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Summary of research with key stakeholders. Lloyds Bank Foundation, Board meeting. Tim Harrison, Joe Saxton. Objectives. The overall objectives for this project are to talk to a breadth of stakeholders for the Lloyds TSB Foundation to:

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summary of research with key stakeholders

Summary of research with key stakeholders

Lloyds Bank Foundation, Board meeting

Tim Harrison, Joe Saxton

objectives
Objectives
  • The overall objectives for this project are to talk to a breadth of stakeholders for the Lloyds TSB Foundation to:
    • Find out their understanding and perceptions of the Foundation
    • Tease out the key threads of their views – both positive and negative
    • Set out clearly those themes, and how the Foundation could act on them going forward
methodology
Methodology
  • nfpSynergy interviewed grantees and applicants between 25th November and 20th December 2013.
  • 656 grantees and 56 applicants responded to the online survey; an overall total of 712. Grantees were defined as having been successful with their most recent grant application; applicants as those who were unsuccessful.
  • nfpSynergy interviewed 25 of Lloyds TSB’s key stakeholders between 28th October and 16th December 2013. Stakeholders were divided into the following sectors:
    • Grantees
    • Unsuccessful applicants
    • Lloyds Banking Group staff
    • Lloyds TSB Foundation staff and trustees
    • Other grant makers
    • Infrastructure organisations and voluntary sector bodies
    • Research organisations and think tanks
both grantees and applicants positive about the application process
Both grantees and applicants positive about the application process

“How would you rate the overall experience of the application process?”

Base: 712 grantees and applicants

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants, Jan 14, nfpSynergy

5

most respondents hear back within three months
Most respondents hear back within three months

“How long did it take for a decision to be made on your grant application?”

Base: 712 grantees and applicants

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants, Jan 14, nfpSynergy

6

grantees do not find reporting back difficult
Grantees do not find reporting back difficult

“How did you find the reporting back on the grant once it was awarded?”

Base: 656 grantees of Lloyds TSB Foundation

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants, Jan 14, nfpSynergy

7

grantees view the foundation very positively in comparison to other funders
Grantees view the Foundation very positively in comparison to other funders

Information about grants and application process

The length taken to make an application before a decision

Approachability of Lloyds TSB Foundation overall

The ease of the application process

The speed of decision

“When you think about your experience of applying for and getting a grant with Lloyds TSB Foundation how would you say they compare with other grant-makers?”

Base: 656 grantees and applicants

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants

8

over two thirds of grantees think the foundation understand them
Over two thirds of grantees think the Foundation understand them

Restrictiveness of grant programmes

Appropriate grant monitoring

Understanding us as grantees

Knowledge of specialist grant programmes

Treating us as partners

“When you think about your experience of applying for and getting a grant with Lloyds TSB Foundation how would you say they compare with other grant-makers?”

Base: 656 grantees and applicants

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants

9

applicants understandably do not view the foundation as positively as grantees
Applicants understandably do not view the Foundation as positively as grantees

Information about grants and application process

Approachability of Lloyds TSB Foundation overall

The ease of the application process

The length taken to make an application before a decision

The speed of decision

“When you think about your experience of applying for and NOT getting a grant with Lloyds TSB Foundation how would you say they compare with other grant-makers?”

Base: 57 applicants to Lloyds TSB Foundation

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants, Jan 14, nfpSynergy

10

a third of applicants think other funders understand them better than the foundation
A third of applicants think other funders understand them better than the Foundation

Restrictiveness of grant programmes

Appropriate grant monitoring

Understanding us as grantees

Knowledge of specialist grant programmes

Treating us as partners

“When you think about your experience of applying for and NOT getting a grant with Lloyds TSB Foundation how would you say they compare with other grant-makers?”

Base: 57 applicants to Lloyds TSB Foundation

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants, Jan 14, nfpSynergy

11

grant managers and core funding very helpful
Grant Managers and core funding very helpful
  • Benefits of Grant Managers include saving the Foundation and applicants time by clearly articulating who the Foundation funds, making helpful suggestions for improvements to charities and improving the quality of the applications that applicants make, not just to the Foundation, but also to other funders.
  • Core funding quite rare and a strength.

