Let charities shine

Six principles for open and trusting applications and assessments

How can foundations be more open and trusting in their funding applications and assessments? In July 2021, we asked 22 charities to share what it feels like to apply for grants – using this as a basis for our report, we explored approaches by six grantmakers to be more open and trusting in their application and assessment processes.

This paper focuses on six principles – shaped by the experiences and learning from participating charities and grantmakers and in alignment with open and trusting commitments – to guide grantmakers in making changes:

  1. Don’t waste time: Be honest about priorities and prospects
  2. Accept risk: Challenge established assumptions
  3. Create a chance for charities to shine
  4. Ask relevant questions: Streamline application forms
  5. Pay attention to how the process feels
  6. Encourage meaningful feedback and act on this learning

Feature image by Birmingham Disability Resource Centre 


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