Grantmaking

Including guidance on commissioning, procurement, and collaboration.

London Funders' Publications

Get Connected 
Users of social care are frequently digitally excluded. Read highlights from a ground-breaking grants programme to change this.

In the eye of the beholder? Funding Innovation
(2012) A discussion on how and why funders encourage innovation in the sector.

Is it SIBable? Payment by Results
(2012) Discussion on the spectrum of possibilities PbR offers and the activities which best lend themselves to it as method of funding – analysis, some definitions and examples. 

Less than the price of a first class stamp?
(2011) Report of a members' meeting on the crisis in funding of children's and young people's services in London

Funding groups in crisis
(2011) Learning from Funders No 3

Online applications
(2011) Learning from Funders, No 5

Believing in your community and green spaces
(2009) GrantScape and Church Urban Fund - funders collaborating

Health and Belief
(2009) A grants collaboration between London Catalyst and Church Urban Fund

Working money harder
(2008) Meeting of funders on smarter ways of maximising the impact of their funding 

External Publications

Cracking the network code 
Jane Wei-Skillern, Nora Silver and Eric Heitz, Grantmakers for Effective Organisations, 2013
A useful and practical report to assist funders with “mastering collaboration”, collective impact and network-building. Its sub-title is Four principles for grantmakers and these are: mission, not organisation; trust, not control; humility, not brand; and node, not hub.

Accounts count 
Lucy Lernelius-Tonks, Directory of Social Change, 2013
A short and punchy account of a survey of grantmakers on whether they check the Charity Commission website to see if applicants have filed their accounts on time: over half said they do. Of these almost one in five reject an application if accounts are late at the Commission and the rest query the reason. Comments from funders include: “as a general rule we would refuse their application for funding” and “the application will not be automatically refused but it will flag up concerns, and will not make a positive impression on Trustees”. Funders are reminded that if they do reject applications for this reason, it ought to be listed amongst their criteria at the start.

Best practice guidance for local authorities and the VCS
NCVO report and recommendations for local authorities on ways they can support the VCS adapt to changes in funding. It includes case studies from councils that have been creative in supporting the VCS.

Beyond money - a study of funding plus in the UK 
Institute for Voluntary Action Research on how far funders add value to funded projects with a 'funding plus' approach, i.e. offering projects extra support beyond just money.

Centre for Market and Public Organisation research: impact of Lottery grants
Helen Simpson and Sarah Smith (2013)
The Centre for Market and Public Organisation at Bristol University analysed a sample of more than 5,000 grant applications made by the Community Fund and concluded that receiving a grant made it more likely that a charity would survive and that their incomes would be higher, with a positive effect for up to 4 years in smaller charities. Unlike the more targeted US state lotteries, National Lottery grants were spread widely across many areas, which may account for the positive impact. The results were published in the autumn issue of Research in Public Policy.

Charity fraud: a guide for the trustees and managers of charities 
Charity Finance Group, 2012
This practical guide, the work of some 15 organisations including the Association of Charitable Foundations, offers guidance on how to avoid fraud, how to spot it and how to deal with any instances. It covers staff training and vetting, appropriate policies and controls, and how to ensure fraud is reported. It emphasises the risks of identity theft and steps to avoid it.

Commission publishes guidance on grant funding non-charitable organisations
The Charity Commission (February 2016)
The Commission has published guidance for trustees of charities wanting to make grants to non-charitable organisations. The guidance brings together existing commission guidance that sets out the key principles that trustees must follow when making decisions about grant funding non-charitable organisations. A charity can only make grants for activities that in principle it could carry out itself

Crowdfunding good causes
Nesta (June 2016)
Based on interviews with UK crowdfunding platforms and a survey of more than 450 charities, community groups and social entrepreneurs, this report, created in partnership with NCVO, explores opportunities and challenges in crowdfunding for good causes.

Duty of care 
Institute for Voluntary Action Research, 2012
The role of trusts and foundations in supporting voluntary organisations through difficult times.

Communities in the driving seat - A study of participatory budgeting in England 
Communities and Local Government findings on the costs of participatory budgeting processes, what works in the operation of participatory processes and the results and outcomes achieved. 

Foundations moving on – ending programmes and funding relationships
GrantCraft, 2012
A guide to exit strategies from individual grants and projects as well as from programmes, fields and sectors, based on the experience of funders from Europe and beyond with a focus on long term funding and where a funder has programme objectives. 

From grantmaker to federal grantee: risks and rewards: lessons learned from the Social Innovation Fund
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, 2012
Offers advice about partnerships between philanthropy and government from three grantmakers participating in the Social Innovation Fund including the need to assess capacity in key areas such as communications, fundraising, and accounting and auditing. 

Funder Collaboration: a compelling and cautionary tale
Rick James (2013)
INTRAC have released a paper, Funder collaboration: a compelling and cautionary tale, on the basis of a two-year evaluation to look at a specific $13million collaboration between four foundations working together in Africa, looking at the worth and the practicalities of collaboration and identifying tips for foundations contemplating collaboration. Contact Rick James if you have any tips, benefits or costs to add from your experience.

Funder collaboration – Fear and Fashion
Independent evaluation of a major collaborative initiative to understand and devise practical responses to the problem of knife crime involving young people. Supported by five foundations - City Bridge Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, John Lyon’s Charity, Trust for London and The Wates Foundation - it funded four projects and the evaluation identifies some significant achievements. 

Funding communities: adding value
Community Development Foundation's report gives practical advice for third sector and statutory funders designing and delivering grants.

