Becoming an intelligent funder
The scale of BIG’s funding puts us into a unique position to influence and learn from approaches to funding.
Intelligent funding means that we work with the sectors and groups we fund, as well as with other funders and policy-makers, to share best practice and learning in funding.
There are various ways that we can do this in our work. The topics listed below focus on some specific approaches. More generally, we can aim to maximise the impact of our programmes by investing time, thought and resources into using a combination of these approaches, as a report by Diana Leat and Sarabajaya Kumar argues.
We also play a key role in the Intelligent Funding Forum.
We have carried out a set of studies in the area of capacity-building. This work highlights the complexity of supporting the varied needs of a diverse sector – but also some of the responses that we have tested.
Replication and innovation
Our replication and innovation work allows us to explore new approaches to dealing with social problems and promoting good practice.
Making a lasting difference
We want to ensure that the benefits of the projects and programmes that we fund last beyond the lifetime of our funding.
Our earlier research on sustainability discussed different interpretations of this idea. More recently we have investigated how to maximise and extend the benefit of our capital funding.
But to get there, we also need to be clear about the difference that we and the groups that we fund want to make. We promote the use of outcomes and have published a report that helped us to improve our funding policy in this area.
More generally, our wider work on impact supports this.
Fairness and equality
Fairness and equality are important for publicly accountable funders.
We have looked into how to ensure that our funding reaches and benefits people in rural areas. Our work in this area includes a study of rural isolation in England and Scotland, and an earlier review of the patterns of our funding in rural Scotland.
Making sure that all groups in society benefit from our funding is also important, so we have also undertaken studies to support our commitment to equality.
We carry out research and evaluation that helps us and others to adapt their funding processes or to explore specific areas of need. This includes work we do ourselves and collaboration with others. Further studies in this area include:
We have also published an overview of our learning to 2007.
Please contact us if you have any comments or questions.