Fundraising News: Mactaggart: Fund must offer full cost recovery

The Government will push for the Big Lottery Fund to include relevant overhead costs in all its grant-making processes for voluntary sector service providers, charities minister Fiona Mactaggart said last week.

Mactaggart, speaking at the launch of a guide for the sector on full cost recovery, said that she would be holding talks with the fund on the issue shortly.

Sandre Jones, manager at development charity A Glimmer of Hope, asked Mactaggart whether the Big Lottery Fund and other lottery bodies would be applying the principles of full cost recovery in their grant making.

Mactaggart told Jones that she would get "down and dirty" with the fund on full cost recovery and its fulfilment under the Compact.

She also said she would defend the right of organisations to "name and shame" statutory departments that were not sticking to the Compact - which under the new revised code on government funding and contracts includes full cost recovery - and that they would not lose funding for doing so.

A fund spokeswoman said it was not easy for organisations or funders to work out the true cost of running a project, or to divide up overheads common to many projects. She said the fund welcomed the new guide, published by Acevo and New Philanthropy Capital, to help clarify "this difficult area".

Acevo chief executive Stephen Bubb called for the Government to go further and publish targets and a timetable for full cost recovery among health trusts and other local statutory funders. "Central government improvement has been gradual, but tangible," he said. "Local government and health trusts are lagging behind."

The new Young People's Fund, in its 38-page sample application form, says it will finance overheads only where they are "part of the salary of the people directly supervising staff funded by the project", and a "reasonable share of current accommodation costs". It will also cover project capital costs such as computers or a vehicle, and revenue costs like travel and training.

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