One in eight charities have reported spending three working days a week or more on grant applications since March this year, according to research by funding platform Brevio.
This, it says, equates to over £20,350 a year in potential staff time per charity and a collective cost of £442 million annually for the sector.
Despite this, over half (51%) of those who responded to Brevio’s online poll of 1,002 third sector organisations, have seen a decrease in their success rate compared with last year. Potential reasons include an increase in competition for grants (stated by 23%) and fewer human resources to complete grant application forms (12%).
Of those who responded, over three quarters believe that the grant making system needs to be modernised, with 80% saying they do not believe the current grant application system is operated on a level playing field.
Many believe the current grant application process works in favour of well-established charities (57%), those with well-connected people on their boards, and those in large cities.
In addition, one in eight (12%) feel the grant making process discriminates against organisations led by people from ethnic minority backgrounds; and 13% also feel it discriminates against organisations that focus on issues/ causes that concern smaller parts of the population.
Of those who answered, nearly half of respondents (44%) believe there should be a simplified and centralised application system, similar to UCAS for university applications, to avoid having to repeat and gather similar details for every application.
Commenting on the findings Marcelle Speller OBE, founder of Brevio, said:
“The pandemic has brought into sharp relief what funders and charities have known for years: the current grant model soaks up too much valuable time, energy, and ironically, money. With many charities now battling for their very existence, it’s clear we need to grasp the nettle and begin to create a level playing field that will help brilliant organisations across Britain do what they do best in their communities and beyond.”