Funding for inclusion: women and girls in the equation
Mama Cash and GrantCraft (funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust), 2012
Research into what inspires 31 foundations based in different parts of Europe to support women and girls and address gender and other aspects of social identity. This report covers specific projects and programmes and how foundations have mainstreamed gender perspectives into their work, including looking at gender ratios on board, staff, and grants and advisory committees. The guide uses a broad definition of gender (including trans people) and provides insights into how a gender lens offers an opportunity to shed light on differences that may otherwise remain invisible and negatively influence the effectiveness of a foundation’s efforts.

Giving More and Better
NPC, June 2016

How can the philanthropy sector improve? Philanthropy has a long and rich history in the UK, but there is a need for both more and better philanthropy to unlock an additional £4bn of private wealth for public good. This report, which includes donor journeys and theories of change, is the start of a discussion about how we can achieve this.

Heritage Lottery Fund's work with London boroughs
How HLF’s London Development Team approached work in specific boroughs helping potential applicants develop their project ideas and raising awareness of local heritage to increase the quantity and quality of applications.

Briefing on Heritage Lottery Fund development priority work with Harrow
Briefing on Heritage Lottery Fund development priority work with Kingston

Get real: social value at work in the heart of Knowsley
Knowsley Community and Voluntary Services (November 2015)
A research report aimed at understanding the impact of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 on experiences of working in the voluntary and community sectors. The report clearly identified that there is a need for the support of organisations such as KCVS to navigate increasingly and constantly changing socio-economic environments. The report also identifies important challenges for commissioners; they need to be clear about social value and ensure that the social sector can take full advantage of opportunities presented by the Act.

Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter? A National Study of Philanthropic Practice
Grantmakers for Effective Organisations, 2012
This study finds that the economy has done little to persuade foundations to change practices in areas that support non-profit success. The survey of 755 foundations found that 83% of foundations said they devote money to general support, compared with 80% in 2008 and the median amount of foundations’ budgets devoted to unrestricted support held steady at 20%.

Leveraging limited dollars: how grantmakers achieve tangible benefits by funding policy and community engagement
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 2012
Report examining 110 organisations in 13 states over a five-year period and finding that groups leveraged $231 million in funding from grantmakers into $26.6 billion in benefits to low-wage workers, BME communities, rural residents, and other marginalised groups.

On the Money  
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, 2009
This executive report and discussion guide from a US grantmaking membership organisation highlights the financial challenges nonprofits face and the ways in which grantmakers are both improving the situation and perpetuating problems.

Realising the Potential for Social Replication
Dan Berelowitz, Mark Richardson and Matt Towner (2013)
This report from the International Centre for Social Franchising research for the Big Lottery Fund identified access to finance as a key reason for organisations not scaling up, with grant funders as essential to the process. This research calls for the creation of a Social Replication Grant Fund and recommends the creation of a social replication toolkit to support organisation. 

Scanning the landscape 2.0: finding out what's going on in your field
GrantCraft, 2012
This publication explores funders' approaches to "scanning" — examining the field as a whole and identifying opportunities, needs, and gaps — as a way to hear from constituencies, understand emerging issues, and map the funding environment. It reflects on key changes in philanthropy such as the rise of social media.

Smarter relationships, better results: making the most of grantmakers’ work with intermediaries
Grantmakers for Effective Organisations, 2013
This US publication explores the role and value of intermediaries working with grantmakers and how this can extend their reach and impact. It is set up as an interactive PDF to be viewed on screen.

Social return on investment for funders
SROI is a type of economic analysis that focuses on listening to stakeholders, identifying outcomes and giving these a financial value. This report from New Philanthropy Capital aims to help funders understand its role and how funded organisations might be helped to use it as a reporting tool. 

Speaking Up! Foundations and advocacy in Europe
GrantCraft, 2012
European countries have diverse traditions in philanthropy, and many foundations not only fund advocacy but directly influence policy agendas through their operational programmes. This guide explores how foundations do so through interaction with local and national government as well as the European institutions. 

Strategic co-funding: an approach for expanded impact
GEO (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations) and REDF (a US venture philanthropy network), 2012
This is the latest publication from a multi-year initiative, Scaling what works, and while written for an American audience and using US examples, is a practical guide to the reasons for and methods of jointly financing projects and programmes.

A story of what otherwise might not have been possible
The case for small grants: Impact assessment of the work of the Helen Tetlow Memorial Fund in support of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in the UK, 2003-12
This report details the cumulative impact of support provided through the Fund’s small grants programme to around 30 small organisations. It highlights improved physical and emotional wellbeing of immigration detainees, asylum seekers and refuges; the strengthening of small organisations and greater awareness of more positive attitudes towards asylum seekers and refugees in the wider community.

Scaling social impact: a literature toolkit for funders
Social Impact Exchange, 2012
A literature review on taking projects and services to scale. 

Supportive to the Core
Report from the Institute for Philanthropy subtitled Why unrestricted funding matters and looking at how core support can increase grant potential, addressing rationale and methodology, with case studies from the perspective of funder and beneficiary.

Wherever there is money there is influence: exploring BIG’s impact on the third sector
Third Sector Research Centre, 2012
This research highlights Big Lottery Fund’s influence on the sector, offering a critical insight into its role as a “facilitator” of the sector. The report offers questions and strategies for BIG and the third sector to address: engagement, transparency, intelligence, independence and the extent to which BIG is or could be an active policy actor.