NATIONAL LOTTERY CHARITIES BOARD England. Mapping grants to deprived communities

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1 NATIONAL LOTTERY CHARITIES BOARD England Mapping grants to deprived communities JANUARY 2000

2 Mapping grants to deprived communities 2 Introduction This paper summarises the findings from a research project commissioned in November 1998 by the National Lottery Charities Board in England. The challenge set for the research was to map the flow of funding from diverse statutory and non-statutory sources (ie trusts and foundations) to voluntary and community groups addressing poverty and deprivation in England at regional and local levels. The research team at Newcastle University s Centre for Urban & Regional Development Studies (CURDS) Mike Coombes, Neil Alderman and Simon Raybould surveyed nearly 3,500 grant making bodies. Both the Charities Board and CURDS gratefully acknowledge the substantial efforts made by respondents to the survey. This summary of findings is being sent to all who responded, as promised in the survey s covering letter. The survey was commissioned to: understand how the Charities Board s grants relate to other funders of the voluntary and charitable sector in the areas of poverty and deprivation identify any gaps or patterns which may help the Charities Board s mission to target its funding to areas of greatest disadvantage. The research is primarily intended for use in the Charities Board s grant making and regional development strategies, and in developing its policies. This attempt to look at funding across different grant making bodies will also be of interest to other co-ordinating research and strategic bodies especially Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and local authorities and to national and regional voluntary sector infrastructure bodies. This research is unique and is an important start by the Charities Board to track those involved in grant making to the charitable and voluntary sector to combat deprivation. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which other funding bodies, both statutory and private, are increasingly co-operating with each other to use funds strategically. The CURDS team showed much initiative at attempting solutions to problems highlighted during the process. Much of the value of the exercise has been in developing the methodology. Some conclusions have been difficult to draw, because of the enormously wide field covered, which led to inconsistencies and gaps in the data obtained.

3 Summary findings Each region s share of voluntary sector funding (from all sources) matches reasonably well to its share of England s population, except for London which receives substantially more per head. There is some evidence that regions with higher levels of deprivation are gaining higher levels of funding, but London s share of funding remains much higher than can be justified by its number of deprived residents. Of the categories of grant makers surveyed, it is the trusts and foundations which are mainly responsible for London s very high level of funding in part because numerous trusts were required by their founders to restrict their grant making to the capital. The Charities Board distributes its funding far more equally across regions, in relation to population and deprivation levels. If the analysis is focused down to the local authority level, some areas appear to receive just a fraction of the levels which the most successful areas are enjoying per head. However several years data may be needed before analyses at this level of detail are really reliable. Just over half of the Charities Board s funding in 1998 addressed problems which fall within this research s definition of poverty and deprivation. The Charities Board s funding makes up to 40% of the total grant making (within the research s definition) to the voluntary sector. It seems that the Charities Board is particularly responsive to the needs of deprived people in rural areas and, in this way, it could be seen to be counter-balancing other grant makers emphasis on urban areas. The research provides the opportunity for grant makers to benchmark their own pattern of funding against the wider pattern, an opportunity which has only been made possible by the efforts of many respondents to the survey. In the future there may be an opportunity to create more formal data-sharing arrangements to the benefit of all. 3

4 4 Research strategy The objective of the research was to measure and map, ideally at local authority level, flows of funding which meet the following criteria: the funding organisations can be in any sector the funded bodies are in the voluntary and community sector the funding is for the purpose of tackling poverty, deprivation or disadvantage. The survey sought to cover all those grant making organisations addressing deprivation which, in the most recent year for which there is available data, provided at least 50,000 in grants falling within the above criteria. Alongside the mapping analysis of the funding pattern, the research reports on the policies of the identified grant making organisations particularly their funding priorities. It also considers how the Charities Board could later update the information gathered. The final task was to consider the most appropriate way of measuring levels of need in each area, so comparisons can be made with funding levels and trends. The survey had a very high response rate when compared to other postal surveys of diverse and independent organisations. Respondents were very thorough, but many smaller grant makers took longer to respond than expected perhaps because of more limited secretarial resources. An initial challenge was to clarify exactly which grants should be covered by the survey. CURDS focused on grants made to voluntary and community bodies for activities to help people in need. Grants made directly to individuals were not included, nor were grants to organisations whose role is then to make further grants to other organisations. Relevant grants may often be linked to the provision of a service to people in need, unless these are services which are statutory requirements (eg NHS services). The project has created a database which is unique in its coverage. Analysis and mapping of this database can begin to answer many important questions about whether funding is being successfully targeted at areas suffering high levels of deprivation. (However it remains vitally important to bear in mind that any database derived from a survey will be incomplete in some ways.) Definition of deprivation One difficulty was uncertainty over the definition of deprivation. The definition adopted here aims to find the common denominator in the understanding of this key term by respondents. The definition centres on the problems associated with being: unemployed or on a low income (which will include many lone parents, elderly people, people with disabilities or with learning difficulties, and people with long term illness or mental illness) homeless or inadequately housed refugees victims of crime offenders substance abusers.

