Green circle that says 'Open & Trusting with IVAR'

We have joined IVAR’s Flexible Funding community of open and trusting grant makers to adopt their eight principles for managing grants and relationships.  

Through our grant making, we want to make life easier for the projects we fund by following each of the commitments below:  

Do not waste time: 

We only approach funded partners we feel are well-positioned to deliver the outcomes of our strategy. We work with the organisation to co-produce the funding proposition and only ask for information that is necessary and useful. 

Ask the relevant questions: 

We currently have a two-stage application process; during the first stage we work with organisations to get sufficient information so that we are confident that in the second stage there is a significant chance that the grant will be awarded. 

Accept risk: 

Our funding strategy is based on a high degree of risk that we are prepared to accept and manage. 

We fully assess the risk of each funding application so that us and our partners are aware of the risks and can mitigate where possible. 

Act with urgency: 

We have strong relationships with our funded partners so that we can respond quickly to any problems or issues. Our relational and collaborative approach to grant making means we have regular conversations where issues will be surfaced, discussed, and actioned appropriately. 

Be open: 

Given our partnerships are multi-year, we start the conversations about the future as early as possible. 

We publish information about all our awarded grants on our website, in our Annual Report and Accounts and to the 360Giving data standard. 

Enable flexibility: 

We understand that things change, and we encourage our partners to be honest about what isn’t working well so we can work together to make changes and find solutions. Our funding strategy is based on learning from our work and flexing appropriately, although most of our funding is tied to outcomes, we are adaptable and will work with our funded partners to adjust their outcomes based on emerging evidence and learning and changing contexts. 

During the lifetime of the grant we will support the organisation where appropriate to respond to and deal with challenging operating environments and/or opportunities. 

Communicate with purpose: 

Building strong partnerships, we trust our partners to know how best to deliver positive change in their area of expertise. We make it clear to our partners at the start of the funding relationship what they can expect of us and what we will expect of them. 

All our funded partners have a dedicated programme manager and we establish clear and transparent relationships. Regular review meetings are held to assess learning as we go along and we ensure, as much as we can, that our time with our funded partners is mutually beneficial. 

Be proportionate: 

We co-produce our funding applications to ensure it has the best chance of being approved. Where we co-fund with other organisations, we develop joint outcomes and reporting structures that means the funded organisation only has to produce one set of reports/information. 

We are consistently mindful that the organisations we fund have limited time and resources which means that we constantly challenge ourselves to ensure our asks of them in terms of their time is limited and adds value to them in their work. 

We aim for our annual review process to have a bigger focus on what we are learning together, ensuring the time spent on the annual review process adds value to the achievement of the overall outcomes and partnership. 

IVAR’s Flexible Funding Community