Donor Engagement & Evidencing Impact

This Learning Library of information has been primarily designed for philanthropic, corporate or charitable trusts and foundations currently running or considering setting-up a new Small Grants Programme (SGP) in Ireland or elsewhere for that matter. It is also designed for the use of anyone with an interest in grant programmes. The library includes guidance for setting up a SGP; managing a SGP; establishing what you want from a SGP; information on collaborations; good practice guidelines; and a series of questions posed for further consideration when implementing a SGP.

SGP Example
Both The Ireland Funds and The Community Foundation for Ireland are actively engaged in fundraising and donor development. Evidence of impact is invaluable in attracting and cultivating donors. This has been achieved through the establishment of issue specific funds e.g. The Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund, or through a broader campaign such as The Ireland Funds’ ‘Small Grants – Big Difference’. The extent of the scope and reach of these programmes means however that they attract high numbers of applicants, requiring a highly efficient administrative system and inevitably some levels of rejection and disappointment. The down-side with high volume programmes is that there is less scope for systematic learning. They do however offer the potential to build funds in order to continue with support in specific areas, and on occasion to identify ‘bright spots’, and to scale up projects. Both organisations are essential players in the Small Grants Programmes infrastructure with considerable knowledge of the field and emerging areas of need, and can act as vehicles through which Small Grants Programmes can be developed and expanded.