2013 March - Levels of demand

Is there common ground between funders over concerns about numbers and quality of applications being received? From the economic downturn, and its aftermath, many funders expected overwhelming demand for their funds, yet the onslaught of demand seemed not to happen for most.

March 2013

Ciaran Rafferty from The City Bridge Trust chaired the discussion and a dozen different funders contributed.

In summary

· While volume of applications increased somewhat for most funders in the last couple of years, there was some downturn in demand in 2012-13 but variation in programmes, size of grants, etc. means it is difficult to analyse cause and effect without more detailed work.

· Many funders are disappointed that in general applications from the voluntary and community sector seem not to be reflecting the need for change and new approaches to their services in response to the economic and social context (with key exceptions, especially in the advice sector).

· There is keen awareness of the pressures on the sector, especially for smaller groups and concern that many councils for voluntary service and other support services are either failing or insecure.

· Many groups still need help to specify outcomes, relate these to their delivery plans and have appropriate methods of tracking their impact. This may be most marked in user-led and BME organisations but it is more widespread.

· Some funders are willing to bring grant recipients together to reflect on specific issues and how to tackle them effectively: this can be a good investment to stimulate shared thinking and creative future proposals.

London Funders would be happy to hear from other funders interested in adding to what we know about levels of demand. The full report is available here.



















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