Ask A Grant Manager – May 2019

Staff Photo - Sara
Sara Cooney – Grant Manager for London and Surrey

Sara Cooney is our Grant Manager for London and Surrey. Before joining Lloyds Bank Foundation in 2008, Sara held a variety of local and regional roles in grant making and community development.

“The most rewarding part of my work is getting to know the charities I work with. It’s about meeting the people in the charity, learning about how they help their local community and how we can support them through the work of Lloyds Bank Foundation.”

Sara enjoys travelling and is a keen SCUBA diver but doesn’t get into the water as often as she’d like, because she prefers diving in warmer seas. We don’t blame you Sara!


Q: How long after we have received a grant can we reapply? Especially if it’s for core funding rather than project funding?

If you have an existing grant, subject to meeting our current eligibility criteria, you can make a new application in the final year of your grant. If approved before the end of your existing grant, your new grant can begin once your existing grant is completed. As always, we would suggest speaking with your grant manager before making a new application.

Our Invest programme for core funding is currently closed, but we will be reopening with a simplified application process in September. Sign up here to be notified when our grants reopen.


Q: We are a women’s organization championing leadership and governance issues in Kenya. What do you fund?

As the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, we fund small and medium sized charities supporting people experiencing complex social issues within England and Wales. At the moment we do not support work in other countries.


Q: I want to grow the work we’re already doing. Why do I need to keep planning new projects / pilots for funders?

We understand the need for core and existing project funding, and actively encourage other funders to move away from what our CEO Paul Streets memorably called ‘projectitis’. That said, there’s still a place for innovation and new ideas, so we offer both types of funding for charities meeting our eligibility criteria.

No matter what sort of funding you are applying for, we need to see how your charity’s work will meet the needs of your service users and that with your support, people will achieve lasting outcomes and positive changes in their lives.

We appreciate the need for core funding, and funding for projects we already know are making a positive difference.

While it’s not a requirement, piloting new work could help you decide how you deliver the project. It can also help you test different approaches and the level of demand. This provides the basis for planning a longer-term project and helps inform your applications for longer term funding.

Our Enable programme can offer you up to £15,000 to pilot a service in a new area or with a new audience. We are taking applications for this programme until 31st August.


Q: Is ‘local’ always the right unit for reaching the most marginalised? How many times do communities of interest/identity need to be left out of ‘local’ i.e. neighbourhood initiatives before its worth funding across localities to strengthen their voice/influence/power and create responses to their needs?

As an issues-based funder, we support small to medium charities who work with people experiencing complex social issues. We look at different ways to ensure our funding has the greatest possible impact. This may be through supporting charities who are specialists in the services they provide, including those working on local solutions for local problems.

We find that it is often small and medium sized charities which are most successfully reaching and working with the people who are most marginalised and this can include charities which are supporting communities of interest or people experiencing particular issues.

For example, our Transform programme worked with both smaller local charities and larger national charities to influence the conversation around domestic abuse at a national level.

This was also reflected in the independent research The Value of Small which we commissioned which highlighted the distinctive contribution of small and medium sized charities.


Have a question you want to ask our Grant Managers? Submit your questions here.

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