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Sharing power in grant-making

Reflections from Comic Relief's Shift the Power programme

September 2021

Sonakshi Anand, Gilly Green, Charlotte Pace, Katie Turner


How do we shift the power in grant-making to communities? By making steps to share it.

Discover how Comic Relief approached the dynamics of power in the first phase of their intermediary funding programme: Shift the Power. These resources are aimed at funders, in particular intermediary funders and national/local funders working with intermediaries, who are considering questions of power in grant-making: who has it, and how it can be shared.

More information: 

Shift the Power is an intermediary funding programme run by Comic Relief. It aims to shift the power in grant-making to communities and get more funding to small grassroots organisations and communities across the UK, and to trial a trust-based and ‘relational’ approach to devolved grant-making.

Comic Relief partnered with four intermediary funders; Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI), Corra Foundation in Scotland, Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), and Groundwork UK in England, who acted as the intermediaries between Comic Relief and local communities.

The report paper Sharing power in grant-making reflects on the collective learning of Comic Relief and the funders during the first phase of the programme, drawing on the insights collected by IVAR as a Learning Partner, working alongside Comic Relief and the intermediary funders

We have also included case studies from the four intermediary funders in the paper Sharing power with intermediary funders to delve into the approaches and learning for each funder. 

Image credits: We are thankful to the intermediary funders and their grantees for giving us permissions to use their logos and imagery (where applicable) for this project. 


(IVAR - Sharing power in grant-making - Sept 21)


(IVAR - Funder case studies from Shift the Power - Sept 2021)

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