posted 04/11/2022

IVAR – Open and Trusting Grantmaking

We have signed up to be an open and trusting grantmaker, as part of an initiative from IVAR that is supported by London Funders and developed in collaboration with a small group of UK foundations and charities. 

IVAR are calling on funders to adopt simpler, more flexible practices that make life easier for those they fund, in light of the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid-19. Their ambition is to see these commitments extend beyond the crisis: to become standard practice in the sector.

We are one of over 100 funders who have signed up to the eight commitments and joined a community with other funders and charities to improve practice together. 

As a group, we are all working towards the following eight commitments:

1. Don’t waste time – funders will be open, transparent and clear about all of their priorities, requirements and exclusions.

2. Ask relevant questions – funders will test their application forms to ensure clarity, relevance and avoid repetition, only collecting information that genuinely informs a funding decision.

3. Accept risk – funders will clearly explain how risk is assessed and be realistic about how much assurance applicants can provide.

4. Act with urgency – funders will aim to make decisions as quickly as possible by publishing and sticking to timeframes to ensure they work at a pace that meets the needs of applicant.

5. Be open – funders will provide feedback, including reasons for rejections. They will analyse and share relevant data, including publishing success rates.

6. Enable flexibility – funders will aim to give unrestricted funding; where they can’t (or are a specialist funder), they will ensure their funding is as flexible as possible.

7. Communicate with purpose – a funders contact is positive and purposeful. They will be realistic about their time commitments.

8. Be proportionate – funders will ensure that their formal reporting requirements are well understood, proportionate and meaningful. 

With this in mind, we have already worked to streamline our application forms this year and are now working on improving our reporting forms.  We aim to be honest and open in our communications as well as being as flexible as possible whenever we are able.  Our small team wants to provide the best possible and most supportive service to you that we can.

You can see who else has signed up, read more about these eight commitments and sign up through IVAR’s website: (click on the Gloucestershire Community Foundation logo to see our particular commitments at GCF)

Join the conversation on Twitter using #FlexibleFunders and referring to the ‘open and trusting grant-making initiative’. Do let us know how you think we are doing.




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