2023 Funding Plus survey findings

Theatr Clwyd

We asked people to share their experiences of capacity building support to help us understand what organisations most need right now.

Funding Plus pays for consultancy or training that enables organisations we fund to make the most of opportunities, and to receive support they might not otherwise be able to afford or prioritise. Currently, the average Funding Plus award is £8,000. In previous years, it was £6,000.

About the survey and data

We surveyed all the organisations we fund to help us understand what organisations most need right now so we can make our 'Funding Plus' offer more effective.

In our analysis, we also compared 2023 responses to those from our 2018 and 2017 surveys.

  • The survey went to 672 organisations with an active grant or social investment as of January 2023.
  • 187 people responded to the survey, with a representative spread of sectors and parts of the UK.
  • 42% of respondents have accessed Funding Plus from Esmée compared to 27% in 2017.
  • 34% of respondents said they had access Funding Plus type support from another funder, and 40% said they had not accessed Funding Plus type support.

Below are some key findings. You can also see a detailed report of the survey findings.

What do organisations need?

We compared 2023 need for Funding Plus with results from the previous surveys. Organisations could select two areas.

What we found:

  • There was no change in the top three areas of need identified in 2018.
  • Income generation and fundraising ranks highest: 37% of organisations surveyed say they could benefit from Funding Plus support in this area.
  • This is closely followed by the need for evaluation and impact measurement at 34%.
  • Business development & strategy is the third highest area of need at 30%.
  • Governance need has fallen by two thirds since 2018 to only 5% in 2023.
  • Demand for support or mentoring from peer organisations also fell by over half to 4% (8 of 187 respondents in 2023 selected this option).
  • 16% of of respondents said they would benefit from Funding Plus support towards diversity equity and inclusion and/or anti-racism work – an answer option that was introduced in this year’s survey.

What would make the most difference to organisations with an extra £8,000?

We asked organisations: "If you had an extra £6k to £8k to spend on improving the way your organisation runs, what would you spend it on that could make the most difference?”

Some organisations named more than one area.

What we found:

  • There was no change in the highest area of need since 2018: 37% chose investing in internal systems. 34 of these responses were focused on staff training and development.
  • Business development & strategy was the second highest area of need (20%).
  • Need for support towards IT infrastructure fell from 23% in 2017 to 9% in 2023, while diversity and inclusion need rose from 3% to 7%.
  • Only one respondent commented that £8,000 was too small an amount to make a difference.
  • One respondent commented that most needed was help to diagnose and prioritise support needs.

What next for Funding Plus?

Whilst our 2023 survey findings suggest that our Funding Plus offer is meeting needs, we will continue to refine and adapt our offer based on feedback from the survey and what people tell us about the impact of Funding Plus on their organisation.

Over the next year, we plan to focus training on peer learning and meeting specific needs. We will also continue to promote the Funding Plus model to other funders interested in providing capacity building support to organisations they fund

Read the detailed report with full findings from the survey.

We are interested to know whether the survey findings reflect your organisation's needs and if not, how else Funding Plus could support you.

If you have any questions or feedback about this report, do get in touch by emailing: shemain@esmeefairbairn.org.uk.

Learn more