Back to Blog

Growing impact with corporate grantmaking

Published on 13 May, 2024

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Man_Woman_laughing | Charities Trust

Corporate grantmaking is a common pillar of many of our clients’ giving programmes.

Nationwide's Community Grants programme helps people across the UK improve their housing situation whilst its Colleague Grants programme allows employees to apply for grants for their favourite charities.

The Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards gives more than £1m in grants to a wide range of causes. And Aviva’s Broker Community Fund sees broker nominated causes receive grants of up to £20,000.

As these clients have shown, a corporate grant programme can enhance CSR, build brand reputation, attract and engage talent, in addition to helping charities to deliver greater social and community impact.

If you’re thinking of introducing a grant programme for your business, here are a few of the steps you’ll need to take to ensure its success:

1. Set goals and focus:

Determine the overarching goals of your grantmaking programme. Are you focusing on community engagement in the areas where your business operates for example? Or do you want to target specific themes aligned to your brand purpose and strategy? We can guide you on the best approach based on your objectives.

2. Establish eligibility criteria:

Define the criteria for organisations seeking grants from your business. Factors such as non-profit status, geographic location, and brand alignment will be obvious considerations. Track record of both delivering and ability to measure impact should also be key.

3. Set impact targets and budget:

Determine the budget you can allocate for the grantmaking programme and the size of the impact you aim to achieve. Also decide on the types and size of grants you'll offer – our client programmes typically offer a small number of high value grants supported by a greater number of smaller awards.

4. Develop the application process:

Create clear and concise guidance outlining the application process, eligibility criteria, funding priorities, and evaluation criteria. We can help you design a process that collects necessary information from potential grantees whilst at the same time being simple and user-friendly.

5. Establish the selection process:

Develop a transparent and objective evaluation process for reviewing grant applications. This may involve forming a grant review committee comprising employees, external experts, and community representatives. We can guide you on the right approach for your business and help you set evaluation criteria based on the goals and focus areas initially set.

6. Promote your grant programme:

Create a communication plan to raise awareness of your grantmaking programme among potential applicants and stakeholders. Utilise various channels such as your company website, social media platforms, industry networks, and community events to promote the programme.

7. Review and select grantees:

Review grant applications according to your established evaluation criteria and selection process. Key here is to conduct due diligence on potential grantees to ensure business alignment and minimise reputational risk. Our expert due-diligence and verification service is available to you at this stage.

8. Award grants and monitor progress:

Notify selected grantees and award grants based on agreed-upon terms and conditions. We administer this for you and make all grant payments on your behalf. Once complete, it’s then key to establish processes for monitoring and evaluating the progress and impact of funded projects. Maintaining ongoing communication with grantees is key here.

9. Assess and improve:

Regularly assess the effectiveness of your grantmaking programme against its objectives and make necessary adjustments. Seek feedback from grantees, stakeholders, and employees to identify areas for improvement and innovation. We’ll keep you informed of best practice and new innovations that will help further your giving agenda.

10. Report and celebrate impact:

Share the impact of your grantmaking programme with stakeholders, employees, and the broader community through annual reports, case studies, and success stories.

Celebrate achievements and milestones reached by grantees to recognise their contributions and inspire continued engagement.

Following these steps can help you establish a successful corporate grantmaking programme that drives business reputation and contributes positive social and community impact.

If you’re looking to set up a corporate or community grants programme our expert team are on hand to support you at every step. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to talk.