1. Introduction

Tower Hamlets Council is co-producing its new Grants Policy with local voluntary and community groups and community members.  We would like many people as possible who might be affected by, or who might want to apply for council funded grants to get involved.

The projects has two phases:

1.) The Framework

In the last part of 2017 THCVS worked with representatives of local organisations to gather experiences and ideas about: 
  • What should be funded through grants rather than commissioning
  • What the eligibility criteria for grants should include 
  • What works at the moment and what could be improved on
The work was conducted through a series of workshops, one to one meetings and a follow up survey.   You can read a write up of the events and findings in our blogs section.

All the evidence and feedback has been utilised to create a Draft Grants Framework, which will be taken to the LBTH Cabinet for agreement this spring.

The initial grant themes are:
  1. Innovation: to encourage innovation or pilot something new,especially where there is a gap;
  2. Prevention: to promote grass roots activity to reduce the need for statutory services;
  3. Neighbourhood action: to promote local neighbourhood initiatives
  4. Community cohesion: to develop community resilience, promote cultural opportunities and reduce social isolation
  5. Capacity building: to enable smaller organisations to become more sustainable, where appropriate providing core funding to lever in other resources
  6. Partnership working: making the sector more effective through closer partnership working within the sector and across sectors.
There will also be two cross cutting themes:
  1. Community cohesion  - developing community resilience, promoting cultural opportunities and reducing social isolation in the context of the theme, and
  2. Equality and diversity - demonstrating how people with protected equalities characteristics will be included
2.) The detail

The next phase will be to look at how the new grants programme should work.  This will mean agreeing on priorities and outcomes for the themes, and developing the grants application and assessment process. 

About this survey:

This survey is a key part of the detail work.   We are looking for responses from voluntary organisations, community groups, and anyone interested in local grantmaking and community activity.  If possible, please read the draft grants framework before you start.

The first few questions are about the grant themes.  We'd like to know what sort of activity should be prioritised under each theme, and what sort of outcomes you would like to see.  When we use the term 'outcome' we mean the changes or effects that will take place as a result of the funding.  

The next set of questions are about how the application process should work.  Please include any examples you can think of of good and bad grants processes so that we can learn from what's already happening.

The survey can be anonymous if you choose, and no question is compulsory.