Research into ‘Technology in the Charitable Sector’ has found that hundreds of hours are wasted making unsuccessful grant applications, and that funders and charities are open to change.
The research, commissioned by The Good Exchange, and carried out by global research company Vanson Bourne, looked at the current grant application and distribution landscape. Through interviews with 100 UK grant-making organisations and online survey responses from 191 applicant organisations (fundraisers), it found that hundreds of hours are being spent completing application forms per year, but that just two in five are successful (equating to 22 working days per year of wasted effort per applicant organisation).
The findings have revealed significant levels of dissatisfaction with current processes, and an increased appetite to embrace digital to reduce wasted efforts. This could enable collaboration to address societal issues, as charities and funders both contend with the ongoing impact of cuts in government funding.
For many, the grant application system is broken. Respondents from applicant organisations said that their organisation typically completes 33 separate grant applications per year, with each taking eight hours to fill in on average. This equates to 264 hours in total spent applying for funding, while almost three in five (59%) are ultimately unsuccessful.
OCF is supporting The Good Exchange in developing technology for a single stage application, which could help to improve processes, reduce wasted efforts and measure funding impact. 87% of applicants agreed that this was a good idea, compared with a slightly smaller proportion (56%) of grant-makers. Nearly two thirds of grant-makers said a reduction in the number of ineligible applications would be likely to incentivise their organisation to move towards a technological change in the way it processes applications.
OCF has already funded several projects through The Good Exchange’s online platform, which can be seen here.