The group is comprised of senior foundation representatives drawn from across ACF's membership, who will meet 7 times over an 18 month period. The meetings, which will vary in format depending on the topic and desired content, will include presentation of evidence (by experts from within and beyond the foundation sector), small group discussions, whole group exercises and visits. The group's full terms of reference can be found here.
The members of the group are: Chris Llewellyn, CriSeren Foundation (group chair); Nicky Lappin, Tudor Trust; Kate Franks, Innocent Foundation; Celine Gagnon
Meeting #1 (February 2019) - Introduction
The Funding Practices working group, chaired by Chris Llewellyn of CriSeren Foundation, had its first meeting in February. The group comprises members with a variety of approaches to funding, which was reflected in the wide range of issues raised; from macro level issues about using all foundation assets effectively and foundations’ impact on the wider voluntary sector, to micro level issues around grant-making processes and finding suitable applicants.
A theme which emerged throughout the session was the importance of relationships: with grantees, with applicants, with other foundations. In recent years many foundations have been thinking about – and in some cases making significant changes to – their grant-making processes so that they are based on building trust and developing relationships with grantees. Similarly, at ACF we often hear conversations about the importance of collaboration between foundations and what it can achieve. However, working in different ways has implications for the allocation of foundation resources and can entail some fundamental changes to a foundation’s overall approach and structure.
The group aired a number of knotty questions covering divergent board and staff views, accessing a wider applicant base, giving and receiving feedback, and ensuring foundations and their funding practices are fit for the future. ACF will work with the group’s chair Chris to synthesis all the ideas raised and will develop a work plan for the next six sessions, including inviting external experts and hearing from critical friends.
Below you will find a suggested reading list, which the working group identified and considered as part of its deliberations. If you would like to send suggestions to us, please do by emailing Max@acf.org.uk
- Duty to Care? How to ensure grant-making helps and doesn't hinder (2019) IVAR
- Funding innovation: A practical guide (2018) Nesta
- Twitter thread from Lankelly Chase on power dynamics between funders and grantees (2018)
- The world is unpredictable, funder-grantee relationships don't have to be (2019) Alliance
- Questions I wished I'd asked [as a grant officer] (2019) Philanthropy.com
- The Art of Philanthropy: Understanding power and corrosion (2018) Center for Effective Philanthropy
- New principles for grant reporting (2018) IVAR
- 'Is it time for a charity cartel?' (2019) Toby Gill writing in Third Sector
- Reducing social distance’ starting with governance: Why we are moving towards becoming a youth led Trust and what this means (2019) Jo Wells, Blagrave Trust
- Exploring the new world: practical insights for funding, commissioning and managing in complexity (2019) Collaborate CIC and Newcastle Business School
- Five years of funder plus (2019) Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
- Insights from our funding (2019) Esmée Fairbairn Foundation's series of learning reports including core funding and social investment