Funder's Charter Cards

Our Commitments

We take our responsibility as funder, and the power that comes with it, seriously. We know that delivery organisations are facing challenging times and we want to make things easier, not harder for you.

We have a range of measures in place to ensure external accountability and internal compliance with our funding charter and we will use these to continually reflect upon and improve our practice:

1. Be Power Aware

As a funder we will always have power in different forms; but we will seek to acknowledge this and shift power wherever possible. We will always ask – is it appropriate for us to make this decision, or can we hold space for others. 

Right now, we’re going to work more with intermediary organisations who are closest to the issues we fund...

2. Tell your story

Storytelling is in our DNA and will always be the way in which we build public support and raise money but we will seek to use our platform to amplify others and make sure we tell the story our partners want.

Upon receiving funding, we’ll ask you to provide us with an outline of the story you want told and work with our content teams to platform this as and where is appropriate…

3. Show your working out

We know it's frustrating to never see the ‘why’ behind decisions that funders make, so we will put transparency at the heart of our external communication...

Practically that means you can expect us to evidence our assumptions and conclusions and explain the rationale for any fund/call focus including sharing the design process and any research findings.

We will also clearly show the decision-making process when we launch a funding call – who makes decisions and when; explain “why” we asked the questions we do, and/or the information we request; we will publish application data and success rates and publish who we’ve funded.

4. Inclusive design and decision making

We will ensure people closest to the issues being funded are adequately and safely included in the design and decision making of funding calls, and be fairly remunerated for their time and expertise.

We are moving to widen the participation of people closest to the issues being funded, from final approval to a more holistic role in both the initial design and ongoing steering/decision making.

5. Flexible funding

We will actively support core and flexible funding. We will continue to support the sector’s transition away from an undue reliance on short term, highly restrictive project funding.

We actively encourage full cost recovery, but we will also trial core funding programmes, invest in organisations (not just projects) and redesign our systems to become less project/activity focused.

6. Simple and Concise

We will keep things light touch and simple wherever possible. Clear eligibility criteria, simple processes and lighter touch application forms will be our baseline and critically we will only ask for things we need to make a decision.

We will reduce the number of questions on our application form and we will not require organisations to submit any supporting documentation until they reach the second stage of our application process.

7. Trust and Relationships

We establish trust with the people at the centre of our work through open and transparent dialogue. We actively listen and support our partners, prioritising human relationships. Through this approach, we aim to deepen our connection with the organisations we fund. Going above and beyond transactional relationships helps us better understand the needs of our partners.

We have codified what we mean by relational grant management and have trained all our Portfolio Managers in these approaches. We have also put in place review mechanisms to ensure any poor practice can be identified and responded to.

8. Equity and Accessibility

We know that structurally marginalised groups have been chronically underfunded for years – either because they aren’t included in the focus of the funding, don’t hear about funding or can’t access the funding. We see this and will respond with targeted solutions 

We will ensure our websites and application processes are more accessible and that the design of our funding programmes understand and account for those who face barriers to applying and receiving funding.

9. Influence wider funding sector

We know that our funding is often just once source of income you will apply for or manage. So, as well as striving to continuously improve the way we fund, we will strive to promote good funding practice to help the sector as a whole become fairer and more efficient – and share our journey including when we don’t always get things right.

Right now we’re sharing the process we’ve been through to review and update our programme design and application journey process – which has directly led to the development of this Funder's Charter. 

More about our funding

If you want to learn more about the way we fund, you can read about our new funding strategy or discover further information in our funding homepage.

More about our funding

Funding Home

Our vision is to create a just world free from poverty. We’re doing this by funding and investing in amazing organisations across the UK and around the world.

Funding Strategy

We’re currently in the process of developing a new funding strategy and will be launching this in early 2023. Read more to find out where we will focus our attention.