Congratulations on being awarded a grant from Essex Community Foundation, you join the thousands of groups, supported by ECF who are making a real difference in their communities. ECF has developed this information and guidance to help you effectively manage your grant. Please do contact us if you have any questions.
We advise that you keep your grant offer letter and a copy of your application together for reference.You will need to make a note of any additional grant conditions that are contained in your offer letter.If you have been awarded a one year grant then we will generally pay your organisation with a cheque, which you should deposit with your bank as soon as possible. BACS payments are used for multi-year grants and will be deposited directly to your nominated account using your preferred reference.
You agreed to manage the grant under our terms and conditions which were included in Part B of your application. You must deliver your grant in accordance with these T&Cs and take into account any additional grant conditions as outlined in your grant offer letter. Please also ensure you note the date that the end of grant report is due. Details of your end of grant report will be emailed to you shortly after the grant offer letter has been issued. You should also ensure that you have the appropriate system in place to capture the relevant information required in this report, including evidence of spend.
For multi-year awards you will be required to report on a regular basis as well as at the end of the grant period.
Completion of an end of grant report is a requirement across all of our funds. We want to hear about your achievements and any difficulties you may have experienced when running your project. Your stories are invaluable as they improve our work as a funder and enable us to share your experiences with the many fundholders, families and local organisations that we work with.
So here are some hints and tips regarding managing and returning feedback on time:
We know just how important publicity is to an organisation as it will help you to raise the profile of your organisation and project and let others know what you are doing in your community.
In any printed material please use the following line ‘our project/group has been supported by the NAME OF FUND managed by Essex Community Foundation’
In some publicity it will be more relevant to use our ‘Funded By’ logos. Please use this on your website, in leaflets and posters and in any other printed or electronic media you produce in relation to your grant, by doing so we hope your group will receive recognition for the work you do for your community.
To download the logo, right click the image and select 'save image as'
Please see our Identity Guidelines for further information
Issuing press releases is another good way of letting people know what you are doing. You may use the following information in any press release:
Essex Community Foundation was set up in 1996 and has established a grants programme which has seen more than 5500 Essex charities and community organisations receive £21million in grants. Funds are distributed on behalf of a wide range of donors who want their charitable giving to be accessible to local charities. www.essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk
Monitoring: the routine, systematic collection of information about a project, which aims to demonstrate progress and evidence of expenditure.
Evaluation: using the monitoring and other information to decide how well an organisation, project or programme is doing.
Inputs: the resources you put into the project to enable you to deliver your outputs. These may include time, money, staff/volunteers and premises.
Outputs: are the products, activities or services you deliver as part of your work. These may include running training courses, support sessions, outings, telephone help-line, leaflets and publications.
Outcomes: result from your outputs – they are, for example, the changes, effects, benefits, or learning – expected or unexpected – that happen as a consequence of your work. For example, reduce isolation of elderly clients, raise awareness of drug and alcohol abuse in teenagers, increase access to qualifications for learners. Outcomes can affect individuals and/or the wider organisation.
Your outcomes should relate to the overall aim of what you were trying to achieve; the number of outcomes you choose to monitor should be in proportion to the size of your project. Some outcomes may be intermediate and cause changes or development of the remaining project – this should not be viewed as negative. ‘Soft’ outcomes can be a stepping stone to achievement e.g. increased self-esteem and confidence – you could record this through interviews, feedback forms or observation applicable to the client group. Long term these beneficiaries may access employment because of the ground work achieved through a comparatively short time project.
Impact: is the fundamental, intended change and generally occurs well after your grant has ended. Impact is generally something that occurs at a far higher or broader level, has cumulative effects or changes to a wider group than the original target. For example, a youth club providing nightly activities for young people leads to a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the wider community. This may of course been one of the overall aims / mission of the organisation, but there may have been other outside influences which can also have contributed to the claimed impact e.g. higher street presence of police officers and PCSOs. This is why impact is harder to prove as being attributed to a project / organisation.
Qualitative: primarily descriptive and interpretative analysis.
Quantitative: numerical data and measurement analysis.
In our years of experience as a grantmaker we have learnt that one of the best ways to get to know the work of a group is by visiting. The purpose of a visit is to see the progress of the group, hear about some of your successes and issues and to build on our own knowledge of what’s going on in your area.
The Grants Team may wish to visit before a grant is awarded but will most likely want to visit once the project is underway or nearing completion. A typical visit will take about an hour and where possible, it is best to come at a time of some activity. The grants assessor will discuss progress with the lead contact and will listen to any key issues and lessons learnt whilst running the project. Sometimes we may ask if we can bring one of our trustees or perhaps a donor, and may wish to bring press or take photos of our own.