“Giving people voice is not enough. 

Its listening to them that counts”


At the Blagrave Trust, we believe passionately in the importance of listening and responding to those we seek to serve – both young people who benefit from what we fund, and organisations that benefit from receiving those funds. We publish our own set of commitments to the organisations that we fund.

Prioritising Feedback

We have a growing interest in how organisations and their funders alongside them can listen to the young people in their programmes – systematically and meaningfully. We explore this in a number of ways:

  • We prioritise this issue in our application process by asking organisations to explain specifically how they do this and what the young people they work with think of their charity.
  • In 2015 we conducted research with Keystone Accountability and some of our partners into how youth charities listen and respond to the young people they help.
  • In Summer 2016 we ran our first ever Feedback Fund to support practice in this area. Read the key lessons learned from these small grants here: Feedback Fund 2016 – key lessons
  • In Autumn 2016 we were involved in the first ever UK Feedback Summit to share practice across the charity sector.

We ensure feedback practice is core to everything we fund. Read more about our approach in Jo Wells’ 2016 article for Trust and Foundation News.

Listening for Change

After undertaking a listening exercise with the sector in late 2016, we collaborated with the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to produce a report ‘Listening for Change – Two Sides of the Same Coin’ about the relationships between funders and social purpose organisations.  To read the main body of the report please click here Listening for Change.  To read the report as well as the many insightful responses of the survey respondents please click here Listening for Change – Full Report and annexes. See responses from funders and charities on our Storify.

Resources on listening

For more information on the power of feedback to improve services, see the Feedback Labs webpage. Organisations who want to assess their own organisational use of feedback can find a free toolkit to download from the feedback labs website.