Charities are being forced to compromise what they do to secure grants because funders refuse to negotiate terms, according to a report published by the Directory of Social Change yesterday.
Sixty-one per cent of government departments and 45 per cent of trusts and foundations surveyed for Critical Conditions, which was released at the DSC's annual Charity Fair, said they did not negotiate terms and conditions with applicants.
"When funding terms and conditions are non-negotiable, applicants can be faced with a take-it-or-leave-it situation," said report author Jay Kennedy, policy officer at the DSC, a sector training and publishing organisation.
"If they refuse to sign the agreement, they could lose their funding. If they sign and ignore the terms, they may jeopardise their project, organisation and beneficiaries."
The report also shows that only 46 per cent of central government funders make their terms and conditions fully available, compared with 72 per cent of trusts and foundations. The Cabinet Office is among the government departments that do not make terms and conditions publicly available, it says.
Kennedy said this prevented charities from making "fully informed decisions about whether to apply".
Charities should ask to see the small print if it was not included in application forms, he said.
Forty-three grant administrators from 14 central government departments and 29 trusts and foundations responded to the survey.