A new pilot platform on which fundraisers can anonymously share their experience of applying to trusts and foundations has already published over 60 reviews.
Until now, there was little that charities could do if funders provided a poor service to applicants and grantees. No matter how unclear the application process, how prolonged the decision making, or how onerous or disproportionate the reporting requirements, the only choice facing fundraisers and charities was whether to bother applying in the first place.
Currently running as a pilot, Grant Advisor UK is a free website that enables charities and fundraisers to post anonymous reviews of funders. Just like other online review sites, Grant Advisor reviews are helpful to other ‘customers’ (charities), helping share what the experience of applying and reporting to a particular foundation is really like. Equally important, these reviews are a public, transparent and user-led way of holding funders to account.
The pilot, which is running to the end of the year, covers 15 foundations, including the Corra Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. If the pilot attracts enough use, it is hoped to extend the platform to enable charities to review any funder in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. The site is being hosted by CAST, a tech for good charity.
Fundraisers are asked to rate the funders accessibility and effectiveness, to offer one piece of advice to the funder and one piece of advice to a friend or colleague thinking of applying, and to give an overall vote on whether the experience of working with the funder was positive or negative. There is plenty of opportunity to flag up good practice, as well as to say where things could be improved.
To post a review, or to read the published reviews, visit grantadvisor.org.uk It is free, totally anonymous, and a service to fellow charities and fundraisers.