“Giving people voice is not enough.
Its listening to them that counts”
The Blagrave Trust believes 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.
As a Trust that has espoused values of partnership with the charities we fund: taking time to meet with and listen to them, recognizing their expertise, and funding for a minimum of three years to enable the relationships to develop; listening has been core to our approach for several years now.
We publish our own set of statements that signal our commitment to this area.
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.
- We run a community of practice, bringing partners together to discuss how to take forward best practice in their work with young people. For more information, contact Tessa.
- In Summer 2016 we ran our first ever Feedback Fund to support practice in this area. We will be sharing results of this pilot here in Spring 2017.
- 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
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.