Why feedback?

Every organisation needs honest, timely, constructive feedback to get better at what they do.

PRS Foundation - showcase, Jay Prince
PRS Foundation - showcase, Jay Prince

Feedback for applicants

We receive over 3,000 applications each year, and make about 300 grants. Reducing the number of applications is a key priority for the foundation.

Because we receive so many applications, we are not yet able to offer individual feedback to applicants. We do code each application by the main reason we turn it down, and offer feedback to each applicant on that main reason. We also use this data to make our funding guidance and quiz clearer and more helpful.

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Feedback on Esmée


In 2016 we began asking for feedback from applicants and organisations we fund, using a tool developed by the Peery Foundation - Funder Feedback - to seek anonymised instant feedback on all aspects of our work.

  • It is very quick to fill in, is completely anonymous and requires no logging in. 
  • We ask all applicants and grantees to rate us on clarity, consistency and openness.
  • We ask applicants to tell us the one thing they would change about our application process, and grantees the one thing we could do to support them more effectively.

What are applicants telling us?

Most feedback received has been from applicants who were turned down at first stage - with 83 constructive comments gratefully received:

  • 39% wanted more and better feedback on why their application had been turned down
  • 17% wanted to speak to us before starting their application
  • 11% thought the process was good and couldn’t be improved
  • 8% wanted to provide more information at first stage
  • 5% had suggestions on how to make the application process more clear
  • 2% wanted us to respond more quickly

It's a good day or two's work filling in even your initial application, and it is very frustrating not to know which elements could be improved. I appreciate your grant officers' time is valuable - but so is your applicants' time.

What are we doing in response?

The first thing we need to do is reduce the total amount of applications, so that we are able to offer more support to applicants who fit our funding priorities.

Until we do that, we will not be able to offer pre-application conversations or tailored feedback to everyone.

We can make two changes now:

  1. Give verbal feedback to organisations which have had three or more first stage applications refused
  2. Speakto organisations we identify which are of interest, but have simply pitched the wrong application, outlining how any future application could be strengthened