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.
Our Commitments statement 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. This is a live document; if you have any comments, please get in touch with email@example.com.
How we make decisions
We aim for a balance of proactive approaches, and unsolicited applications/requests for support through our online form. We also ask our partners and young people for their anonymous recommendations. We want at least 50% of our funding to go into the poorest areas in the South of England and sometimes this means approaching organisations pro-actively.
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. Grant managers in the team 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 are taken to the Blagrave Trustees who meet four times a year: Jan, March, July and November. We aim to make decisions on larger partnerships within three months. Decisions on grants for ring-fenced programmes of work such as Restart Youth or Challenge and Change are made by our team of Young Advisers and details of the time-frames are published along with the calls.
The success rate for enquiries at outline proposal stage is on average 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.
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.
If your proposal was rejected you will receive an anonymous feedback form to complete and share your thoughts on our process. Likewise, if your proposal was successful you will also be asked to provide anonymous feedback, and then again at mid-grant and end of grant. The feedback we collate is published here annually.
We work with a team of Young Advisers on our regional funding, on Youth led change, and on the Listening Fund. Young advisers set the strategic direction for the funding and make individual grant decisions. In all our work we centre the views of young people and people with lived experience of the issues we are trying to address, and we listen to young people both formally and informally in doing that.
About our funding
We were established in 1981 and over much of our history, we were a relatively conventional and unobtrusive regional grant maker. We operated along traditional lines with modest annual grants and the occasional larger grant. However, over the last six years (since 2012), we have undergone something of a transformation! This report from IVAR tells more of the Trust’s story. It focuses in particular on the last six years to share lessons learned, insights gained and the challenges that remain.
You can read about all our current funding in our latest annual report: Blagrave annual report and financial statements 2019