Myth busting – are funding applications from Wales really of low quality?
Andrea Powell, Director of Programmes at Community Foundation Wales, explores the Welsh Third Sector's challenges with applying for grants from outside Wales - and how funders can work together to address them.
When Community Foundation Wales established the Trust and Foundation project in Wales, one of the main challenges was to gain a better understanding of the following narrative we were hearing from funders external to Wales:
- Many funders do not receive applications from Wales for their funds (Wales is a cold spot for them).
- When they do receive applications, they are not of sufficient quality compared to those from other regions.
We have made some headway on understanding what’s behind the lower level of applications. It is due, in part, to the fact that only around 25% of the Welsh Third Sector is made up of charities and that more than 50% of groups are considered to be micro or small. Both of these reasons mean that these groups are often ineligible for funding from Trusts and Foundations.
We are currently looking at how we can overcome this hurdle, by thinking about the infrastructure support offered to groups such as improved advice on the type of not for profit to set up as, how to work in partnership and diversification of fundraising streams.
Now we would really like to learn more about the second point regarding the quality of applications from Wales, and are asking you to get in touch with us if you are involved in Trusts and Foundation funding.
Is this an issue in your organisation? If so, we would really like to understand what poorer quality looks like for you.
Is it a lack of robustness in organisational structure/governance or is it a failure to articulate the project with regard to the consultation process, the need, the impact, the costings and how the project/organisation is funded?
We suspect that it won’t be any one issue but rather a mixture of things. It is difficult to know what to do the support the Welsh Third Sector to be more competitive without first understanding where they are falling down.
Maybe your Trust or Foundation feels that it doesn’t have enough information to enable it to make an informed decision on an application from Wales.
We can help you with our strong expertise and knowledge of the opportunities and the challenges facing groups across Wales, a great many of whom we have worked with over the years.
We would love to hear from you, to share our experience and to help you make decisions with a fuller knowledge and understanding of the Welsh landscape.
Please get in touch, I would love to hear from you, whether it’s to talk about funding, about Wales or to help me find the answer to this myth or fact; my door is always open.