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The prevalence of contractual arrangements and loan finance provided by government funders is to a large degree related to the drive to involve charities and other voluntary organisations in delivering public services. Increasingly grants are portrayed as unsustainable or outmoded, but we maintain that they have real advantages.
Grants can be more responsive to need from the bottom-up, can allow for greater flexibility and innovation, are better suited to the unique legal status of charity, and ultimately pose fewer threats to an organisation’s independence. They are particularly important at local level to enable citizens to make positive contributions to their community. These changes to the funding environment highlight the important role of independent grant-making trusts and foundations.
Local Grants: 5 things you can do to support local grants (September 2012)
The Local Grants Forum is a partnership of national organisations formed in 2007. We campaign to protect grants for local third sector organisations and community groups.
Local Grants Forum makes the case for grants to key government officials (October 2011)
The Local Grants Forum is a partnership of national voluntary organisations, including DSC, which promotes the importance of grants for local charities and community groups. LGF’s members recently submitted a joint response to Government’s Open Public Services consultation.
A closer look at commissioning in the public services white paper (7 October 2011, Guardian Professional Blog)
A forum of national charities has drawn up 10 suggestions on commissioning following the open public services white paper.
Commissioners need more training, voluntary sector coalition tells government (4 October 2011, Third Sector Online)
Consultation response by Local Grants Forum says public sector contracting requires more 'co-design' with third sector organisations.
Additional analysis of the research evidence on individual giving (submitted by DSC in response to the Giving green paper March 2011)
DSC's response to the Giving Green Paper offers an in-depth analysis of the state of individual giving in the UK and proposes measures to increase individual giving.
DSC response to the Government’s Giving Green paper consultation (March 2011)
DSC’s comprehensive response to the government's Giving Green paper argues that the requirement that trusts annually distribute 5% of the value of their assets is unworkable and undesirable, as well as covers topics ranging from company giving to charity, to government grantmaking practice. It includes five recommendations for government and five for the voluntary sector to improve giving.
DSC response to OCS green paper on ‘Modernising Commissioning’ (January 2011)
DSC responded to the Government’s Modernising Commissioning green paper, arguing for the continued importance of grant funding for charities and offering ideas on how Government could improve its grantmaking practice.
Towards a Fair Deal on Grants (August 2010)
DSC response to Cabinet Office consultation on ‘doing more with less’. The Government’s attitude towards reducing bureaucracy and red tape must be applied to the way it funds the voluntary sector, because too much of what is done at the moment costs money but has no value. The argument should be not just about what it is funded, and what that costs, but about how it is funded and what that costs.
Ineligible Applications: The Wasted Work of the Voluntary Sector (May 2010)
DSC research indicates that over one-third of applications to grantmaking charities are ineligible – meaning they do not fall within the funder’s stated guidelines and criteria. Our Ineligible Applications report contains research findings and recommendations for how funders and fundraisers can reduce ineligible applications.
DSC response to the EU Review of the Financial Regulation (December 2009)
DSC Policy Officer Jay Kennedy analyses the consultation on EU Grants and the Handling of Financial Files.
DSC response to the Social Investment Wholesale Bank consultation (October 2009)
Want to set up a new bank? First find out if you really need one. DSC Policy Officer Jay Kennedy analyses the Government’s proposals for a new Social Investment Wholesale Bank.
Funding for Sustainable Change (September 2008)
This report explores the extent to which grant-making trusts fund campaigning, advocacy and influence.
Contracts: do they help or hinder the delivery of services? (July 2008)
Jay Kennedy gave a speech and participated in a panel discussion on contracts at Refugee Action’s 2008 annual conference. He argued that in practice contracts damage charities and the services they deliver, because of the government tendering process and the way contracts are structured.
Government funders (September 2007 Charity Times)
This article by Ben Wittenberg, Director of Policy and Research), explains why government on the whole is a poor funder and discusses future trends.
Sustaining Grants (June 2007)
This publication shows why grant funding is important to voluntary activity. It is a collaborative effort by the Local Grants Forum, a group of organisations working to sustain grant funding for voluntary and community organisations.
DSC e-news survey on trustee attitudes to loan finance (May 2007)
We asked enewsletter subscribers whether their trustees would consider taking on a loan. 76% said no.
The future of funding for smaller VCOs (March 2007 Charity Times)
This article by Ben Wittenberg, Director of Policy and Research, looks at the future of funding for smaller organisations and considers the impact of Local Strategic Partnerships and Local Area Agreements.
DSC e-news survey – what’s top of your Christmas wish list? (December 2006)
We asked enewsletter subscribers what their organisation needed most out of five options. 66% selected ‘more funders giving core funding’.
DSC e-news survey on funders’ social policy agendas (May 2006)
We asked enewsletter subscribers whether the increasing tendency of major national funders to set clear social policy agendas for their funding programmes was a good thing. 59% said no.