Provocations on power, voice and listening

Beyond the rhetoric: Provocations on power, voice and listening

Blagrave Trust and Lankelly Chase joined forces to curate a set of blogs discussing power, privilege and voice in our sector. Philippa Knott, Policy Manager at the Blagrave Trust introduces the series. READ MORE >

Shifting the power dynamic in funding

Max Rutherford, Head of Policy at the Association of Charitable Foundations, considers how the funding pot can create a power imbalance – and what foundations and others can do to change it. READ MORE >

The paralysis of power: How outdated structures are stifling foundations

Is the benefactor-beneficiary relationship stuck in the past? And why aren’t foundations shifting their approach to power sharing? Fozia Irfan, Chief Executive of Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation, explores the obstacles and challenges standing in the way of change. READ MORE >

Power and vulnerability in the charity-funder relationship

A CEO, who wants to remain anonymous, challenges social sector funders to own their power and use it to improve the system. READ MORE >

Lighting the candle of democracy

When it comes to solving societal problems democratically, we need to make sure we’re putting as much focus on listening as we are on speaking up. It’s time to burn both ends of the candle, says Jim Macnamara, Distinguished Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. READ MORE >

Summarising what we’ve heard

Lankelly Chase and Blagrave have now published 10 blogs on power, voice and listening to explore how power is held in the social sector; particularly by funders; whose voices get heard in decision making and who goes unheard; and what we collectively can do about it. Philippa Knott from Blagrave summarises the pieces here. READ MORE >

Harnessing power for social change

The idea of relinquishing our power can be daunting. Raji Hunjan, Chief Executive of anti-poverty charity Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, considers how people in positions of power can learn to share more of their space, resource and control to increase equality and fairness. READ MORE >

Does coproduction really empower people?

Mark Brown, Development Director of Social Spider CIC and writer in residence at the Centre for Mental Health, discusses the inequalities and empty promises that can arise when service users get involved in producing products and services. READ MORE >

Does business listen better than the social sector?

David Bonbright, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Keystone Accountability, says that when it comes to listening to the people that count, businesses are doing better than social change organisations. Here’s what we can do about it. READ MORE >

Rolling with the punches

Small social sector organisations tackle constant challenges, like financial insecurity and lack of resources, and the onus is often on them to be resilient in the face of adversity. Jessica Prendergrast, Director of Onion Collective, a community interest company, says it’s time for an honest conversation about this pressure to ‘keep bouncing back’. READ MORE >

Questioning the concept of ‘outreach’

Have you ever questioned the concept of outreach? Mona Bani, youth worker and Strategic Director at May Project Gardens asks: Who are we ‘outreaching to’ and why are they on the outside in the first place? READ MORE >

Listening Fund

At the Blagrave Trust, we believe passionately in the importance of giving equal voice to young people, as well as listening to the organisations we fund to form productive partnerships and ensure we are enabling them to be as impactful as possible.  See our commitments to the organisations that we fund.   

The Listening Fund is a multi-funder collaboration working to improve the youth sector’s accountability to young people by supporting organisations – including funders – to improve their listening practices and cultures.


Prioritising Feedback

We gather regular and systematic feedback from our partners at key points in their funding with us, to inform our own work. Read our 2020 feedback summary

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