As some of you will already know, SCVO are taking a look at how to improve grant funding.

We’re well aware that others in the sector have worked in this space over the years, so here’s a wee roundup of some of those approaches which will be informing our own work in the coming months.

First off, IVAR and Esmée Fairbairn have been focussing on grant reporting. Their recommendations include that funders are clear about the type of relationship they would like to have with the organisations they fund; and that funders only ask for information they need and use.

Meanwhile, ESS have been focussing on evaluation. They stress in their work that the gathering evidence of difference made, making sense of the information, and then communicating the key learning in a report should be useful for funders and funded alike. They also promote the principles of what they call ‘harmonising reporting’.

Also in Scotland, Corra Foundation, Robertson Trust, VAF, Inspiring Scotland, and the National Lottery Fund amongst others are working hard to improve their own funding, with most of these funders offering more than just money, e.g.: advice for groups applying; capacity building; governance, finance and business planning support.

Finally, back to England, we find New Philanthropy Capital, the Small Charities Coalition, and Charity Futures have all produced relevant work: Charity Futures on how to encourage funders to cover core costs; SCC on how to best undertake evaluation and measure impact within a small charity and NPC on best practice for funders.

Our own work will be building on these and our own research, but, in the meantime, we hope you find some of these links useful in your own funding work as funders or fundees.