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The holy grail of funding: why and how foundations give unrestricted funding

Autores/Participantes : Ben Cairns, Liz Firth, Richard Hopgood


“Unrestricted funding is often regarded as the single most powerful support that funders can provide to charities.”

This truth is reiterated frequently, yet many funders encounter obstacles when attempting to provide unrestricted funding. In this report, the UK-based Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) presents new research shedding light on how various funders are considering and approaching this sought-after form of funding. Through the perspectives of trustees and senior staff from 12 trusts and foundations, the report argues that irrespective of an organization’s limitations and its progress in this regard, it’s worth exploring: Can further strides be made in offering unrestricted funding? This resource includes:

  • Seven ways in which unrestricted funding brings value
  • Common inquiries regarding the processes and motivations behind foundations’ decisions to provide unrestricted funding, such as legal considerations, impact assessment, and its potential in addressing issues of equity and power within funding dynamics
  • Advice from IVAR’s group of funders
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Copyright Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) 2021