How do I get funding from you?

Currently, we aren’t able to accept unsolicited funding applications.

The community section has a list of who, what and where we fund but in general, we support action that reveals, questions and dismantles or heals, reimagines and transforms systems of injustice and oppression. 

What is your philosophy of funding?

Our philosophy of funding is strongly linked to our vision and mission and our system behaviours

We are focused on justice, not charity. As a result, we try to avoid processes that get us stuck in unhelpful power dynamics of benevolence and gratitude. We instead, hope to create mutual learning relationships from which we can all benefit. 

How does your process actually work?

Even though we aren’t able to accept unsolicited funding applications it still feels important to give a sense of how our funding process works.

We don’t have one catch-all funding process. Instead, we use a mixture of open call-outs, targeted commissions, devolved funding to specific places and lots of conversations through a variety of networks. 

Each of these methods has a slightly different process but we normally follow five steps:

  1. Start with a conversation or two, to share experiences and approaches.
  2. Invite you to share a proposal with us via the written word, a video or audio, telling us about your work, who is involved and how you plan to implement it.
  3. If we are co-producing the proposal with you we might come back with feedback before the final version. This is less likely to be the case in our open call-outs to smaller funding pots. 
  4. Our staff team, or one of our local coordination teams, will decide on the outcome of the proposal. 
  5. We’ll let you know our answer. Depending on that answer, we’ll work out the next steps together. 
Do I need to use a form to apply?

There is no set form to use to apply. This is because we want to be open and flexible about your application. You can share your application in the written word (for example PowerPoint or Word), via audio or video. Please also add a description of your work and of the project you seek funds for. We are less interested in what our partners want to do but rather on how they want to do it – their behaviours, relationships, processes and mindsets – and who they will involve. 

How long will the decision take?

We try to make decisions as quickly as possible whilst ensuring a fair, transparent and rigorous process. From a formal proposal to a definite answer is usually 1 to 4 weeks. You’ll be kept up to date at all times. 

Do you work with me on the application?

We often build proposals together through a series of conversations. We can work with you if that’s what you think is best. If you struggle with literacy or have other needs that will make it difficult for you to write an application then we can draft it for you.

How much can I apply for?

We do not restrict the amount of money that you can apply for. Your costs are set by you, not us. It might help you to know that our average annual amount spent on grants is in the region of £6m and our normal grant sizes vary between £10,000 to £350,000. We also fund above this amount but that tends to be for longer term or larger work – and often comes out of a pre-existing relationship.

Do you fund capital costs?

We aim wherever possible to pay core costs, which can be used for project costs, salaries, overheads and capital costs.

What percentage do you think is reasonable to charge towards core costs?

We understand the cyclical nature of project work means you may be forever in a loop of application and evaluation and as such, we encourage core cost partnerships. If, however, you are interested in proposing a project, then between 10% and 18% is entirely reasonable for core cost recovery. 

Who makes the decision?

Usually, members of our staff team. If the amount is over £330,000 the decision is made by our Board. If you are working in one of our six places, the local coordination team will make the decision. 

We use a variety of decision-making processes, drawing from Deep Democracy in particular, to ensure that as many different voices and perspectives can be shared during the decision making process. We try to minimise the impact of rank and privilege on our decisions although we recognise these are very hard to eradicate. 

What will this approach mean for me?

We take you on your own merits. Your ability to write a good application will never act as a barrier and you won’t be pitted against other applicants or potential partners.

Each partnership is a bespoke relationship and what it looks and feels like is dictated by the different stages of the work, and the needs of the people involved.

What does ‘systems change’ mean?

Systems change is both a process and an outcome. We think about it as the process of change: one that looks at root causes; at the interconnections between things as well as the things themselves. It means bringing change at the level of narrative, structure, communities and individuals. We believe that the change is bigger than any one organisation or individual. If you’d like to learn more, please read about the work of our partners, the methodologies we use, and the insights we all have. 

Are we the right funder for you?

A pretty odd question…but our relational and systemic approach to change isn’t for everyone and it could be that we genuinely aren’t the right funder for you!

