Place-based funding: a briefing paper

IVAR are working in partnership with London Funders, ACF and a number of independent funders on research to explore place-based funding approaches

The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) is working in partnership with London Funders, the Association of Charitable Foundations and a number of independent funders on research to explore place-based funding approaches.

The term place-based funding is used to describe a spectrum of approaches. At one end of the spectrum, it may be used simply to refer to grant-making limited by geography – a decision to fund only in specified geographic areas; at the other it may refer to long-term and multi-faceted collaborative partnerships aiming to achieve significant change. In most cases, it is more than just a term to describe the target location of funding; it also describes a style and philosophy of funding.

Using a combination of literature review and interviews/case studies with a range of UK trusts and foundations, the study aims to:

  • Begin to map the field and spectrum of place-based approaches – from light touch to deep engagement
  • Arrive at a common language to describe the phenomenon of place-based funding
  • Identify the key pitfalls and successes of approaches on the place-based funding spectrum
  • Develop a series of case studies that focus on learning about the approaches in terms of rationale, success and failure.

The paper draws on current practice and literature to explore what place-based funding is, looking at: how it is delivered; the different types of approaches and roles funders play; benefits and challenges of working with place. 

This briefing paper is a working document that will be refreshed during the course of the research. Readers who would like to give feedback on the paper or who are interested in the study are invited to contact Eliza Buckley.