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conference paper

New ways of giving by UK Trusts and Foundations

High engagement funding practices

June 2012

Eliza Buckley, Ben Cairns


This paper was presented at the 2012 International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) Conference in Siena, Italy. 

In the paper we draw on research with 30 UK trusts and foundations in order to shed light on ‘high engagement funding’ (a cluster term to describe the phenomenon of trusts and foundations providing both funding and additional support to grantees) practices; we do this by looking at why and how such approaches are used and by considering the implications, challenges and benefits of these practices from the perspective of both foundations and their grantees.

We argue that ‘high engagement funding’ might be a more useful concept for debating the relative advantages and disadvantages of ‘more than just money’ relationships. We identify four key features of ‘high engagement funding’:

  1. interest in the whole grantee organisation;
  2. willingness to fund core costs;
  3. a partnership approach – on both sides – to the grantee/funder relationship;
  4. and additional support from the funder (which acts either directly on the grantee organisation or indirectly on the environment in which it operates).


(IVAR New ways of giving)

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