We work in a thoughtful way which can feel slow for some people. We ask a lot of questions, not to monitor and evaluate but because learning and adaptation are how we think change happens. Because we are interested in the who and the how, rather than the what, we don’t generally fund projects and services unless they are experiments looking to create broader systemic change. 

How do I become one of your places?

The five places we work in are fixed for now. They are Barking and Dagenham, Gateshead, Greater Manchester, Oxford and York. We also work in Scotland in partnership with the Corra Foundation.

We do not have the capacity to work in new places at the moment. 

I’m in one of your places, will you fund me?

We are not the decision-makers for funding in these places. There are local groups who oversee the work there, so please do not approach us for funding in these places. 

My application has been rejected. Now what?

All decisions are made collectively and are final. If you disagree with the decision you can use our complaints procedure

I don’t want core funding, but some funding to do X, can i still approach you?

For the moment, we currently aren’t open to unsolicited applications. When we are, please send us an email to enquiries@lankellychase.org.uk 

I’m not exactly sure what I want to do, can I still talk to you?

Absolutely,  but please bear with us as it will take some time to get back to you. You can get in touch here.

I’m successful in funding. How will we work together?

We may use a Memorandum of Understanding, or we may design an alliance together with you. Either way, we’ll figure that out together. But we hope this relationship will be a mutual learning journey where we can feed into each others’ work. 

We describe ourselves as a relational funder. We mean this. We will want and expect an ongoing, open, trusting relationship with you, and we will work hard with you to achieve this.

What I said I was going to do isn’t what I’m actually doing. Is that a problem

We use an action inquiry model with our work. Learning and adaptation are key parts of this. In fact, we think learning and adaptation is actually an indicator of a healthy system.  Adapting work is vital in a changing world so don’t worry.

As I’m working on this, I’m realising that I need some extra funds to build skills, to engage a learning partner etc. What should I do?

Let us know what you need at any time. We never guarantee more money but we are always open to a conversation.

I just want you to give us the money and get lost. Will you do that?

The alliance we design together will include how much time we spend together and for what. If you want minimal engagement or input from us that is fine, tell us. 

That said, we will not disappear completely. We will want to know what you are learning so that all of our work can adapt. If you really want no contact, we probably aren’t the right funders for you. 

What does learning and communications mean?

Learning means both planning and doing the work then stepping back to reflect on it, with prompts like what worked well and what could work better next time or what signals of change can we spot?

Communications means both the process of sharing and spreading these reflections more widely. This might be to influence others to try out a similar approach, or to create some form of dialogue to gather external views or hear about their own experiences of change.

How do we actually learn together?

We learn through individual and collective conversations. If you’re working on a strand of work that sits alongside other partners, then you will also be asked to contribute to wider collective programmes of learning. We have specific partners who work with us at that level, like Northumbria University.

Individually you might need some more support to create learning processes locally and we may be able to support those. 

How do I learn what others in the network are doing?

We have a range of ways that you can learn from others: 

  • We might suggest you connect with individuals/organisations if we see synergies; 
  • We host retreats for place based partners; 
  • We create learning events for others to come together to reflect on key points that emerge; 
  • We’re open to supporting you to host learning sessions with other people we’re funding or a broader network of people; 
  • Read the blogs that others have written on our website, Medium page or promoted through our Twitter feed; 
  • Check out our Twitter feed on Fridays, as we hand it over to different people to tweet about what they’re learning. 
How do you end funding relationships?

Funding relationships are necessarily time bound. Start and end points will be agreed together. Around six months before a funding relationship ends we will work with you to see what the state of play will be for your work after our funding ends. We have at points brought in other funders to continue, helped to close organisations and supported further networked approaches. As each organisation and therefore funding relationship is different, we will work with you to determine what’s best for your work. 

Can I re-apply for funding again the year after a grant has finished?

Receiving funding from us does not rule you out from applying again. Even though we will have worked together as the grant drew to a close, situations change. It’s unlikely we will fund the same thing, but that doesn’t mean we won’t fund your organisation. 

I don’t want funding from you, but I want to work alongside you to know more

We work in many ways, not solely through funding. If you’d like a different kind of relationship please let us know  what you have in mind.