ACF launches good grant-making practice project

The Association of Charitable Foundations says the Stronger Foundations Project will explore grant-making, learning, diversity and transparency

The Association of Charitable Foundations is launching a new project to identify good grant-making practice and support foundations to achieve it.

The Stronger Foundations Project will be a joint project between ACF members, beneficiary groups and other funding experts and will explore what good practice looks like in areas such as grant-making, learning and impact, diversity and transparency.

The project will begin with a one-day scoping event in the autumn for ACF members, but a spokesman said it would develop into a range of meetings and events for a range of stakeholders.

"The plan is not to produce a report that no one reads but to create events that will be integral to what ACF does," he said. "And it’s important that it’s not just foundations that are involved."

He said the ACF could not say what the likely good practice outcomes of the project would be, but it was hoped the project would enable foundations that had raced ahead to deal with issues affecting the whole sector would be able to share their experiences.

He said it was anticipated that the project would "lead to enhanced effectiveness of individual foundations as well as greater awareness of and responsiveness to the concerns of beneficiaries".

Carol Mack, chief executive of the ACF, said the project was about enhancing foundations’ contributions to society by drawing on beneficiary views and expertise from within the funding community.

"Our aim is to spread leading practice among foundations, to support them to be ambitious and effective in the way that they use their resources," she said.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said he looked forward to seeing the results of the project.

"There is already a lot of exemplary practice to learn from foundations, and this project presents an important opportunity to share it and to help all foundations work to the standards set by the best," he said.

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