How we fund: transparency and commitments

At the Blagrave Trust we:

  • Recognise that running and sustaining a high impact charity can be incredibly difficult and never more so than now.  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.
  • Understand that for many charities the business of raising funds, and reporting on their use, can absorb a disproportionate amount of time and can detract precious energy away from the core mission of the charity.
  • Know that mutual accountability to both young people using services provided by our charity partners, as well as to us as a funder, is essential. Where possible we want to break down the power imbalance between funders and funded, and enable an open and trusting relationship where both sides can learn and make progress.
  • 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 seek to put into practice these ideas in our daily work and how we uphold our values through our work:

Funding practice

  • Wherever possible if the mission of a charity is in line with our own, then we will provide unrestricted multi-year funding (3 years).
  • 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.
  • We will embody a spirit of partnership and mutual respect. This will be reflected in the way we work and our processes:
    1. We will acknowledge and respond to first stage grant requests within a month.
    2. We will ensure that first stage application to final decision will take between 2 and 4 months.
    3. We will not ask for further information 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.
    4. 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.
    5. We will always give clear feedback: on rejected applications at first stage, at full proposal stage, and on reports prepared for us.
    6. We will be open to phone calls and discussion at all stages of application.
    7. 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.

Learning

  • We commit to learning from our partners and sharing the learning that we ourselves gather. We will do this by:
    1. Ensuring that organisation’s reporting to us 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.
    2. We will proactively share the findings of our own learning as a funder and that of our partners where appropriate.
    3. We will facilitate collaboration and learning between and amongst our funding partners, though our annual partner meeting, communities of practice and other means.
    4. We invite anonymous feedback from our partners at regular points in their relationship with us, and publish the results.

Transparency

  • We clearly communicate funding priorities via our website and in our correspondence with funding partners.
  • We provide details of all our Board members and staff on our website.
  • We publish data on all our grants on the online platform 360 Giving, our website and through our accounts.
  • We publish feedback gathered on Blagrave on our website.
  • We welcome further ideas to support greater transparency.

This is a ‘live’ statement.  We welcome your thoughts on these commitments:  please email any comments to Jo.wells@blagravetrust.org