At the Blagrave Trust we recognize that running and sustaining a high impact charity can be incredibly difficult and never more so than now. We also recognize that for many charities the business of raising funds, and reporting on their use, often absorbs a disproportionate amount of time and can detract precious energy away from the core mission of the charity and the learning that is fundamental to progress.
We are passionate about ensuring that we do everything we can to support, and therefore increase the effectiveness of, the organisations that we are funding. We set ourselves high standards from which to hold ourselves to account and monitor and review our own progress.
The following commitments signal the ways that we will work to uphold these ideas.
- Wherever possible if the mission of a charity is in line with our own, then we will provide unrestricted multi-year funding (3 years).
- Transparency and communication: our funding priorities will be clearly communicated via our website; our funding decisions will be public through 360 Giving, our website and our accounts. We are open to an exploratory email or telephone conversation if there is any uncertainty.
- Focused on the people we seek to serve. We are committed to ensuring that everything we fund supports the self-reliance, sense of confidence and self of young people. We therefore prioritise organisations that listen to young people carefully at all stages of their work, and adapt and course correct accordingly. Providing core funding, enables this flexibility.
- We will embody a spirit of partnership and mutual respect. This will be reflected in the way we work and our processes:
- We will acknowledge and respond to first stage grant requests within a month.
- We will ensure that first stage application to final decision will take between 2 and 4 months.
- We will not ask for further information in the form of an application or organisational documentation unless we have sufficient funding to support the request and already have a high degree of confidence in the quality of the charity’s work and fit with our mission.
- We will not ask for information that we will not use and we will give strong weight to existing evidence and research that supports work, whether that is external or internally produced i.e. not asking charities to produce information for us that is already available elsewhere.
- We will always give clear feedback: on rejected applications at first stage, at full proposal stage, and on reports prepared for us.
- We will be open to phone calls and discussion at all stages of application.
- We will visit every charity that we wish to fund to learn more about their work and, wherever possible and appropriate, to meet the young people they support.
- We commit to learning from our partners and sharing the learning that we ourselves gather. We will do this by:
- Ensuring that our monitoring and evaluation supports the kind of learning that is useful to organisations – in particular, the feedback that beneficiaries give to charities about the value of their work. We will only ask for bespoke reports if there is a clear case for doing so.
- We will proactively share the findings of our own learning as a funder and that of our partners where appropriate.
- We will facilitate collaboration and learning between and amongst our funding partners, though our annual partner meeting, communities of practice and other means.
This is a ‘live’ statement. We welcome your thoughts on these commitments: please email any comments to Jo.firstname.lastname@example.org
We ask our partners for feedback on our performance as a funder and whether we live up to these commitments:
“The Blagrave Trust is a really accessible and exemplary funder. We have had clear guidance and feedback throughout the grant process. We feel comfortable being open about the things that go wrong as well as what goes right. Attending the annual partners meeting was a really helpful insight into how decisions are made and it was encouraging to spend time with other grantees.”
“The feedback and support that the Blagrave Trust provides is exemplary and should be used as a model by other grant making bodies. The Partners meeting …was especially helpful and provided a fantastic opportunity to network. “
“The flexibility and understanding of the Trust in terms of how we support young people has been crucial, particularly in relation to wanting to do the work in another geographical area. Knowing that we are supported without unnecessary restrictions is vital to enable us to provide the kind of personalised service that our young people so desperately need.”