What our data tells us

15th February 2022

Andy Payne Worpole, Head of Programmes at ECF, reflects on the last six months of our grantmaking:

As we marked the halfway point of our current financial year, we have analysed our grantmaking data to look at where our funding is going in the County and the issues that we are helping local voluntary and community organisations to tackle.

The data reveals interesting trends, highlights emerging issues and helps inform our decision making, and that of our fundholders.

Findings include:

  • The number of applications we received from charities requesting funding to provide mental health counselling has increased from 14% last year to 21%. This reflects the ongoing impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on individuals of all ages and includes grants to charities that offer bereavement counselling. Not only are charities experiencing an increase in demand for mental health support, those   that have not previously offered counselling, have added this service as part of their offering in response to local needs.
  • 43% of those funded have less than £50k income per annum. This highlights our commitment to supporting grassroots organisations.
  • 50% of grants awarded for core costs went to organisations with an income of under £50k per annum. Funding core costs remains important to us as it provides stability and enables groups to focus on delivering their work to meet the needs of their communities.
  • One third of all applications received were from organisations that were previously unknown to us. This is important as we are always trying to reach out to new groups and encourage them to talk to us about their work and their financial needs.
  • The largest proportion of grants awarded went to voluntary organisations working with children and young people. This reflects the wishes of many of our fundholders and includes education and employment skills, after school activities and community engagement activities.
  • The number of larger and multi-year grants awarded has increased. This was, in part, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and our funding programmes that helped groups respond and recover.

These are just some of the highlights from the first six months of our financial year.  It is reassuring to see that our grantmaking is responding to emerging needs of local communities.

We have also just completed the next stage of our Community Listening Project. This will help us to further understand the needs of our local voluntary and community organisations and consider how our funding can support their work.  We look forward to sharing the findings in due course.