We have systematically analysed information from the annual reports, accounts and websites of over 1,000 charitable grant-makers in the field of education, to explore their experiences, and to discover the impact of the changing social and economic environments grant-makers and their beneficiaries experience.
Throughout our research we have identified that a number of grant-makers are partnering with other organisations in order to meet the increasing complexity of issues their beneficiaries have experienced following the changes in statutory educational and welfare provision.
Educational grants key research findings
For charities that are increasingly being approached by beneficiaries with multiple complex needs, partnerships can provide a cost effective way of meeting those needs and providing support.
Our research also identified that an increasing number of grant – makers are receiving referrals from organisations and agencies, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, or occupational bodies, thus creating closer relationships between grant-makers and organisations. One charity in our sample stated:
“Multiple local agencies refer applications to the RPLC for support for those who have encountered hard times and require crisis funding. Trustees are grateful to the dedicated teams from the referring agencies including the Citizens Advice Bureaux, the Resettlement team – Achieving for Children – the local Community Mental Health Teams”.
3.- Going the extra mile
Those who run grant-making charities, trustees, staff and volunteers are as inspirational as ever, with most going the extra mile to help those in need. Throughout our research we have recognised the remarkable work that charities do and the difference they make to individuals’ lives. In particular we have identified that many grant-makers have adapted their policies and practices in order to meet the needs of their beneficiaries in this tough economic environment, as one charity described in its annual report:
“The trust works in conjunction with other trusts and schools to achieve its aims and make up a ‘package’ of support’. Volatile economic conditions continued to impact on the trust’s income from donations and cash deposits…. It is the intention to build and further develop relationships with business and the corporate sector in order to secure further financial support.”
4.- Wider communities
Many grant –making charities reported that they had gone into the wider community to establish partnerships and develop closer relationships with other organisations. This has helped maintain public awareness of the charity. One such charity stated:
“The trustees continue to enjoy an excellent relationship with the carers and other organisations within the parish, thus helping to maintain a public awareness of the trust and its purpose within the community”.
Throughout our research we have identified that many grant-makers strive to meet the needs of their beneficiaries in various creative ways. The increase in partnerships and collaborations provides a way forward for charity trustees to meet the challenges they themselves face as well as those they support.