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The role of the Step Change project manager

The Step Change Fund benefits from a team of project managers: experienced volunteers who are central in ensuring grants go to the most deserving projects and that the funds are subsequently efficiently spent.

The role of project manager (PM) has two clear objectives:

  • to ensure that recipients of grants have developed a clear and fully costed plan to realise the step change that they desire in their charitable activities
  • to support the recipient charity in managing the funded project to ensure that grant monies are spent wisely and in full accordance with the goals of the original grant application.

Involvement of the PM begins with a decision by the Step Change Grants Panel to invite a detailed bid from a charity that has successfully submitted an ‘Expression of Interest’. Often, at this stage, the charity has a good idea of what it wants to achieve but is less clear on the steps necessary to get there.

The PM can assist greatly in establishing a clear plan of action with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and milestones/project tasks that enable the charity to move forward with confidence if a grant is made. The charity is then invited to present their bid to the Grants Panel, supported by the PM.


If a grant is made, the PM works with the charity to set up a monitoring and payment process. Regular meetings are held between the PM and grant recipient to ensure milestones are being met and to identify any unforeseen problems in achieving the bid goals.

At the end of the project, a final report is prepared on the achievement of the KPIs and, a year after the end of the grant, the PM prepares a further report with the charity on the long-term impact of the award. The PM will also stay closely involved with the charity if a second bid application is made, based on the success of the first.

Meet the project manager team


Bridewell Organic Gardens

Bridewell is a mental health recovery service providing social and therapeutic horticulture in a working garden to adults living in Oxfordshire. Their goal is to help people into jobs or voluntary roles out in the wider community.

The Gatehouse

The Gatehouse is a community drop-in centre offering free support services for adults who are homeless, vulnerably housed, on low income and looking for company and community. They offer a free cafe six times a week, therapeutic workshops and a one-to-one casework team.

Archway Foundation

The Archway Foundation helps people in Oxford and Abingdon who feel unwanted, excluded and forgotten, matching them with volunteer befrienders and social networks that give them back a sense of belonging.

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