Reviewing Small Grants Application Process

Posted on: 06/10/2021 in News , Event Recordings , What's on

At Young Brent Foundation, we are always keen to listen.

We actively work with our member organisations to build their capacity and provide them with small grants to deliver projects that benefit young people in Brent. Last month we conducted a survey and asked our members what we can do to better accommodate their needs with our small grant programmes.

The valuable input from our members has allowed us to generate some interesting findings:

1. Flexibility is key

Many members mentioned how a flexible approach is needed in grant application. Essentially, they need more time to put together funding proposals, instead of constantly trying to meet deadlines. Most of our members are smaller in scale and need support to build up their skills in operation, fundraising and project delivery. A wider window for application would allow them to plan thoroughly and have better chance of completing a successful application.

2. Grant size matters

To the contrary of common belief, larger grants are not necessarily preferred. Our members expressed that they appreciate smaller grants because this way more organisations can get access to resources. They hope to see more organisations work together to help the whole community thrive.

3. Evaluation indicators are needed

Every project is a learning opportunity. We hope, through our small grants, our members have the chance to experiment and test their project ideas. This is why we will introduce a set of indicators to help members evaluate their project impacts, capture the lessons learnt and feed them back to the next project. Members are, of course, welcome to add their own evaluation criteria according to their objectives.

This will also help create evidence to show how effective the approaches our members adopt are. This is particularly useful when members are soliciting funding from larger trusts or foundations, who always look for data and evidence to support their decision making.

Going forward, we will continue using a small grant giving approach, while allowing a flexible application timeline. A set of evaluation indicators and case studies will be included in the application guidance to help members design and develop projects. Again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for helping shape our grant giving process and working closely together for the benefits of young people in Brent.

Sarah Shu Ting Lam, Grants Officer

sarah.stlam@youngbrentfoundation.org.uk