“We have found that by having a grant manager as a clear point of contact throughout the application process that it can prove to be a more straight forward and time-effective process. It also ensures that the grant provider has a better understanding of the aims and objectives for the work being delivered with realistic expectations.”

Grantee

“I think their positioning is actually pretty strong in terms of uses, particularly because they major on core funding and that is so important and there are so many funders that can’t do it. We can’t do it, I know many funders who won’t do it and I think that a funder that’s really committed in a high profile way to that such as Lloyds, I think that’s brilliant.”

Grant Maker

13

lloyds bank foundation seen as very approachable during application process
Lloyds Bank Foundation seen as very approachable during application process

“How approachable and helpful were the Lloyds TSB Foundation while making your application?”

Base: 712 grantees and applicants

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants, Jan 14, nfpSynergy

14

40 of unsuccessful applicants do not receive feedback and would find it useful
40% of unsuccessful applicants do not receive feedback and would find it useful

“Did you receive any feedback on why your proposal was unsuccessful?”

Base: 57 applicants to Lloyds TSB Foundation

Source: Lloyds TSB Foundation survey with grantees and applicants, Jan 14, nfpSynergy

16

advocating on behalf of grantees at the national level
Advocating on behalf of grantees at the national level
  • Stakeholders feel comfortable if the Foundation were to start providing and commissioning research into work of grantees.
  • However, reservations over the Foundation ‘jumping on the political bandwagon’ or being associated with campaigning organisations.

“The Rowntree Foundation does a great deal of research and into social and economic research and things and they’re well respected for that, if a big organisation wants to set up some sort of research side like that, why not and they could even provide funding for people to do research, so I don't see why they shouldn’t do that. But academic research is quite different from jumping on the political bandwagon, or pressure group.”

Grantee

18

making evaluation simple
Making evaluation simple
  • Making sure evaluation is as simple as possible is a concern for all within the sector.
  • Fellow grant makers trying to make evaluation as simple as possible.

“We fund a very large number of small organisations and I speak from experience, we put a lot of effort into helping them measure so I know that that’s a real challenge for them.”

Grant Maker

“Clearly if something is relatively inexpensive, an example I always quote is something like an older person’s lunch club, let’s say that’s costing a tenner a head a meal would feel like a reasonable number. As long as the thing is well attended, people are voting with their feet and going to it, do you really need to know much more? Probably not.”

Grant Maker

19

a very challenging time for funders
A very challenging time for funders
  • The ‘perfect storm’ or increased demand and diminishing supply. Grant makers have seen more applications as applicants seek to replace statutory funding with grants, causing a great challenge in deciding who to fund.
  • One respondent warned against thinking this was a unique moment, difficult times have been seen before in the sector and will be seen again.

“A perfect of storm of rising demand and diminishing supply because of the government cuts and local government cuts and for general economic climate, I think it means that more people need the support of charities but those charities has less money and less resources.”

Infrastructure organisation

“Danger in getting sucked into a mind-set that this is a unique moment for foundations in terms of the set of challenges. So I guess one of the major challenges that foundations face at the moment is not unique to the times, but it is acute, which is being relevant and useful.”

Research organisation

20

recommendations1
Recommendations

Many of these recommendations speak to a continuation of positive steps taken by the Foundation.

  • Communicate the strengths of the Foundation to key stakeholders – core funding, a strong regional presence with regional Grant Managers and a positive relationship with a major financial institution.
  • Provide unsuccessful applicants with more and better feedback on their application and when they can apply again
  • Continue to build relationships with key contacts within Lloyds Banking Group, and develop strategies which utilise and engage retail staff with the Foundation
  • Identify areas where evaluation and reporting back can be made simpler for grantees
  • Decide if and how the Foundation wants to present itself on the national stage, with a strategy appropriate to the risks involved

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