Here’s an intriguing idea spotted on the editorial page of Third Sector magazine recently. “The Rowntree Foundation report into how the top 50 foundations select recipients for their grants makes bewildering reading. The rule is there are no rules. Some prefer letters, others application forms. Heaven help the researcher who had to make sense of it all.” Third Sector’s proposed solution is radical but an exciting concept. They suggested a central sorting bank, similar to that which processes undergraduate entries to university run by UCAS.
“Perhaps a similar standard application procedure could be devised for the voluntary sector to provide enough information for any foundation to make a “first round” decision. The applications could be put onto a database – even the Internet. Any foundation could search for projects by type of by region, and save everyone a great deal of wasted effort.”
Could such a system work? It seems to make sense from the trust fundraiser’s point of view, but would it suit the many different grantmakers? UK Fundraising doesn’t plan to offer such a central sorting bank, but is anyone else planning to offer such a service?