Our approach to grant making

Underlying principles

We've responded to feedback from our 2021 grants review consultation and have changed the ways we will award and manage grants from 2022. When we designed this Fund we worked hard to: 

  • Only ask questions we needed to help us make a decision
  • Use one set of criteria across all three levels of grants on offer
  • Be clear about how we will make grant decisions
  • Adjust the amount of detail we ask for to match the level of grant on offer
  • Be as open and flexible as possible in the way we support Oxford’s communities

We want to develop trust-based relationships with those we fund and will continue to learn from them and others to improve our practices.

Learning together

We have all had to respond quickly to many changes brought about by Covid and lockdown and there has been much learning across all sectors. We have incorporated as much good practice as we could in framing these funds and writing our application form and guidance but recognise that this should be an ongoing process.

We want the Oxford Community Impact Fund to have impacts beyond the modest amount of funding on offer. We are launching this programme in the spirit of joint learning. All Big Ideas award recipients will be expected to contribute to four open learning sessions throughout the year. These are designed to:

  • Let those we fund better collaborate and share skills, knowledge and resources
  • Let the Council continue to improve our grant processes
  • And finally, we want to share the learning with non-funded organisations and other funders to help build skills, knowledge and other resources more widely

Funding, advice and support

In addition to our existing fundraising advice and external funding pages, we will also be running regular funding advice surgeries for organisations supporting community activities (details coming soon).

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