Learning from our grant-making
We ask all grant-holders to report on the progress of their grants, so that we can both monitor how work is going practically and financially, and identify useful lessons. We want to celebrate grant-holders’ achievements, learn why things don’t go to plan, and pass on good practice to others.
Grant-holders’ sharing reflections on how their work has gone influences our future grant-making for the better.
How openly grant-holders report to us is an important factor when it comes to determining future applications from those organisations.
Our Reporting System
In January 2013 we changed the way we asked new grant-holders to report to us, moving from a "one size fits all" system to one which reflects the size of the grant, resources of the grant-holder, what we want to learn from the grant and the use we'll make of that learning.
- For most grants we ask for a standard short and focused report on an annual basis – no more than four sides of A4 paper, using this form.
- For a smaller number of grants, which might be larger or more complex, we want to learn more about their progress. This might be in writing, or in a meeting or visit. Your Grants Manager will confirm what’s required in the grant offer – here is some general guidance.
All grants made before January 2013 will continue to report as requested in the original grant offer letter.
Guidance and a suggested report structure for these grants can be found here.
To help grant-holders and the Foundation to focus on what could be achieved with our funding we now ask applicants to identify, in their second stage application, up to three key outcomes they aim to bring about, or make progress towards, by the end of the grant.
We are flexible about how grant-holders define “outcomes” – they might be changes in policy or practice, differences to people's lives, or successful delivery of programmes or interventions.
We want applicants to think about how they will monitor progress towards these outcomes and ensure the work remains on track. What information, for example, will they need to collect?
If a grant is awarded we will use these key outcomes as the basis for their progress reports to us and as the framework for both of us to draw lessons from what happens.