5 Grant making bodies The basic survey strategy was to include organisations which make grants similar to those provided by the Charities Board itself. In practice the sectors which were explored were national and regional government, local authorities and certain other statutory bodies, plus trusts and foundations. Central government From approaches made to Whitehall departments making relevant grants, suitable information was received covering just four policies. These policies are all concerned with problems of homelessness, and together they cover almost all funding in this field. In combination, these four responses include 308 grants with a total value of nearly 20 million. Regional government The approach to regional government bodies involved asking the regional government offices about European Union funding streams, while RDAs were asked about funds from the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB). The timing of the survey was premature for the majority of regional government bodies and for RDAs in particular. These regional bodies proved to be too new to be able to make available datasets of previous years expenditure on established policies. Local government By contrast, the local authority sector survey was relatively straightforward. The principal issue faced was the departmentalism which made it difficult for many authorities to complete the survey on a fully corporate basis. The collated dataset does therefore include some responses which are from only one or two departments in that authority. While more than 2,000 grants have been recorded, with a total value of more than 80 million, these grants have been excluded from many of the analyses below to avoid misleading comparisons being made between areas where there was a highly uneven response from the relevant local authorities. Trusts and foundations The response from trusts and foundations was high overall. The follow-up efforts directed at trusts which distribute the most money paid dividends in the form of very high response rates. Some smaller trusts were clearly unable to respond because they are overloaded with appeals and applications, partly due to groups tending to send the same application to many trusts. Graph 1: Funding identified for local and regional projects addressing deprivation 1 78m 99m 48m 81m 19m Trusts and foundations Whitehall (schemes for the homeless) Local authorities NLCB (funds addressing deprivation 2 ) Total 247m. NLCB total 99m. 5 NLCB (funds for other purposes) 1 As defined by this report 2 NLCB funding for projects which fall outside this report s definition of deprivation. Included for comparison.

6 Overall results Graph 1 shows that more than 55% of Charities Board funding was for purposes falling within the research s definition of deprivation. Even after removing the nondeprivation grants, the Charities Board s funding makes a substantial contribution to the overall funding level. (Of course, this analysis includes all of the Charities Board s deprivation related grants but lacks an unknown proportion of the funding from other sectors due to some nonresponses to the survey.) Even if the value of relevant grants from all other funders is double what has been collected here an unlikely assumption the Charities Board would still be providing at least 25% of the total funding for projects addressed at deprivation by England s voluntary and community groups. Of the grant makers which supplied information on priorities, unitary local authorities are most likely to prioritise certain types of applicants, with the smaller trusts least likely to do so. Local authorities generally saw poverty and unemployment as more of a priority than did most trusts. Specific age groups were the most frequent priority for grant makers in general: a follow-up question on which age groups were prioritised produced a fairly even split between older people and children or young people. 6 Table 1: Percentage regional distribution of funding value* NLCB % NLCB % Trusts Local Total total budget funding % authorities allocation addressing ( 48m) % ( 81m) ( 177m) # deprivation ( 99m) South West West Midlands North West North East Yorkshire & the Humber East Midlands Eastern South East London England * columns values may not sum to 100 due to rounding # a value reflecting the region s share of the national population and its relative deprivation. These figures exclude grants made to national organisations working across England.

7 Funding by region The Charities Board uses a formula based on population weighted by deprivation to allocate budgets to its England regions. Overall, the results in Table 1 are quite encouraging, because they show that Charities Board funding is broadly in keeping with the basic pattern of need across the country. Assuming that most grant makers are trying to target funds at areas of deprivation, then the next step is to develop a more direct analysis of active targeting. This will always be crude at a broad regional level, because it may not be the more deprived areas of regions which are benefiting most. A principal objective of this research had been to present results at local authority area level. The data collected by the survey reveals how the relatively close match at the regional scale between the levels of funding and of need (London excepted) largely breaks down at the local level. The funding of some areas on a per capita basis was barely a twentieth of the levels enjoyed by the most successful areas. Some of the patterns echo the findings at regional level, notably the high level of funding to inner London and many peripheral rural areas. More generally, the sheer level of variation suggests that the snapshot of one year s data is not sufficient to provide a fully robust analysis for all local authorities individually. Some smaller areas may gain just one or two major grants every few years, so a single year s data will produce a rather lumpy comparison between areas. An annual average from several years data may be needed to produce a fully robust comparison between local areas. Next steps The absence of data from this survey on SRB and European sources of funding is unfortunate and the National Lottery Charities Board is currently looking to a second phase of the research to add these sources of funding to the database. The work will assist the National Lottery Charities Board s nine Regional Awards Committees and the England Committee by identifying gaps and promoting further investigation into more detailed matching between funding and need at a local level. In May 1999 the National Lottery Charities Board introduced its first Strategic Plan which set out its principles and funding priorities at a regional and country level. The survey complements other research by, for example, the Charities Aid Foundation who have recently looked more broadly at the funding policies of trusts and foundations. The study points to the potential value of grant makers co-operating by sharing information. 7

8 For more information please call Design by First Folio Design Ltd. Printed by C&R Printing Services on totally chlorine free paper. Published by the National Lottery Charities Board, January 2000.

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