Grants for Good letter to the Minister for Civil Society

On 6 June the Grants for Good campaign wrote to Rob Wilson MP, the Minister for Civil Society, regarding grant funding for VCSE organisations referencing a government report that recommends funding charities on a ‘simplest-by-default’ basis. We offered to meet the Minister to discuss how this could be expanded effectively across the public sector.

Rob Wilson MPgrant webpage feature image
Minister for Civil Society
70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS

6th June 2016


Dear Minister,

We are writing to you from the Grants for Good campaign which brings together Charity Finance Group, Children England, Directory of Social Change, Lloyds Bank Foundation and NAVCA.

We seek to promote grants as an effective way for public bodies to achieve positive social outcomes through funding voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.

You may be aware of the final report of the Joint review of partnerships and investment in voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in the health and care sector produced by the Department for Health, NHS England and Public Health England as well as VCSE representatives.

Recommendation 14 of the report asked for health and care bodies to fund on a ‘simplest-by-default’ basis. This would involve commissioners using the simplest funding mechanism that balances impact and transaction cost, rather trying to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to funding service delivery.

There is strong evidence to suggest that in many circumstances grant funding is the simplest, quickest and most cost effective way to fund the work of VCSEs.

Our website ( outlines a number of case studies of successful grant funding. Although more recently developed funding models such as Social Impact Bonds or Payments by Results may work in some circumstances, they should not be developed to the exclusion other forms of funding such as grants.

The report calls on the Cabinet Office to work with the Department of Health and NHS England to commission research on the transaction costs and relative impact of different funding mechanisms for a variety of services and circumstances.

This should not be isolated to health and care sectors, but should encompass the full range of public services.

Adopting this approach would also significantly benefit small and medium sized organisations which most struggle to engage with more complex funding mechanisms.

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how the principle of ‘simplest-by-default’ could be expanded across the public sector and the prospects of research on the value of different funding models.

We look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

The Grants for Good Campaign
Charity Finance Group
Children England
Directory of Social Change
Lloyds Bank Foundation