Our approach

We take a holistic and intersectional approach to what we fund. That is to say, we do not prioritise or exclude specific issues or sectors in our work. We are here to create impact and we place great emphasis on evidence from young people themselves about the effectiveness of an organisation’s work or approach.

Our core focus is funding work that meets our objectives and priorities as outlined in our strategy.

In all our areas of work we will remain open to expanding on what is promising, and responding to critical priorities that emerge in the external landscape for young people, aiming for a balance between established and consistent lines of work and innovating and adapting to what we hear.

Our ways of working

Relational and trusting
Blagrave has been practising a relational and trusting approach to partnership for many years – this continues to sit at the heart of how we fund. We treat our partners – young and old, grassroots and growing, or well-established charities as equals. We approach those relationships in a spirit of humility, collaboration and mutual learning. We do not consider ourselves the experts, and we have much to learn and improve upon. We resist at all times the tendency to reduce relationships to bureaucracy and transaction, respecting the information our partners already produce publicly, and the value of connection. We wish to stand alongside those who face injustice working in an empathetic way.

Centring young people
We will always centre diverse young voices in our work to advance a progressive vision of philanthropy, challenging the status quo where necessary. We employ young people as advisers, have young people on our board and staff team, and bring direct lived experience into our decision making. We will continue to grow and build this way of working, at all times prioritising young people’s wellbeing and safety, in how we work.

How we fund

We have two types of funding:
Ongoing funding opportunities and time-limited funding opportunities

For ongoing funding opportunities:
We accept outline funding proposals at any time from organisations that align with our priorities and objectives. We provide unrestricted grants where we can, investing in the whole of an organisation. Our ongoing funding is rarely for less than 3 years and where partnerships thrive often for longer.

For time-limited funding opportunities:
We have some time-limited funding opportunities that allow us to actively advance specific aspects of our charitable mission. These funding opportunities have their own application forms, timelines and criteria associated with them. Our current time-limited funding opportunities include the Listening Fund, Challenge and Change and Restart Youth. We announce application windows as and when they come up on our website and social media.

What we don't fund
  • Organisations, groups and individuals operating outside of England
  • The promotion of religion or major capital appeals
  • Any work that is not compliant with charity law
  • Organisations that have an income larger than £10 million

 

Please note: Some funding opportunities may have additional eligibility and where this is the case this will be highlighted on their respective pages. 

How we make decisions

For ongoing funding opportunities:
Our team reviews all potential partnerships internally and will let you know within a month if there is no strategic fit or we are not able to fund. Where we have further questions we explore these with you, and will usually meet with you to learn more about your work. The team will then prepare a grant proposal.

Proposals for less than £20k p.a are agreed by a minimum of 3 members of the Blagrave team and decided on a rolling basis each month so you should receive a decision within 2 months from first submitting a proposal. Proposals of more than £20k p.a. are taken to the Blagrave Trustees who meet four times a year: January, March, July and November. We aim to make decisions on larger partnerships within three months.

For time-limited funding opportunities:
Criteria for decisions on grants for time-limited funding opportunities such as Restart Youth or Challenge and Change are published when applications open.

Once your proposal has been agreed you will be notified immediately (usually the next day after trustee meeting), and payment is usually made within a couple of weeks of Terms and Conditions having been signed.

Geography of our funding

We work both regionally and nationally.

Regional funding
We operate in England, with a historical focus on counties in the South East, namely Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex and Wiltshire. A significant part of our funding is focused in these areas, prioritising areas of poverty in the region, including rural isolation.

National funding
Work we do in collaboration with other funders, investing directly in young people creating change and/or aiming to influence policy, is located further afield and/or national in focus.

Reporting

We do not prescribe outcomes measures, but rather are interested in understanding how you go about learning, adapting and measuring progress throughout the life time of your grant.

For ongoing funding opportunities:
We make sure we are in touch at the end of each year or more regularly for larger grants and discuss a final report and conversation at the conclusion of your grant period. We are particularly interested in your learning, and what you have heard from young people over this time. We would prefer you do not produce bespoke reports for us, but rather share the information you are already producing internally or indeed, for other funders which you feel is relevant to us. This could include evaluations that you have commissioned, internal impact data or feedback from young people on your services.

For time-limited funding opportunities:
Our reporting approach for time-limited funding opportunities such as Restart Youth or Challenge and Change are published when applications open, but are always light touch.

Safeguarding

We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children and young people. Read our Safeguarding Policy.

Charities we fund will have a positive organisational culture towards child protection and safeguarding as well as appropriate policies, procedures and checks. We expect all charities we fund to have in place, and annually review, a safeguarding policy and practical procedures to safeguard young people’s welfare.

The funded work of all individuals and non-registered charities supported by Blagrave will fall under our Safeguarding Policy unless they become constituted during their funding period.

Transparency and feedback

The average success rate for enquiries at outline proposal stage is 15%. However, if we take your proposal to our Trustees there is a 90% or higher success rate. Occasionally some proposals may be deferred if trustees have further questions, though they usually trust the team to follow these up independently.

We believe that by sharing our data openly and being able to access the data of others, we can both save potential applicants’ time and make better funding decisions ourselves. To see a full list of what we have historically funded please view our 360 Giving Data or read our most recent annual report and financial statements.

We gather anonymous feedback to check our own performance on these approaches at key points throughout the year and will make this public on our website annually. Our 2021 feedback can be found here. We welcome any feedback on our decision here, please note this is anonymised.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit Creative Commons. The data must be attributed to The Blagrave Trust.