During June, we held workshops and ran surveys to collect feedback from volunteers. Thank you to everyone who got involved and gave up their time. We had some really good conversations and you gave us lots of information, which means we have a clear starting point for our work.
We asked about the challenges faced by groups giving grants, and which of these are the most important to work on. We had conversations about things that work and successes groups have had. We also thought about what both volunteers, and people applying for a grant, most want from the process.
We heard from 45 volunteers, and have collected and summarised all the feedback.
The priority areas to work on that were raised in the feedback include:
Some of our processes – particularly making sure the application form is right, and having more flexibility around letters of support
Some of our rules – particularly the current confusion from having two sets of rules, and limitations from the categories and maximum grants. We’ll look at how to balance this with the fact that many groups have limited funds
Support – more training and guidance, and having ways to talk to other volunteers to share tips and ask for help
Capacity – having enough volunteers in groups, and having the funds available to offer grants
You told us that as volunteers you need a simple system, with guidance, training and support. You thought applicants need an easy, clear and fair process they can access wherever they live, that’s quick and provides help when needed. For example, to fill in the form.
Some groups shared their success in working with other charities and organisations for a good outcome. We also had feedback in these sessions, as well as our earlier update sessions, about how useful it is to just get a chance to chat with other groups involved in grants – to share tips and ideas.
We've set up monthly Grants Get-togethers for volunteers involved in grants, to share tips and ideas and ask questions. You can find out more about these here.
And a working group has started meeting to look at these challenges and what changes we can make to improve grant giving for groups.