McQueenie Mulholland

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Pitching the value of your local authority grant application

StrategyRob Mulholland

McQueenie Mulholland helps charities raise funds to continue the great work they do in communities around the UK. A significant part of this income comes from grants; often from local authorities due to the support these organisations provide to the public.

This got us thinking: Are there any trends in how local authority funds are allocated to voluntary, community and social enterprises? And could these trends be helpful in informing the tactics these organisations use in the targeting grants from local authorities?

Using our local County Council (Devon), an authority committed to transparency and that publishes data related to grant distribution under the Open Government License, we analysed data on grants to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector over 2014 to see what trends exist.

These are our key findings:

  • Most grants were between £1 and £1,000. This accounted for 431 grants - over  55% of all grants. 
  • Grants of £1 to £1000 only however account for 6% of the value of all money awarded. 
  • If we look at grants between £1 and £6,000, They represent nearly 90% of the total number of grants awarded but only account for 24% of the total value. 
  •  +£100,000 grants account for just 0.51% of the total number but makes up 27% of the total value. 
  • The data showed distribution peaks at £10,000, £15,000 and £20,000 award levels - this shows  more interest in larger projects with round numbers. 

To summarise the data: If your organisation is thinking of making a bid for a local authority grant it would be wise to aim low in the value you’re seeking (between £1 and £6,000). It was awards of this level that made up the majority of successful bids.

If your project requires more support you may want to consider aiming for a round number of £10,000, £15,000 or £20,000, as there were definite peaks in the number of grants awarded at these very specific higher levels.

Written by: Rob Mulholland
Data Analysis by: Anthoney Strowger