Community Foundation for Surrey 2022 survey: Discover what you told us… and what we have done!

9th May 2022

Earlier this year we invited grant applicants to tell us about your overall funding environment and your experience of applying for a grant with us. Here is a quick summary of What you told us, What we have done (based on your feedback) and What we are doing for the future.

What you told us

About your operating environment

♦ 71% of respondents are experiencing increased demand for services, 56% are seeing significantly more demand.

♦ 86% of you are somewhat or very concerned about your ability to raise sufficient funds for the next 12 months.

♦ What you need are multiyear grants and core costs/unrestricted grants to provide sustainability.

About the Community Foundation Application Process

😀 Being able to talk to people is important – most people found a follow up phone call after application helpful and supportive. Those who did not receive a call were the most likely to have found the process difficult.

😐 You wanted more guidance on the application form questions – including examples of questions and answers.

😐 While some people like the change to themed rounds, there is concern over what this means for timing of grants.

☹️ You don’t want to keep having to tell us the same basic organisational information every time you apply.

What we have done (based on your feedback)

Updated our application forms

  • Created a repeat grant seekers form which doesn’t require all the basic information which has been provided before – this form will be sent to recent previous applicants.
  • Added examples of answers in each question in the online form to make it clearer what we are looking for.
  • Added a free text field to allow grant seekers to tell us what is important to them.
  • Committed to speaking to all grant seekers to clarify any questions.
  • Published updated, clearer eligibility criteria.

Increased opportunities to talk to us (see below)

  • Online Q&A sessions for quick answers.
  • One to one Funding Surgeries to discuss more complex concerns.

Maintain a minimum of four grant awarding periods per year

Increased opportunities to talk to us (see below)

✅ Publish clear dates when you will receive a decision on your application

What we are doing for the future

🟧 Reviewing and updating our website – to make it easier to understand our process and find supportive information.

🟧 Keeping a keen eye on the impact of changes to rounds and on our eligibility criteria – to ensure no unanticipated impacts.

🟧 Investing in our Grants IT – to allow more improvements to application forms and processes in the longer term.

🟧 Proactively talking about multiyear grants and core costs with our donors – to build the culture of support which meets your needs. Responses are positive so far.

Opportunities to speak with our Grants team!

We are here to support your group get through these challenging times and strengthen for the future. We offer regular Funding Surgeries via Microsoft Teams.

Funding Surgeries are 30-minute meetings in which you get to speak with one of our Grants Managers on a 1-to-1 basis, enabling you to ask specific questions relating to your organisation and funding needs. We can advise and guide you on the processes of the Community Foundation for Surrey. Booking is simple, and can be done through our website. Please click here for more details.

As well as the Funding Surgeries, we are offering Question and Answer sessions for our Wellbeing Round before the Expression of Interest deadlines. These will be group sessions, aimed at answering any questions you may have about the up and coming round. To book onto a session click a time slot to email us, please include your full name and organisation. We will send you the Zoom link two days before the event. Our upcoming dates are:

Discover more about Opportunities to talk to our Grants Team