Gary is our Grant Manager for the East Midlands. He joined the Foundation in 2002 after working with a local charitable trust and in Higher Education. Previously, he has held roles as diverse as trustee of his local community centre, to his current trusteeships with the Funding Forum and the Association of Charitable Foundations.
Gary’s interests include long-distance walking and music. He has been known to attend a rock gig, after first rehearsing with his local choir!
Gary is passionate about the charitable sector, having been involved in many different ways since he was a teenager.
“I’m often asked to explain the role and put simply its ‘helping the helpers’. The variety of people I meet, the passion they show to help others and the innovation shown never ceases to amaze me. It is a privilege being able to work with such people and constantly learn from them.”
Q: Why does Lloyds set its income limit for applying organisations at £1m?
As part of our initial research for developing our current grantmaking strategy, we looked at this. Our research identified that charities with incomes under £1M were likely to be hardest hit by the current climate of austerity. The cuts to grants funding hit them disproportionately hard, with many unable to enter the tender process.
Through our Value of Small research, we also identified that these smaller charities were more likely to be rooted in their communities, with local trustees and volunteers. Consequently, we have focused our resources on those hardest hit but led locally.
Q: In an innovation era, why are grant making trusts always still looking for “checkbox” answers? They always seem to find the same types of projects, for example cafes that offer employability training. Everyone is so weary of change, but shouldn’t we embrace innovation to drive REAL change?
At Lloyds Bank Foundation we have a firm commitment to supporting core costs and don’t require change or seek to drive it. The nature of our grants means charities can look to drive real change as they are the experts and we trust them.
Q: As a small charity, we struggle to provide rigorous quantitative data; it’s usually because we don’t know how or what to collect to demonstrate our impact. We can’t afford to pay external agencies to conduct surveys and create reports for us. What’s the best possible way for us to document and evaluate our impact, in a way funders would find ‘appealing’?
Monitoring and demonstrating impact is an essential part of anyone’s work these days. Remember however if done well it isn’t only good for funders, but more importantly, is management information for everyone to monitor how well the charity is performing.
When starting fresh it is never an easy task to work out what to report on and what not to. There is a range of support out there to help you do this.
First, think through the difference or change you wish to make to beneficiaries. Potentially using something like a Theory of Change may give you an idea of things to measure. When you have this there are a number of free tools such as Inspiring Impact and Impactasaurus which provides free monitoring tools and some example questions. The Small Charities Coalition also has a number of guides and other toolkits designed specifically with small charities in mind.
Finally, we fund development opportunities (including monitoring and evaluation) through our Enable programme. We are taking applications until 31 August 2019 so get your applications in soon! Learn more and apply here.
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