure that respondents can be as honest as they would like to be, so survey responses will be anonymous, in order that input can be completely frank. 

When the survey closes, IVAR will give feedback to the grant makers that have signed up and will also publish findings within wider networks in the hope of encouraging other funders to take on board the comments to improve their processes too.  

If you take part in the survey, you will be sent the full results, so you can see what others in the sector have said about their experiences of applying for grants. 
IVAR want to hear from at least 1,000 grant applicants and recipients so that they can obtain input from a wide range of organisations within the sector, so they have incentivised taking part and survey respondents from registered charities will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win one of 10 prizes of £100 for their organisation.