A platform designed to facilitate an open dialogue between grantseekers and grantmakers rolls out as a permanent service today, following a successful pilot.
GrantAdvisor UK, from CAST, in partnership with Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, is a free service that invites reviews of any UK grantmaker, from any UK grantseeker. Reviews are published anonymously, with funders alerted to each review and encouraged to respond.
As well as acting as a resource for fundraisers seeking peer-to-peer application insights, the platform also aims to help funders review and improve their practices.
CAST’s director Dan Sutch explained:
“Funders can use the quantitative data and qualitative insights provided by GrantAdvisor UK to help refine their systems and processes in order to make them as accessible, transparent and user-friendly as possible. But we don’t expect them to do this alone: we are absolutely committed to being part of the process. Not only do we offer direct support to grantmakers, we also collaborate more widely with organisations such as IVAR to synthesise key themes and needs – and ensure that the latest best practice advice is made available to funders.”
Emily Dyson, Deputy Director of The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) commented:
“One of the biggest challenges that funders face is hearing authentic feedback from applicants and grantees. The GrantAdvisor UK platform provides an exciting opportunity for funders to hear regular, honest feedback – where the possibility of receiving funding is not a factor. We look forward to seeing how this opens up conversations about grantseekers’ experiences and needs as they evolve over time, providing important information to grantmakers about their practice. We will be sharing the platform with our Open and Trusting funder community, and look forward to working with GrantAdvisor UK – and CAST – to make life easier for grantseekers.”
CAST is calling for grantseekers to leave a review on the GrantAdvisor UK platform. They can review any UK funder for any period over the past ten years, with all feedback completely anonymous. The review process takes around five minutes on average.
CAST is also asking UK funders to add their organisation to the GrantAdvisor UK site, in order to gather insights that will help refine their systems in line with applicants’ needs. Sophie Woodward of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, commented on how the platform had helped them, saying:
“The GrantAdvisor UK pilot flagged two consistent themes: that we’re not always easy to reach by phone, and our application forms take too long to complete. We’re working on improving both of these in order to be a more responsive and inclusive funder.”