Valuing local grantsPosted on 23rd October 2014 by Jo Ivens
The voluntary sector in Brighton & Hove punches way above its weight. For every £1 invested in the Brighton & Hove voluntary sector through our Council’s discretionary grant programme, the sector is able to bring in another £13. That’s a huge additional £15.98 million leveraged off a £1.25 million investment from the Council. That’s sounds like exceptionally good value to me.
But this is only part of the story, it’s a crude but effective numerical way of pointing out the value of a local grants programme in our City. I think there is a kind of ‘repeater effect’ of local grants in the way they are currently used in Brighton & Hove, the funds that are put into the key organisations in the city are multiplied massively by the work that they do. This is not just about allowing us to bring in other funding, but about the work we as a sector enable others in our sector to do. Any organisation that works with others is repeating the impact of that funding, and those other organisations are repeating it again.
For us, the grant we get from our local authority certainly allows us to use it as a base for bringing in other funds – a very rough calculation shows that in one Impetus service alone, we have brought in around £0.5 million in the last 10 years, based on an investment of less than half that. That’s a 200% bonus for you right there!
Another way to look at it would be as a brick and a sponge – a lovely analogy shared by a colleague at a grants engagement event last week. It’s the foundation stone that we are able to build a house on, and the sponge that allows us to absorb the shocks of the environment. I know for us, that it is really valuable.