We use the term ‘funding plus’ to describe ‘any activity which is additional to a grant and the grant-making process’.
Other terms in use include ‘grants plus’ and ‘funder plus’.
For a small number of foundations, the distinction between ‘funding’ and ‘plus’ is consciously and deliberately blurred: going beyond the money may be automatic and is an expression of values and beliefs. For others, funding plus might just not be the right thing. While there’s no shame in that, we do encourage all funders to engage in debate and discussion about the best and fullest use of their assets to support funded organisations.
Align purpose, focus and method: To inform thinking about the focus and method of additional support, funders need to think about purpose. Is it to strengthen individuals, projects and organisations, or a combination of all three?
Know and understand the work: Funding plus works better when funders understand charities’ field, context, circumstances and concerns – this helps to ensure a good fit between the organisation and the support.
Avoid prescriptive and standardised approaches: Bespoke approaches allow charities to have ownership of support and outcomes. Organisations benefit most from flexible, tailored support that they can access when needed.
Choose the right support provider: Funding plus falters and fails if the support provider is inconsistent; unreliable; too busy; or out of their depth. Funding plus works best when there is a real match between the skills of the support provider and the charity’s needs, and the support is enthusiastic; committed; motivational; and non-judgemental.
Prioritise support for forward thinking: It may be most helpful to focus support on forward thinking and planning. Organisations that are able to adapt and develop are those which review and renew their mission in a changing environment.
Be mindful of power: Foundations need to pay serious attention to some of the ethical dilemmas posed by extending involvement in funded organisations beyond the provision of funding. In particular, what is your mandate? What are the limitations of your role? How best to use your power for good ?
Be ready and willing: For additional support to be both useful and usable, charities need to be ready and willing to engage. This includes:
The role of trusts and foundations in supporting voluntary organisations through difficult timesRead more Publication
With thanks to Paul Coleman/Eden Project Communities for the photo used at the top of this page.