Lloyds Bank Foundation is to step up its support for smaller charities under its newly announced strategy for 2018-2022.
In its strategy document, Reaching Further, it says it will fund at least 700 charities at any one time over the next five years, funding more charities for up to six years, and focusing on those making significant impact for people and their local area. The size of its main grants will also increase, up to £200,000 over six years, and it will fund more flexibly, with fewer restrictions on when and how charities spend their grants.
It also plans to provide a wide range of developmental support, including training, consultancy and mentoring alongside its funding, and to champion the work of small and local charities nationally, locally, and regionally.
Alongside the launch of its new strategy, Lloyds Bank Foundation also released new research on the impact of smaller and local charities.
The Value of Small was commissioned by Lloyds Bank Foundation and conducted by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University; the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) and the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership at the Open University.
It found that when tackling social issues like homelessness, domestic abuse or mental health issues, smaller charities have a distinctive impact. They also generate benefits through spending and investing more in local areas, with the research highlighting one charity that generated £3.25 in value through volunteers per pound of funding, and others generating as much as three times more in additional funding than their public funding.
However, it also highlights a mismatch between what smaller charities do and the people they help, and how public bodies fund, commission and contract services and measure value, favouring larger providers. As a result, it states, 84% of local government funding is going to larger charities.
Paul Streets, Chief Executive of the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales called on the Government to also do more, and said:
“For over 30 years we have funded thousands of small and local charities knowing their work changed lives, but this research sets out why – they’re distinctive in who they serve, what they do and how they work. And this has real benefits for the people in need they serve, communities and the public purse. Yet so many small and local charities are under-pressure and under-funded from cuts and the rush to ever larger contracts.
“From Carillion, to probation privatisation, to Grenfell Tower and now with this research, the evidence is overwhelming – big contracting doesn’t work and people and communities value small and local charities. Yet too little has changed – this must now be a call to arms and action. We will play our part in funding and supporting charities, but we call on Government to put smaller charities at the heart of their new Civil Society Strategy and for local councillors and commissioners to change how they fund and commission.”
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