Taking nothing for granted: a research report into what charities think a model grant-maker looks like
In early 2012 the John Ellerman Foundation embarked on a strategic review to find out what a model grant-maker looks like in the eyes of applicants and grantees, and compare practices in the grant-making sector. nfpSynergy was commissioned to carry out independent research with charities and their fundraisers. This report is a result of that research.
In the next few weeks, many people are going to get a bill through their letterbox. This will be, for many, a usual process that happens at the start of each financial year. But for others, it’ll come as a shock and could have some severe consequences.
The not-for-profit sector is, by its very nature, innovative. Charities exist to respond to an unmet need or to drive change. But what does innovation actually mean? And what are charities really doing to develop innovation processes, cultures and, more importantly, results?
Is it just too big? Are we all, from the individual, to the corporation, to the country, simply unwilling to let go of the luxury, comfort and choice that we have enjoyed for so long?
Working with our Charity Parliamentary Monitor, I’ve been struck by just how much harder it has become for charities to get through to MPs since the 2010 general election. With issues surrounding the economy dominating the agenda and a deluge of legislation and policies, not to mention the internal battles among the coalition parties, many charities are struggling to be heard. But how did this happen? And what can charities do about it?
Talk about customer satisfaction to any colleague or consultant with a corporate background and they will almost certainly tell you about the hold “Net Promoter Score” (NPS) has on the commercial world when it comes to measuring it. It’s a simple enough concept. You ask a sample of consumers whether they would recommend a brand to a friend and minus those who would not (detractors) from all those who would (promoters).
In the midst of all our research and analysis to benefit the charity sector, we here at nfpSynergy have been keenly following the Olympics action – a bit of morning judo, lunchtime dressage, boxing, kayaking, swimming – we can’t seem to get enough of it. So all the controversy about empty Olympic venue seats and corporate sponsors got us thinking a bit more about funding for sports and physical fitness initiatives in this country and how to involve the public to a greater degree.
We have just launched the results of our research into what charities want from grant-makers, and what a model grant-maker looks like in the eyes of charities. ‘Taking nothing for granted’ is an extensive piece of research and here is a blog outlining what we believe are some of the hallmarks of a model grant-maker.
Two weeks ago at Tenter Ground we transformed our main meeting room downstairs into a pop up ‘swap shop’ and traded our old, unwanted or unused clothes, shoes and accessories with each other in the name of fashion, recycling and the climate. Swap shops, freecycling, swishing or even - as Joanna Lumley has now coined on behalf of M&S’s new initiative – “shwopping” are a growing phenomena that encourage us to swap our old or outgrown garments with colleagues/friends/family/strangers instead of throwing them away and buying new clothes. Thereby cutting the amount of waste ending up in landfill and reducing our carbon footprints by not buying new clothes, the production of which involves a lot of CO2 (for example a pair of jeans equates to 415kg CO2e from materials, production shipping, washing etc... ).