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Grantmakers call on charities to help them improve funding experience

Melanie May | 3 May 2022 | News

A graphic inviting charities to answer a survey to influence grant-making

Charities are being asked to spend 15 minutes answering a survey to influence how £800million+ of UK grants are made and managed.

The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) and more than 100 independent grantmakers who have signed up to be more open and trusting in how they make and manage their grants have launched The Funding Experience Survey. Through it they hope to find out how they can improve the funding experience including what behaviours, processes and practices help to reduce the time, effort and stress of fundraising and funding relationships, what changes funders could make, and which of these matters most.

The survey is open from today, 3 May, to 10 June, and should take 10-15 minutes to complete. The views submitted will have a direct influence with the grantmakers having committed to using the results of this survey to improve what they do.


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Replies are completely anonymous. The results are due to be published in September, and IVAR will work with all of its networks to persuade more funders to take the feedback on board. Participants will also be sent the results of the survey directly.

It is hoped that at least 1,000 grant applicants and recipients will take part. Survey respondents from registered charities will also have the opportunity to enter a draw to win one of 10 prizes of £100 for their organisation.

Ben Cairns, Director of IVAR, said:

“This is a watershed moment for UK funding: over 100 grantmakers are committed to listening to applicants, and adapting how they work to reduce the wasted time, effort and stress of fundraising and funding relationships. We want to hear from at least 1,000 charities about what matters most to them, so that we can work with funders to change their practices and behaviours.”

Harriet Stranks, Director of Grants at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said:

“As funders our job is to support charities so that they can do what they do best. It’s important that we listen to charities, respond to feedback and adapt the way we work so that we can meet the needs of the charities we exist to serve. That’s one of the reasons why we signed up to IVAR’s Open and Trusting initiative and will be reviewing the responses to this survey to see where we can learn and improve.”