Feedback from our funded organisations: August — October 2023

Feedback from the organisations we fund helps us shape and enhance our funding offer and the impact of our grants

  • Published: 24 November 2023

City Bridge Foundation has a dedicated Impact & Learning team who review feedback from our funded organisations every three months. 

This feedback is received through GrantAdvisor, Learning Visits and our Impact & Learning forms, which we ask funded organisations to fill in once a year, and at the end of each grant.

The feedback suggests areas where we’re doing well, and other areas where we can do better, and helps us learn how best to support our funded organisations, and the current challenges facing the charitable sector.

Our latest feedback relates to the months of August – October 2023, and is shared below, as a web page and as a narrated video.

Open and trusting grant-making

Along with more than 100 other grant-makers we have signed up to IVAR’s eight commitments to funding charities in an open and trusting way. This is how our funded organisations are rating us against the eight commitments. 

  • We don’t waste your time — 97%
  • We ask relevant questions — 95%
  • We accept our share of the risk — 92%
  • We act with urgency — 86%
  • We are transparent about decisions — 96%
  • We respond flexibly to changes — 96%
  • We are clear about our relationship — 96%
  • Our reporting is light-touch — 95%

12 hours — typical application time

All grant applicants, whether successful or not, are welcome to leave an anonymous review of City Bridge Foundation at GrantAdvisor UK. This can include feedback on how long it takes to make an application for funding

GrantAdvisor UK

Feedback for City Bridge Foundation

Funded organisations have let us know that they would like more networking events and opportunities to advertise and share their ongoing work. They would like us to offer more chances to collaborate with other organisations and to share new funding opportunities.

We could benefit from City Bridge Foundation’s expertise in capacity building. This could involve helping us with providing consultancy support to better manage our work. In addition, your foundation’s influence and network can help raise awareness about our services, reaching those who may support our capacity and resource building efforts.”

And what are we doing?

We are introducing our new virtual Spotlight Talks — helping organisations to share their work and expertise with our internal and external networks, as well as an opportunity to network with other organisations.

We are also seeking to increase the frequency of networking opportunities for funded organisations. Our monthly email bulletin to funded organisations continues to highlight new funding opportunities and opportunities for free support.

The challenges facing funded organisations

Some of the biggest challenges funded organisations tell us they are currently facing are the cost of living crisis, the need for further funding (longer term and/​or core cost funding), retaining staff and volunteers, and the increased demand on services.

Without securing funding for staffing these roles we cannot properly plan for the future and they are vital to both the stability of and effectiveness of the organisation. Our people are our greatest asset. And therefore our greatest cost.”

And what are we doing?

For the second year running, City Bridge Foundation has provided additional support in the form of unrestricted grants to more than 200 funded organisations, as they battle inflation and high demand for services.

Our specialist Anchor Programme has provided long-term, core funding of almost £14m to more than a dozen charities fighting inequality in London. In addition, we can provide core cost funding in relation to elements of an organisation’s work which meet our funding priorities — see What we fund: revenue, capital and core costs

Learning and community engagement

Post-pandemic, funded organisations are further recognising the value of holding in-person activities and the power of their communities. They highlight the importance of having staff with lived experience, and the positive impact that has on their beneficiaries.

The magic phrase when it comes to community engagement is you know who you should talk to!’ Being introduced to different key community figures, who have connections in different locations, opens up a web of people.”

Funded organisations also understand that measuring their impact effectively can help in securing increased funding.

How has our funding helped an organisation achieve their goals?

Over the past 12 months… we managed to produce and distribute 1,060,188 meals… and so we are well on target to reach our goal of 5,000 meals per day. To produce these meals we have rescued approximately 474,000 kg of food that would otherwise of been destined for landfill, stopping an estimated 1,206,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere.” 

Learning Visit feedback

Feedback from a Learning Visit to a funded organisation working on ADHD and autism issues. 

What could City Bridge Foundation do to help more?

  • Training and digital upskilling would be useful, also funding or signposting to funding for things that are unsexy’ such as IT systems

Where should City Bridge Foundation focus its support?

  • Funding for young people at key times of transition and development
  • Funding the planning and preparation period of project or programme development to ensure success

Our funding in numbers

This data relates to the 318 funded organisations who have completed either an end-of-year or an end-of-grant Impact and Learning Report during the feedback period of August to October 2023

The 318 grants represent funding of £40.8m, of which 294 grants, worth £33m, are from our mainstream funding programme. This funding is open to all eligible organisations working in London. A further 19 grants, worth £7m, relate to our targeted Strategic Initiatives programme.

The remaining grants relate to funding delivered through our funder collaborations such as Cornerstone, Investing in Londoners & Stepping Stones programmes.

Our top five Project Tags

We use an internal coding system of 163 Project Tags to help us analyse which areas and communities we are funding. Any one grant can have a range of different Project Tags allocated to it.

In the period August – October 2023 are top five Project Tags were

  • Young people
  • Advice
  • In Poverty
  • Minoritised ethnic groups
  • Older People

Your feedback

We’ve felt very supported by City Bridge Foundation and the flexibility of the grant and minimal reporting obligations has kept our focus on delivering the outputs and outcomes we set out to achieve.”

If you’ve applied for funding, please leave an anonymous review at GrantAdvisor UK. Your feedback will help us learn, adapt and improve.