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Funders
& funding

We work with funders and voluntary organisations to identify problems, analyse them and reach conclusions that can progress learning and achieve change on all sides.

 

We have a significant body of work in this area and a network of local, national and international contacts that put us in a distinctive position, allowing us to occupy the role of an independent ‘critical friend’ to strengthen the accountability, learning and grant-making practice of foundations.

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The way voluntary

organisations are

funded is critical

to their well-being &
impact.

In every community in England, voluntary organisations work around the clock to improve the quality of life and opportunity for local people. Home visits for the elderly; after-school clubs for young children; skills training for teenagers; advice for people out of work; beds for people without a home – all of these services are provided at low cost and with minimum fuss.

 

Funding works best for voluntary organisations when it is flexible and designed to bring out the best in them. We encourage funding relationships that place value on the contribution each partner brings: the knowledge of context and needs of voluntary organisations; and the resources and convening power of the funder. We believe that drawing on direct research with voluntary organisations to help influence and shape funders’ strategy and practice is an important ingredient of a healthy civil society.

 

If funding agreements are overly prescriptive there is a risk that they will prevent voluntary organisations from responding to their changing context in a way that holds beneficiaries at the forefront. So how they are funded is critical. Trusts and foundations matter to these organisations because they are interested in small and local initiatives and they are willing to fund work with marginalised groups and causes.

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