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What do charities think about grant makers and grant applications?

In 2012 we've produced an in-depth research into the relationship between a charity and a grant maker. We looked at the issue from both sides, surveying charities and interviewing grant makers. The time has come to update our knowledge on the matter and see what has changed.

This survey of charities took place in October and November 2017. We are pleased to release the results and hope you find it useful. Below are just a few highlights from the survey. The full summary and charts, including trend data charts, are attached below and are free to download.

  • Charities valued unrestricted funds twice as much as restricted funds for a £100k grant. 
  • The larger the grant and the smaller the organisation, the more that charities would trade the grant size down for unrestricted funding. 
  • Charities are trading down much more than they were in 2012. 
  • Charities want some restrictions in grant criteria and some flexibility from grant-makers. 
  • Better feedback and unrestricted funding are the two biggest gripes about grant-makers.
  • Charities don’t like being asked for information that is already on their charity regulator’s website.
  • Charities with fewer applications seem to get a higher success rate over those who ‘spray and pray’.
  • Success rates for applications are pretty equal by size of charity.
  • Garfield Weston and Big Lottery Fund come out very strongly as model grant-makers.
  • Charities would like shorter periods between applications, easier reporting, and to be able to submit multiple applications.


For more information about this research please contact joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net or fiona.wallace@nfpsynergy.net


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Taking Nothing for Granted 2018 Slides
Ten highlights from Taking Nothing for Granted Survey 2018

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