Making funding plus work
- Align purpose, focus and method
- Know and understand the work
- Avoid prescriptive and standardised approaches
- Choose the right support provider
- Prioritise support for forward thinking
- Be mindful of power
- Be ready and willing
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:
- Involving everyone – staff and trustees – so that the support reaches into the heart of the organisation
- The ability and mindset to effect change
- Capacity for implementation