Granting Success - New Research
30 March 2009 at 4:54 pm
In the UK, New Philanthropy Capital’s latest research report, called Granting Success, provides guidance on how to structure grants so that they have the most impact.
The report looks in particular at how to make decisions about the size and length of grants, restrictions on grants, and non-grant financing.
In each case, it explores best practice and the impact of funding decisions on charities, drawing on interviews with 17 grant-makers, relevant literature from the UK and US and NPC’s own experiences. It also examines practical barriers to giving the most effective grants and looks at how, in some cases, these can be overcome.
Key findings from the report include:
– The way that grants are structured can have a significant effect on charities. Well-structured grants give charities the ability to attract the best staff, opportunities to plan and innovate, and flexibility. Poorly-structured grants can create risk and instability, which can have a detrimental knock-on effect on beneficiaries.
– Grants should be matched to the funding needs they address. However, foundations often struggle to give large or long-term grants because of concerns about dependency, a lack of capacity to sufficiently assess and monitor charities or because they wish to spread their funding across a number of different areas. The report suggests ways that funders can overcome these issues.
– Despite it being challenging for funders to assess potential recipients of unrestricted funding and monitor impact, charities find unrestricted funding more valuable for the flexibility and confidence it gives. While restricted funding is appropriate in some circumstances, the report recommends unrestricted as the default option for funders.
Since 2003, NPC has published sector research on issues such as homelessness and disabled children. This report, however, is concerned with how to fund, rather than where to fund. This is a relatively new area of research by NPC whose mission is to get charities and funders working together to ultimately create better results for beneficiaries.
The report can be downloaded at: www.philanthropycapital.org