Evaluation Support Scotland have just published Principles for Positive Partnership; guidance on relationships between Scottish Government grant makers and third sector grantholders. They were developed by a facilitated working group that brought together expert representatives from Scottish Government and voluntary sector organisations. Sally Dyson, SCVO’s Head of Digital and Programmes, was part of the working group.

The document provides practical guidance to help Scottish Government grantholders and grant managers achieve positive funding relationships, and if problems arise, how to tackle them. Although focused on Scottish Government grants, the principles laid out in the document are transferable to many funding relationships. 

So, what are the key elements for successful relationships? Evaluation Support Scotland has identified the Three P’s:

  • Purpose: be clear about the outcomes the grant is contributing to and the gap that the third sector organisation is filling 
  • Processes: keep the paperwork simple and ask funded organisations to measure what’s within their control 
  • People: good funding is about good relationships

Things to keep in mind: 

  • Remember, both grant managers and grantholders want to achieve positive outcomes for the people of Scotland. 
  • Good funding is about good relationships built on trust which take time to build. Be open when communicating and don’t be afraid to ask for help. 
  • Not everything goes to plan and that’s ok! Tell the grant manager before it gets too serious and use times when it didn’t go well as a chance to learn and improve. 

Whether you have a Scottish Government grant or funding from another source, do have a read of the full guidance and use it to guide your funding relationships.