The value of grant funding to Islington voluntary organisations


We are pleased to bring to your attention this report of research by staff and students from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at London Metropolitan University that was undertaken on behalf of Voluntary Action Islington.

The report is based on several case studies of local voluntary organisations of varying sizes and covering a range of services. It demonstrates the importance of core grant funding in enabling local organisations to provide services and lever in other funding. It suggests that a better understanding of what social impact and social value mean in practice is necessary and highlights the important role that the voluntary sector plays in innovating and co-producing services in response to local need.

On the basis of the findings we will work with our colleagues to highlight more examples of voluntary sector involvement in co-production. We will also work with networks to strengthen the relationships between larger and smaller organisations. We urge the Council, and other local public sector bodies, to recognise the valuable role that core grant funding can play and to strengthen relationships with local organisations so that this funding can be used in ways that increase external funding to the borough. We also propose that the Council work with the local voluntary sector to develop a joint understanding of social impact and how it can be demonstrated. When awarding larger contracts we urge the Council, and other local public sector bodies, to include provision in the contract for grant funding to smaller groups to increase reach to local communities and ensure continuing community involvement and co-production of services that are relevant to local needs.