In May, as part of our ongoing commitment to improving all aspects of our grant making, we opened our fifth annual grantee survey. We wanted to gather feedback from applicants about their experience with our grants, identify areas for improvement, and help shape our future grant-making policies and strategies. Read our summary findings below.
We were really pleased with the response and would like to thank the 267 groups that completed our survey.
93.6% of respondents expressed their satisfaction with the grant application process and guidance provided, which was very impressive. Feedback highlighted how positive the support was given by our grants team providing clarity and reassurance about our processes.
“The support offered by the Grants team during the application process was of real benefit in establishing a positive relationship and clarity and confidence in the process.”
We also heard what could be improved with 6.4% of respondents expressing difficulties during the process, particularly in accessing information. In response, we will be looking at making improvements to our website.
It is very important to the Foundation that we provide support to all applicants as needed, so we are delighted to hear 83% of respondents felt either very or extremely comfortable approaching us for support.
“They are flexible and keep in touch. We feel like it is more of a partnership organisation. You are funders who listen.”
Hannah Clay, Head of Grant Programmes said:
“Whilst we continually strive for improvement, we are heartened by the positive feedback we’ve received. Our team is dedicated to ensuring a good experience for all applicants, and the survey results reflect their hard work.”
84% of respondents felt that the Foundation responded either very well or extremely well to the needs of local communities in 2022.
How well do you rate the Foundation in responding to the needs in your local community during 2022?
“I have a strong sense of Sussex Community Foundation being part of the community with a true understanding of its needs. This closeness can’t be achieved by the national funders who are further removed.”
“Much more responsive to local needs and has greater understanding of the complex issues affecting Sussex.”
With a desire to continuously adapt and grow, the Foundation is proactively responding to the survey feedback. Unsuccessful applicants are now invited to attend our funding advice sessions, offering insights and support to strengthen future applications. We are also providing personalised feedback for unsuccessful applications, and examples have been shared to help applicants better understand the Foundation’s new funding priorities.
The move towards increasing the grant limit to £10,000 received a mixed response. This increase aims to empower grant recipients to create a more substantial impact while ensuring comprehensive project coverage.
Yet, the Foundation remains aware of the need to support smaller organisations. Striking a balance between the varying needs of different applicants is a top priority, which is carefully considered during the assessment processes and decisions made by the Grants Committee.
At Sussex Community Foundation, we’re committed to continually improving our grant-making process. This is at the forefront of our efforts as we strive to create a fairer, more equal Sussex.
“The impact the grant had on our organisation was very big, we had only just moved into full-time work and without the support and funding of Sussex Community Foundation I don’t think we would be where we are today. A big thank you from us.”
If you have any comments or questions on this feedback, please do get in touch.