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Charities may be forced to compromise their values to secure much-needed funding, a new research report on hidden grant terms and conditions from the Directory of Social Change (DSC) suggests.
“When funding terms and conditions are non-negotiable, applicants can be faced with a take it or leave it situation. If they refuse to sign the agreement, they could lose their funding. If they sign and ignore the terms, they may jeopardise their project, organisation and beneficiaries,” says DSC Policy Officer and author of the report, Jay Kennedy.
Part of DSC’s Great Giving campaign, Critical Conditions examines the transparency of funding terms and conditions from trusts and foundations, central government and companies and will be launched today at DSC’s largest training event, Charityfair.
The report reveals that 61 percent of central government departments and 45 percent of trusts and foundations surveyed would not negotiate terms and conditions with applicants.
Kennedy says, “Funders should be open to negotiating terms with applicants and if negotiation is standard practice, this should be clearly explained.”
The report also examines the availability of terms and conditions. While 72 percent of trusts and foundations surveyed make their funding terms and conditions fully available to applicants, 46 percent of central government funders and 75 percent of companies do not.
Kennedy says, “If funding terms and conditions aren’t available when you put in an application, you can’t make a fully informed decision about whether to apply, and you can’t raise any issues with the funder at an early stage.”
“As part of our Great Giving campaign, we’re calling for the eradication of hidden small print. Funders should provide terms and conditions to all prospective applicants at the start of the process – preferably online with other application materials if they are provided on the web.
“Applicants can also play their part by always looking for and reading any small print before investing significant effort in making an application. If you can’t find them, ask the funder to send them to you.”
To download a free copy of Critical Conditions, go to www.dsc.org.uk/greatgiving.
For more information please contact Renee Wolfik, PR Manager for Directory of Social Change by email or phone (020 7391 4873).
Notes to Editors
- Directory of Social Change (DSC) is a national charity and the largest provider of information and training to the voluntary sector. Since 1974, DSC has published funding directories and campaigned for greater transparency from funders.
- Critical Conditions forms part of DSC's Great Giving campaign, which aims to improve relationships between funders and funded organisations.