New ways of giving by UK Trusts and Foundations

High engagement funding practices

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 UK trusts and foundations 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 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).

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.


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