Companies, Funding sources, Fundraising

Great Grant Making Series: Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity is a medium size charity in that it usually provides grants totaling four to five hundred thousand pounds per year.

Yet, it is not the size of the grant- making that makes this charity stand out. It is instead the structure and impact of its grants that make it truly ‘marvellous’!

Registered in 2010, the charity states its activities as “to make life better for seriously ill children in the UK, under the three themes of better health, fuller life and stronger family”.

The charity structures its grant-making in order to support beneficiaries through immediately impactful grant-making, and also through funding work that has a sustained impact.

What causes do they support?

The charity’s ‘Family Grants’ provides more immediate assistance to families of seriously ill children, who are living in financial hardship. The nature of the grants is to help improve the quality of life for a seriously ill child, helping deliver a ‘fuller life’ and ‘stronger family’. The charity also funds ‘Project Grants’ usually for smaller charities and organisations running longer-term projects to deliver ‘fuller life’ and ‘stronger family’ such as their ‘Family Resilience Programme’.

‘Better health, fuller life and stronger family’

Supporting this statement is a large remit for any organisation and marrying all three components while sustaining impact requires a structure that provides for the future through the grants it makes today. It is in this way that Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity excels to combine its short and medium term work for families with its long term work alongside health professionals.

The 50th Specialist Children’s Nurse

In 2014, the charity funded its 50th Specialist Children’s Nurse, who, along with their 49 colleagues across the UK, will provide specialist care to seriously ill children. Funding research into children’s illness and care ensures that medical knowledge and expertise continues to develop in areas linked directly to beneficiaries. The charity also funds the sharing of knowledge and learning in order to influence policy makers on behalf of seriously ill children.

The charity’s impact

The charity’s impact is clear to see, due to its ability to clearly communicate its work and share its direction with the public. The charity’s website and especially its very informative annual reports and accounts, provides narrative for each funding area, each presented in an engaging way that both informs and inspires.

Fundraising Tip: Inform and inspire potential funders

It is clear that the trustees and staff of this fabulous charity are pro-active and forward- thinking and that significant time, thought and resources have been employed to make supporting the charity as straightforward as possible. It is this showcase that conveys the charity’s work and it is done so in a way that one can’t help but be enthused by. With information on how grants, projects and research are funded, along with case studies and achievements, this charity has adopted best practice principles in its openness and transparency.

In your fundraising practices, make the extra effort to tell funders about your charity, sharing your approach and your impact in a way that informs and engages with funders. Show potential funders what it is that they are helping to achieve while being clear in communicating your objectives. Finally, be proud of showcasing your achievements so as to inspire others to support your cause.

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity provides a model for sharing best practice in both communicating its approach and in its clear impact on beneficiaries. In structuring its grants, the charity continues to have the greatest impact it can for its many beneficiaries. In this regard, it’s grant-making programme is one of the best examples of how a funder (from any sector) should operate.